Fantastic Four, Fox’s reboot of the 2005 series, is drab disaster to say the least, and actually makes the 2005 series look way better.
Fantastic Four follows scientific genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller) from grade school to his full scholarship ride to the Baxter Foundation where Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) needs his help – along with that of his adopted daughter Sue (Kata Mara) and troubled former pupil Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebell -- yes, the film ditched his much loathed initial moniker of “Viktor Domichev”) – to build the first inter-dimensional travel machine. Of course along the way they get powers, with the late additions of Johnny Storm (Michael.B. Jordan) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), and then Doom for some god-only-knows reason decides to destroy Earth.
Fantastic Four has a very peculiar situation wherein, all the lead actors barely have any scenes together, and the idea of them being a team seems ridiculous considering that there is no bonding time. In a 92 minute long movie, the first 45 minutes are stretched to just make the team come together and create the teleporter, and despite that, there is still somehow no time for bonding. Reed and Ben are childhood friends but they barely share screen space as adults. Johnny and Ben barely talk to each other, and Sue and Ben share just one line which happens in the last scene. Whatever bonding they had clearly happened off-screen, but that doesn’t make for convincing cinema now does it? So when the team finally gets together for the final act battle against Doom, there’s no sense of fun, excitement or achievement. No matter how bad the previous movies were, at least the four seemed like a family.
The movie has absolutely no character arcs. Reed is smart, Sue is smart and mature, Johnny is rash, and Ben is barely in the movie. But the best is when we come to Victor von Doom, who is smart and volatile, and for some weird reason wants to destroy Earth saying the ever clichéd “The Earth had its chance” and wants to play God on Planet Zero.
Fantastic Four gives zero importance to how the heroes cope with the emotional stress of having their appearance changed. I mean, Ben turns into rocks… ROCKS and nobody gives a crap about him. He’s just locked in a cell, as he sulks there alone. Reed flees and is on the run from the government agency, pretty much like a Marvel movie, and makes his own containment suit.
The actors in the movie have all done some amazing work, but thanks to some uninteresting direction and bad story, it makes them seem bad as well. Miles Teller somehow comes out looking good, but the rest are just awful.
The movie in its entirety is just too plain and has no wow factor. Even the final battle between The Fantastic Four and their worst enemy has no appeal, since they don’t even seem like a team. The four are supposed to be in New York City for most of the time, but all we see are indoors sets.
Fantastic Four isn’t necessarily unwatchable but it’s just too mundane with absolutely no energy. The movie is as dull as the sets it was shot in, and is another failed attempt at bringing Marvel’s First Family to life.