Director – Josh Trank;
cast – Miles Teller, Jamie Bell;
duration – 100 minute;
Fantastic four galactus.
I’ll be honest with you: I REALLY wanted to love this movie going into it. I loved the first Fantastic Four film from 2005 and was disappointed at its sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer. After seeing this new one, instead of feeling elation at a great reboot, I just feel empty. However, I don’t see a reason to throw my drink against a wall and rage at a wasted cost of admission either.
The four main characters have gone back to high school as compared to their more mature counterparts in the original film. Reed Richards, the super smart nerd who no one will listen to, befriends at age 7 Ben Grimm, an abused but loyal bodyguard. Together, they create a gateway to a world in an alternate dimension.
This somehow loses them the high school science fair (guess some teachers don’t react well to teleportation) but attracts the attention of Dr. Abram Storm, biological father of Johnny and adopted father of Sue (this shows how lazy the writing was in how to explain why Sue is white and Johnny is black; literally, the explanation is Reed asking Sue “You adopted? and sue going “Yeah.” And that’s all we get.)
These four, along with soon to be enemy Victor von Doom, also a kid, but older than the four, will travel to this alternate dimension, where they will get their powers and become the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom (except neither of these phrases is ever said.)
As far as a story goes, it falls short as an origin story because more than half the film is devoted to showing how they get their powers but not even five minutes to showing them develop their powers. Also, Dr. Doom, the main nemesis, shows up so late in the film it feel like it was tacked on to give the film a reason for being. Finally, the ending is virtually copy and pasted from Avengers: Age of Ultron (if you’ve seen it, you can already imagine what it looks like.)
This is not to say that as a superhero movie it doesn’t fulfill its main purpose of being a fun escape for 90 minutes or so. In fact, it has many attributes that make it a decent movie. However, the problem is that we consciously recognize those elements as being from other, much better films.
In the end, I would say that the trash talk going around is from super comic book fanatics throwing a temper tantrum. It is a good movie, go see it.
Just don’t think too hard.
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