Wednesday, August 05, 2015




FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy. Written by 20th Century Fox

Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence, and language)
Directed By: Josh Trank , Joshua Trank
In Theaters: Aug 7, 2015 Wide
Runtime: 1 hr. 46 min.
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Dreams do come true. First you're trying to impress the voice actor for Homer Simpson at a High School Science Fair next you're working on a government funded teleporter project.©20th Century Fox

So an attempt to reboot a franchise that most weren't impressed to begin with.

So it's a reboot. Spiderman's had like two reboots so why not give this franchise a chance, right? Well, after watching this one I'd guess the word reboot might be thrown around a little earlier than later. So Fantastic Four, the family of superheroes created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in the early 60's and was an immediate hit and spawn a new generation of storytelling in the comic book world. Stories that were far more relatable to the average readers with superheroes that faced familiar problems we faced in between fighting super-powered bad guys and had personalities that we'd recognize in each other. Or so I've read. 

Honestly speaking I've never read a single issue of the Fantastic Four comics and am not a fan. I know the characters but that's pretty much it. I also know that the Fantastic Four are one of the more recognizable characters in the Marvel Comic Universe and that the characters have shown up in pretty much all the other character series that Marvel has. They fought alongside pretty much everyone in the Marvel universe and against all the bad guys too I'm sure. You Marvel fans can correct me on that. I don't mind.

Nothing good ever happens when you get drunk. Especially when it comes to interdimensional teleportation. ©20th Century Fox

Anyway, this particular reboot has the quartet of soon to be heroes which are much younger than the ones in the previous films with the exception of maybe the Johnny Storm character who was previously played by Chris Evans who would later become Captain America. Now imagine if that transition actually happened in the comic books. Anyway, Chris Evans wasn't too bad then and by no means did he set the bar high for the next person to play Johnny Storm. So instead of three mature scientist types and one young brash man we have four young people who are actually students at a very special institution. No it's not Prof. Xavier's mutant academy. 

So you've seen the trailer, right? Miles Teller who plays Reed Richards has from a very young age been a smart kid. As you know he wants to build a teleporter and he eventually does and gets it to work by the time he's in his sophomore year in High School with the help of his best friend Ben Grimm played by Jamie Bell but their teachers are far from impressed and tell them that they're disqualified for creating magic instead of science. But lo and behold, a man named Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his adopted daughter Susan Storm (Kate Mara) just so happened to have decided to hang around a high school science fair to have a look around. They spot Reed's experiment and tell him that they've been trying to do the same thing but with little success. So impressed by the young man in front of him Mr Storm offers Reed a full scholarship to his institution.

So you've just been to another dimension and then you wake up and you're naked and stretched like your a rubber doll. How's that for a weird nightmare? ©20th Century Fox

So now Reed is at the Franklin Institute of something or other, I forget, and there's the usual scenes of him trying to get to know Susan and ending up looking more like the dork than he already is. But there he also gets a glimpse of the teleporter that the institute has been working on. The teleporter that a previous alumni named Victor Von Doom started but couldn't figure out how to get things back after sending it to god knows where. Victor (Toby Kebbell) is now a hermit living in a dark and messy apartment where everything is controlled remotely by him with a thing that looks like a stripped down Google Glass. He's also very insecure and doesn't like authority figures and also thinks the generation that came before him is the cause for all the troubles in the world. 

Dr Storm goes to visit Victor and tells him that they've found a solution to his problem and invites him back. But of course Victor isn't too thrilled that someone could be smarter than him but he agrees to return only because he still has a thing for Susan. The team soon sorts out the teleporter and does a successful test and are thinking of getting into the teleporter themselves to try the thing out for themselves but their hopes are dashed when the people backing them financially tell them that that part will be done by Nasa. Disappointed Victor, Reed and Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) get drunk, convince themselves that they're the ones destined to try the machine out first and make a name for themselves. Reeds decides to call Ben since he couldn't have come this far without him and because they're best friends. So all four suit-up and go to this other dimension where the planet is nothing but rocks and underneath those rocks is a glowing green ooze of energy. Meanwhile while Susan working in another part of the institute notices that the teleporter was being used and gets there just in time to see  it disappear.

