What it's about:
Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe that alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team members must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former-friend-turned-enemy.
What we thought:
Reboots are all about starting over, fixing what was broken and reviving franchises for casual audiences and die-hards alike. Directors have their work cut-out for them as they have to balance treating the original with respect while adding innovations.
Unfortunately sometimes things go wrong and in this case Fantastically so...
Fantastic Four has a great cast (two of which are from House of Cards), a rich comic-book history and a passionate fan-base spanning generations. All the ingredients for a great movie, right? So how do we end up with almost two hours of painful pacing, awkward dialogue and sub-par special effects?
Director Josh Trank's actual IMDB profile pic sums up his enthusiasm for the movie: Just look how much he cares!
And as for the stars themselves, I encourage you to listen to the 80s FF cartoon theme song while reading this…
Miles Teller - Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic - Can stretch himself (and the plot) to superhuman lengths is great at Twister.
Michael B. Jordan - Johnny Storm/Human Torch - Can set himself on fire and pull off a blazing hadouken (aka a fireball).
Kate Mara - Sue Storm/Invisible Woman – Who can turn herself and others invisible, projects a force-field bubble that acts like a taxi service for her friends.
Jamie Bell - Ben Grimm/The Thing – The super-strong rock man who speaks in monosyllabic sentences...just like Jamie Bell can.
Toby Kebbell - Victor Von Doom/Dr Doom – The malcontent genius and emotionless green-glowing killing machine pretty much just wears a sweet cloak.
The biggest issue with the movie is pacing. You're forced to sit for an hour while the Fantastic(ish) Four build a gateway to a planet that resembles a leftover set from Thor 2. Then a year gets inexplicably skipped and the pace rapidly increases until it feels like they're desperately trying to wrap things up before the credits roll. When we finally see the awesome foursome in action it's near the end of the film.
There are FOUR great stories that are hinted at but barely expanded on:
1. The Thing rampaging for the government as a badass soldier - Make this movie?
2. Mr Fantastic's life as a fugitive in Central America - to be fair, this seems stolen from Incredible Hulk.
3. Victor Von Doom spending a year on an alien planet learning to survive...with nothing.
4 The Fantastic Four working as a team to fight crime - seriously, why wasn't this the movie?
Just because you can do it doesn't mean that you should and the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot is sadly a film in need of a, well, another reboot. It feels less like a Hollywood Blockbuster and more like a mediocre Netflix pilot. The true shame is that the acting was spot-on, with the cast trying their best to work with weak writing.
"It's clobbering time" - for the plot that is.
To anyone in Hollywood who truly wants to give Fantastic Four the respect it deserves, please remake the original cartoon - it has four super-powered heroes fighting bad guys and exploring the universe.
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