Fantastic Four (2015)
Starring: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed By: Josh Trank
Written By: Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, Josh Trank
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 40 min
Seriously, how hard can it be to make a good Fantastic Four film? This is the third attempt by Fox studios to get this right, and they’ve somehow managed to screw it up again. Is there a three strikes law for this kind of thing? Maybe Marvel studios should be given the keys to this intellectual product. At least then we’d get something competently made.
I mean, come on, it’s the origin story. Arguably the most interesting part of any superhero’s journey, as they discover their new abilities and learn to live with them. And this film has four! Plus a cool villain. But somehow even Dr. Doom’s reincarnation on film ends up being less than intimidating, and given very little screen time.
From the start, this film screams – unfinished! Right from the slow unconvincing time spent with the young Reed Richards (Owen Judge). To the poor casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. It seems writers Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, and Josh Trank, didn’t have a clear idea how to move forward with this project. Or the rumored production issues (which point the finger at Josh Trank) became too unwieldy to handle for a studio rushing to get their product into theaters.
At every step during my screening, I found myself questioning the logic behind the movie’s plot turns. It also spends way too much time with Reed and Ben as kids to establish their friendship, and Reed’s intellectual prowess and social awkwardness. Leaving no time to properly sell us on the big changes made to the Storm family dynamic (political correctness run amok?) or develop Dr. Doom as a credible villain with a genuine axe to grind.
If you’re a fan of the Fantastic Four comic characters, then you’re probably going to hate this. Not that anything I say will stop you satisfying your curiosity – but if you can, wait for the rental. For everyone else, I say keep your expectations really low. This movie is dull and humorless.
I was surprised how bad the visual effects looked. From The Things horrible looking battle footage, to Reed’s limp limbs, the SFX looked cheaply produced, and not very convincing at all. A standard definition rental will service this film well enough on any device you care to watch it on.
Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. Not being a rabid ‘fanboy’, I wasn’t all that bothered about the casting of Michael B. Jordan as my favorite Fantastic Four character. I’m all for bold changes to the source material, if there’s a clear rational for the alteration. But as shown, there wasn’t, and the Johnny Storm in this version of events turns out to be a dull, humorless brat with daddy issues!