There are two bad guys in this movie. Doom is one of them but you don't see him much. These guys on the other hand. ©20th Century Fox

Victor and Reed being scientist go exploring despite Ben and Johnny's hesitations and protestations. So of course things go bad. Victor decides to touch the green oozy energy thing and the planet begins to erupt. All save for Victor escape just in time to get into the teleporter. Susan back on earth is trying like crazy to get them back and when she does not only does the teleporter come back but the subsequent explosion that happens on the other planet is transported back with the teleporter and she too is blown away by the energy from the green energy. Reeds is the first to awaken when he hears Ben calling to him for help. When he opens his eyes he sees Johnny on fire and Ben buried under a pile of rocks. He drags himself towards Ben but as he gets there he turns around and notices that his legs have stretched the entire length that he's crawled.

When he wakes up he's in a military facility and his entire body has been stretched out. Told by people he can't see to move his fingers, he tries but is unable to due to the pain. They sedate him. The next time he wakes up he hears Ben's voice. He escapes his straps and crawl through the air ducts towards Ben. He spots Ben below him a mass of rocks. Ben pleads for him to help him and Reeds promises he will but the alarm goes off and Reeds panics and makes his escape. Johnny and Susan are also at the facility. 

This movie's Ben Grimm/Thing is the best looking one yet. At least he doesn't look like someone pasted him all over with oatmeal. ©20th Century Fox

A year pass and Ben, Johnny and Susan are coming to grips with their condition, they're even learning to control it. Ben has been recruited by the military to perform special tasks for them. Reed on the other hand has been evading the authorities will trying to figure out a way to return them all back to normal. When the military realize that their teleporter won't work without Reed and Dr Storm can't return his daughter and son back to normal without it he asks Susan to track him down. They find him somewhere in South America and bring him back. 

Back at the military facility which just happens to be in Area 57, Reeds fixes the teleporter's problem with a few lines of codes and they immediately boot it up and send five men to the planet in the other dimension which has now been creatively named Planet Zero. There the five men discover that they're not alone. They find Victor, his suit has fused with his body and the green energy is coursing in between the cracks of wear his suit has fused with his body and glows underneath his skin. They take him back to earth. 

I think the guys in the reflective suits are being a little too careful. I mean he's not the bad guy. ©20th Century Fox
Back on earth and strapped down in order to receive treatment Victor seems weak but when Dr Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) comes to talk to him he shows his true colors. He leaves a trail of dead behind him as he makes his way back to the teleporter. The four new super powered team mates try to stop him but fail. And when Doom travels back to Planet Zero they follow him. For whatever reason they no longer need to use the teleporter which Doom is using and instead Susan creates a forcefield her herself, Reed and Ben while Johnny just flies straight into the gaping hole in space that's just opened up above the teleporter. 

Back on Planet Zero, Doom opens up the gaping hole in space even bigger and begins to suck earth through it back into Planet Zero. Of course the fantastic foursome aren't just going to let him do what he wants and so begins the lamest fight in Marvel movie history ever. But they finally defeat him when Ben sucker punches Doom right into the energy stream of the gaping hole in space thingy and Johnny brings down the structure that's supporting the gaping hole in space that's vacuuming the earth. 

This is the way the new Victor Von Doom or Dr Doom looks like. No metal mask just his spacesuit fused to his face. It just doesn't look right for some reason. ©20th Century Fox

They manage to get back to earth just in time before the gaping hole in space closes and stands near the crater that's left by the interdimensional planetary vacuuming. The whole which looks suspiciously like the one Ultron left behind when he decided to turn a tiny Eastern European Town into an asteroid. Later the four are offered to work with the military but of course they refuse. Instead they demand to be their own bosses and that whatever they invent, they own. Later they even get a whole secret government research facility to run and eventually agree on what to call themselves after having the dumbest conversation to figure out what to call themselves to have ever graced a movie screen.

The end. 

No she didn't do all that behind her. If she did it would have been an interesting movie. ©20th Century Fox

So if you read all that you've probably guessed that I didn't...

Yeah, no. I didn't like it. This movie was a huge letdown. The trailer was so intriguing. It felt like there was going to be a good story. But when you sit through it you find out it doesn't. 

