100 Min. | Action – Adventure – Sci-Fi | August 2015
IMDB Rating: 4.1
Director: Josh Trank
Staring: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan
Fantastic Four Review: There’s probably some salvageable remnants left in Fox’s previous attempts to bring one of Marvel’s most popular superhero team, Fantastic Four, to the big screen. That’s maybe what Fox thinks in pushing this new adaptation, given how franchises keep being rebooted and resurrected these days, assuming either lighter or darker takes, to pull away themselves from the shadows of their previous (most often, forgettable) forms. The latter is more evident with Fantastic Four, as director Josh Trank, puts a darker spin to it, employing a grittier feel to its plot. While that is true and recognizable, there’s no denying of its desperate efforts to emulate its Marvel predecessors. Unfortunately, though, neither, succeeds. If it’s any a consolation, Trank has assembled a group of actors that are all naturally charming, you would find anything messed-up they’re in, tolerable.
The spotlight is cast upon young genius, Reed Richards, at the beginning of Fantastic Four, working on an experiment that attempts to construct a teleportation device. It was hardly a success as the object they’ve sent to who-knows-where, never returned. Seven years later, now teenage Reed is again trying his luck on the same experiment. The attempt yields a better result but is still dismissed as a magic trick by his high school teacher, but not by Dr. Franklin Storm, who at that moment, is drawn with utter interest to Richard’s experiments. The meeting brings Richard’s feet to Baxter Institute where he is joined by Storm’s daughter, Sue, his son, Johnny Storm, and Viktor Von Doom, to work in completing a larger and more advanced version of Richard’s device. The success of their effort prompts their team to send all of them four to their target alternate universe, but the consequence is far worse than they could imagine.
It’s easy to dismiss Trank’s Fantastic Four as an unfortunate victim of superhero fatigue that emerges in the wake of the continuous influx of superhero movies inundating the big screen, but you can’t shrug off its fatal narrative flaws that include unfocused pace and bland character developments. The latter may have been completely covered by the actors playing the two-dimensional characters, but expositional defects keep sending them to becoming something the audience might find hard to care about. If it’s any consolation, the final battle of Fantastic Four, sparks hope. But who knows who else is up with eagerness to see it when the rest of the film strikes more than enough to make the audience not wait for any longer.