Reboot. Remake. Call it what you will, after the collapse of the not so great Fantastic Four films that originally release a decade ago, 20th Century Fox has decided to revisit the world of Reed Richards,Ben Grimm and the Storm siblings, Sue and Johnny. Yes, Fantastic 4 is back with another set of actors looking to bring life into this troubled cinematic experience.
Taking the story back to the start may seem like a good idea at the time, but there are some stories you cannot retell, no matter how you dress it up. Instead of sending genius scientist Reed Richards up into space to be exposed to radiation, this time a teenage Richards and crew have cracked inter-dimensional travel and get exposed to something…
This is the first flaw. Fantastic Four doesn’t know what superhero angle to play. Much like the original Hulk, it tries to incorporate an adult science and methodology to the proceedings. However doesn’t fully explain what’s going on or the reasons for the characters actions.
Mr Not So Fantastic
We then see the characters get their powers. Great, maybe the film will take the direction of the first Fantastic Four film and show us how they learn to accept and harness the newly found skills. Nope. We jump 12 months into the future, no real explanation is given.
From there, the movie just goes from bad to worse. Miles Teller, who was absolutely stunning in Whiplash (a film you should see), is a young Reed Richards. Who, for the middle part of the presentation is MIA after annoying the group. He reappears later in the film and after a 3 second “all is forgiven” moment and we carry on.
There’s no explanation for any of this movie. Nor is there any character development. They all finish at the same point as they started. Nothing is learned, there are no take aways from the film.
Visually, Fantastic 4 is a mess. Granted, I cannot expect an on screen stretch armstrong to ever look good, but it appears to be a step back from the 2005 original. Even The Thing somehow looks more like a Golgothan than someone made of brick. He takes on the appearance of the dirty love child of Gollem from Pokémon and one of Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Fantastic 4 Conclusion
Fantastic 4 doesn’t just feel like a half-arsed cash in from Fox. It is. Under the terms of the Marvel contract, if the movie licence isn’t used in 7 years, all properties revert back to Marvel Studios & Disney. Through out the film, it feels like a desperate move, with all ideas being thrown seeing what sticks.
Unlike the X-Men films, Fantastic 4 is just a mess of what Fox could piece together in a short space of time and it failed in a every way. 100 minutes may not seem like a long time, but it feels bloated and over long, jumping parts of the story and skimming over what could be moderately interesting parts.