It starts out promisingly enough and we're introduced to each character well enough but about a third of the way through and you start thinking these characters are a little too shallow and predictable, too stereotyped even. The second third of the movie and they introduce the drama and it isn't bad. You're expecting things to climax, for the story to move along at a goodly pace and that the characters will be fleshed out even more but then all you get are lame dialogue and the start of a pathetic showdown.

In this one Human Torch almost burn Invisible Girl to a crisp. That would have been interesting. ©20th Century Fox

Then you get to the actual final showdown and it just looks like whoever thought it up was watching Saturday Morning Cartoons and thought he could do better with both hands tied behind his back while being stoned on LSD. I've seen better fight scenes and final showdowns in a Power Ranger episode. 

The film felt like the folks that wrote the script began to run out of ideas just after they got the characters to Planet Zero and instead of figuring out how to tell a damn good story just fell back on tried and true cliched dialogue and sentiments. And the fight scenes were so uninspired and pathetic if you thought what they did with the first two films back in 2005 and 2007 were bad wait till you see the scenes in this one. 

The final fight takes place on Planet Zero where suddenly no one needs a special suit to survive. Also a man that can control the very elements with his thoughts is defeated by a sucker punch. ©20th Century Fox

It's sad really. When you sit through the first twenty or so minutes you sort of feel that you might be in for something interesting but that soon goes away. I was looking forward to watching Miles Teller whom I think is a very talented actor do something interesting with his role as a superhero but nothing happens. The rest of the cast were no better either. They were pretty much forgettable one all. Maybe there were moments where Kate Mara shone but they were few and far between. Michael B. Jordan who plays Johnny Storm was completely forgettable playing a stereotyped rebel character. I had heard that a lot of the hardcore fans were against him being cast in the role but the blame for his bad performance can't be blamed on him. The blame has to land squarely on the writers and the director of this movie. Also the producers. I'm guessing the folks behind this movie were hoping to ride the current success of the other Marvel movies but if they were they should have concentrated on matching them with a good story instead of a flashy and exciting trailer. 

If ever there was a movie where the trailer had more substance and story than the actual movie this is it. In fact, and I don't know whether this is due to different regions having different edits due to censorship or not, there were some scenes in the trailer that didn't show up at all in the movie. What the hell is going on I wonder when trailers include scenes that aren't in the movie it's supposed to tease. Did the people behind this movie do a Peter Jackson and shot enough footage for two movies? I mean there's already rumour that there's going to be a sequel to this one. Why on earth would anyone watch the sequel to this horrible mess?

In the end these four get to run a secret government research facility and Thing walks around without pants. Win Win. ©20th Century Fox

Anyway, to cut it short, I know it's too late to say that, I didn't enjoy this movie much. In the many Marvel movies that have come since the first two Fantastic Four movies sure there were some lemons but I can't remember one being this bad or leaving me thinking that this is the worst that's ever been made. I can only comfortably give this movie a 2.5 out of 5. It's got a meandering story that never leads to a satisfying climax and for a superhero movie to have action scenes this disappointing was a huge surprise. Kids playing with action figures could probably come up with a more entertaining fight scene. Also I wasn't the only one that felt that way. At the I could hear the others murmuring and talking. Some were entertained but some were disappointed.

I have read that there was a special screening earlier this week and that the audience response was generally positive. Maybe they saw a different cut of the movie. Or maybe they were bigger fans of the franchise. All I know is that when I go into a movie I am expecting a good story to be told well. That is the main requirement of any movie. A bad story can't be covered up by special effects or fancy shmancy anything. Have a look at the trailer maybe I was wrong. Well at least I get to watch it again tomorrow for free. Maybe I'll have a second opinion.




  1. It sounds awful!

    1. Hey there Pell! Yes it was. I was hoping for it to be good but was quite disappointed at the end. Even went to watch it a second time with another friend and he didn't like it either. Asked him which was better, the previous ones or this new one? And he said the previous ones were better. My suggestion to you is wait for other reviews/reviewers to chime in their two cents and then decide to go watch it or not. Or if not just take a chance and watch it. You can share your opinions with me here!

      Thanks for the visit Pell!