Fantastic Four Review

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It’s been quite a ride for Fantastic Four since its announcement back in 2012. There have been a few highs but overall there’s been a lot of negative buzz around the film. But does Fantastic Four deserve all of its negativity or does it prove all the “haters” wrong by being a fantastic film?

While it isn’t the disaster that everyone expected it to be, Fantastic Four still isn’t that good. The decision to distance itself from Tim Story’s silly Fantastic Four films by making a gritty reboot looked good on paper, but the end result shows that this family of four still needs some work.

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Fantastic Four follows brilliant science prodigy, Reed Richards (Miles Teller), as he joins the Baxter Institute to help develop an interdimensional transporter. When the experiment transports them into another universe, an accident there alters their physical form and grants them superpowers. Reed, Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) must learn to harness their abilities and work together to save the Earth from Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell).

Although the film tries to focus on character development than actual superheroics, Fantastic Four unfortunately doesn’t offer either. Frankly, part of the problem comes from the bland, lengthy setup that doesn’t pay off at the end. Instead of continuing with the character development, the film goes on a complete tonal shift as it rushes towards its unsatisfying ending. It’s this unfocused, disjointed storyline that ultimately doomed the film.

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Which is a shame since Josh Trank was able to bring a fresh new take on the superhero genre with Chronicle. However, Trank’s inventive direction that made Chronicle so great seems to have been lost here. After a while, it becomes clear that the film utterly lacked confidence and vision.

Despite the fact that Tim Story’s Fantastic Four films weren’t that good, they did capture what made the comics so beloved: the family aspect. The dynamics between Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm are touched upon but never fully realized here. This completely wastes the talents of this charismatic cast by turning them into clichéd cardboard characters.

As for the cast, they did well despite the lack of direction and content. Miles Teller capably transitioned from adorable science prodigy to the leader of the Fantastic Four. Kata Mara and Michael B. Jordan confidently played their part but their “sibling” chemistry just didn’t work. Jamie Bell is by far the weakest link out of the four due to the emotionless performance he gave both as Ben Grimm and The Thing.

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As for Doctor Doom, fans will still have to wait longer to see a true representation of Marvel’s most iconic villain. Although Kebbell is able to instill arrogance in Doom that’s been lacking in the previous films, the character is mishandled again. Doom’s motives are as disjointed as the film itself and his final character design is just atrocious. Doctor Doom’s final form brought up bad memories of Green Lantern’s CG suit.

As far as the CGI goes, the visual effects for the film are so blatantly bad that it becomes distracting. These effects would’ve been fine years ago, but with films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Rise of the Planet of the Apes out there, the visual effects look cheap in comparison. It becomes more apparent when we finally get to the big battle between the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom.

Overall, Fantastic Four is just your standard generic sci-fi film. For a film with “fantastic” in the title, it surely doesn’t live up to its name. It just goes to show you that not all reboots need to be gritty in order for it to be successful. The film tries to be this darker, emotional film but ended up being a soulless film that sucks the fun out of you with each passing minute.

Rating: 1.5/5 atoms
NR 1_5 Atoms - D-

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1399 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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