Notable Cast: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson
It takes a lot of faith and execution to bring the Fantastic Four to the live action screen. It requires a lot of special effects, there has to be impeccable chemistry, and the story has to be one that will appease fans of the cosmic comic values, but be mainstream enough to sell to a bigger audience. This latest incarnation of Fantastic Four has essentially none of these things. The film’s horrific behind the scenes issues and the subsequent box office failure are both well documented in the logs of cinema history at this point, but it didn’t stop me from taking a gander at just what went wrong with this summer blockbuster. To be honest, it’s probably more precise to talk about what went…okay, more than just what went wrong, but needless to say Fantastic Four is a massive fantastic flop and worthy of a lot of the hate sent its way despite some intriguing concepts.
Reed Richards (Teller) and his buddy Ben (Bell) have been working hard on a teleporter since the 5th grade. Now high school students, they seem to have some of the kinks worked out and it catches the attention of the Baxter company and its developmental lead Mr. Storm. Storm’s two kids Sue (Mara) and Johnny (Jordan) are both hard at work on a similar project and with the help of the reclusive Victor (Kebble) they just need a few things worked out that Reed can help with. When things go awry in their testing process though, the five of these young scientists will be left with a new slate of powers…and ones that they may not be able to control.
|First step for mankind, first giant leap back into the rights of Marvel.|
That’s just the first half of the film. The second half of Fantastic Four might even be worse. The issues that arise with character chemistry are exponentially expanded as the film shifts from science fiction concept to full on super hero mode as our four heroes finally come together. Not only are the lacking performances still an issue, but the story shifts so quickly that it feels horrifically rushed. The narrative goes haywire, they add in a random villain for shits and giggles to give the team something to battle against to get that superhero movie vibe, and the film abandons some interesting concepts along the way – including its anti-government stance about how to handle “people with powers.” Even the final action set piece, where our heroes somehow don’t require suits to fight Doom on a foreign planet in a foreign dimension, seems like it’s an after thought that's placed on a generic fuzzy CGI back drop with half-assed motivations that leave the audience cold about the actual outcome.
|"Girl, nobody is hotter than me."|
Written By Matt Reifschneider