FILM: Fantastic Four


Fantastic Four? More like Fantastic Snore! (I’m sure I won’t be the first or last to use such cheap word play with the title) but unfortunately this remake is a dull attempt to reboot this Marvel comic.

The beginning is somewhat promising: we meet child science prodigy Reed Richards and his friend Ben as they attempt to create the first biomass teleportation device in Reed’s garage. The interplay between the young boys is well done and we are interested to see how Reed’s invention will progress.

Flash forward seven years and Reed (Miles Teller) and Ben (Jamie Bell) present their (technically Reed’s) invention at the school science fair. After being invited to continue his research at a top-notch science lab/research facility, Reed heads off to see his dream become a reality and become one of the first people to achieve inter-dimensional teleportation.

He’s teamed up with Johnny Storm (Michael B Jordan), his half-sister Sue (Kate Mara) and Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) – doomed to embody his own name – to create the machine that will transport them to another dimension. NASA, however, want to get their hands on it and so the team (barring Sue who stays behind in place of non-scientist/Reed’s best bro, Ben) set out to make their mark and plant their flag before anyone else.

They return with varying powers: stretchy limbs, invisibility/force field creation, the ability to become a fireball and fly, and rock monster with amazing strength (poor Ben gets the short straw I think).

My main criticism of this film is that the majority of screen time is spent building up to a pay off that never materialises. The second criticism is that the acting talent (talent including Kate Mara, Jamie Bell AND Miles Teller – how is that possible?) is squandered by a stilted script filled with drivelling catchphrases.

We barely see the Fantastic Four being fantastic.

Once again Marvel (under Fox) have failed to provide us with a well developed and interesting villain (except Loki, Loki is great). These heroes aren’t interesting either; we don’t really care about what happens to them and most of their dialogue is wasted on pointless exposition rather than character development.

Needless to say, this film fails to pass the heralded Bechdel Test and women are largely ignored with the group being addressed as “gentlemen” – Sue is standing right there! Followed by statement that NASA’s men must be the ones to go to the new dimension – what about NASA’s women? Couldn’t they just say people or astronauts?

To conclude, this reboot fails to stand up alongside it’s contemporary counterparts; it is neither gritty like Nolan’s Batman trilogy, nor is it a fun comedic romp like Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man. It flops somewhere in-between and the result is a flabby, boring and ultimately overlong build up for a sequel that will hopefully never happen (if the box office has anything to say about it).

Niki Alexandrou

Fantastic Four is out on August 6th

Niki Alexandrou

Niki Alexandrou

Niki Alexandrou

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