Fantastic Four? Fantastic Bore.
I should start this off by admitting that Doctor Doom has always been my favourite villain; with a name like that, he was born to be supervillain. Which was why when I heard they had changed his surname in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot I immediately expressed anger at the movie before even seeing the trailer. Thankfully the name Victor Von Doom was uttered at the start of the movie and my rage died down – but unfortunately the surname of the barely used villain was the only part of this film that I took any form of enjoyment from.
Fantastic Four feels like half a movie, as if a different director stormed into the set and ripped up the script instead demanding every single superhero movie cliché be filmed instead. This movie spends its time setting up an origin story for the team and their most iconic villain before ending it abruptly. If the intention was to create demand for a sequel, the creators have not done well, instead leaving the viewers confused about what exactly they just witnessed.
Fault cannot be found with the cast, who appear to be earnestly trying their hardest with a script that works against them. The character development given to them to work with is lacking drastically and the only glimpse of a real connection seen between Richards and Ben in a scene where they are children. The Storm children receive no such backstory, and instead we are just told to accept their unclear personalities and motivations for their actions as plot. It does not work as a movie, the writing and forced relationships come off as clumsy and amateurish.
It may simply be that a good Fantastic Four movie is impossible to make; the widely criticised 2005 attempt was cheesy and camp, the effects comical and ridiculous. The 2015 reboot doesn’t succeed any more than its predecessor in creating believable superheroes. Reed Richards and his stretching limbs look ridiculous, with actor Miles Teller reactions to his ‘stretchy legs’ coming off as unbelievable. Susan Storm barely displays her signature power of invisibility, instead spending the movie bouncing around in an energy bubble that looks obviously green-screened. Johnny Storm’s Human Torch form is somewhat okay, however in my opinion, the 2005 film did it better. His character development is entirely missing – all the viewers are told is that he can build stuff and has a bad history. The only real development occurs with Ben Grimm, whose the Thing transformation brings at least a smidge of human emotion to the screen.
Recommendation for this movie? Save your money. Go to the movies and purchase a ticket for literally any other movie showing and you will leave far more satisfied than if you attempted to sit through Fantastic Four.