Starring: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Toby Kebbell
Director: Josh Trank
Running Time: 100mins
Fantastic Four is by no means bad, but where it needed to be great, disappointingly, it fell really short. With so much criticism coming from all angles about rebooting the franchise in the first place, this installment needed to blow some caps off which it failed to do.
The film is in no way terrible but as someone on Twitter perfectly described: “Its not bad. Its not good. Its hugely meh”
Disappointingly, Fantastic Four falls flat in a lot of areas that could have made it a contender in the battle for film creds. Here we are with fresh, young, talented faces who werent used to their full potential.
So, what doesnt work?
The story was lacking.
By the end of the film – that by the way, was way too long – we still hadnt achieved anything. While we were set up with the genius child and his rough and tumble play mate turned surly teenager back story, everything up to the point of the gang gaining their powers lost any sense of urgency or importance because of the irrelevance of what came after. Johnny and Sue’s relationship isnt entirely clear. Its obvious she is his adopted sister but whether or not they like each other was a bit confusing. Reed and Ben’s relationship works well but the set up of Victor as the villain was rather pointless with unnecessary shots of his intense eyes that seemingly show his anger and reason for wanting to take over the world Pinky and the Brain style.
There is an obvious lack of action.
There’s not enough fighting and shocking effects and the ones that are – when they get to some other dimension, look really cheap. While Johnny Storm (Jordan) provides the most cool effects, his flying doesn’t look as awesome as the original and i dont think he is really used to his full extent; in both acting and ability. The way he turns his flame on and off is awesome though! While Sue Storm (Mara) showcases the variety of her powers, loses any awe factor because she’s so boring. She never smiles, her wig constantly keeps changing and where Jessica Alba had sex appeal to have Victor and Reed going at it over her, in this instance, it really makes no sense. This may be a girly thing to comment on her looks but it really lets the side down. Although she had some Violet Parr telekenisis bubble going on, she could have done a lot more in the way of fighting.
Moving from the negative, where the film does work however, is Ben. The Thing looks so much grittier and realistic in this version and Jamie Bell’s emotional performance of having to deal with such a physical change is actually quite good. Their transitions were my favourite part of the movie as it highlighted how the physical change could and should be quite painful. It made it more believable to register their fear at the changes that were happening to them rather than the blind acceptance that was featured in the original.
To round up, Fantastic Four wont blow your socks of but its not an entirely tiresome watch. I had really high hopes for it that were let down but i hope they take note and apply more to the sequel in 2017. The cast were good but the film let them down. Fox should let go of the reigns on this one and give to more worthy films makers to bring it to the glory it could have.
Fant4stic is out Thursday 6th August across the UK