August 12, 2015
It has already been a week since this reboot film of "Fantastic Four" played in movie houses. Almost instantly as it was released, there had been a steady stream of scathing bad reviews about it. Truth to tell, for me, the bad news started with the trailer. You can already see everything wrong about the whole film in that trailer alone. Initially, I did not want to watch it. But later, I did. At first, I did not even want to write about it anymore. But finally I thought otherwise, and here it is.
This reboot starts with the childhood of Reed, where he was already trying to build a teleportation machine, despite the discouragement of his Science teacher. His classmate Ben, who shared his interest, befriends Reed and worked with him on his pet project. Reed's work catches the attention of Prof. Franklin Storm, who recruits him to be part of the Baxter Foundation for young science prodigies. Together with Storm's son Johnny and adopted daughter Sue, Reed helps complete the "Quantum Gate" project of controversial young genius Victor Von Doom to access a parallel dimension called "Planet Zero".
When the initial tests prove successful, the team decides to go on an unsanctioned trip to "Planet Zero" themselves. Reed brings his friend Ben along for the expedition, along with Johnny and Victor, with Sue manning the controls at the lab. However, as they gather samples, the planet seemed to be imploding on itself. As they were scrambling to their machine, Victor falls into the green goo coming out of the ground. When Reed, Johnny and Ben successfully teleport back to the lab, the whole machine explodes exposing the three and Sue to molecule-altering radiant energy, giving each of them superhuman abilities we all know them for.
The cast seemed all miscast in their roles. Miles Teller was very disappointing in the role of Reed Richards, not projecting any leadership confidence. Kate Mara is so dour and constipated as Sue Storm. I'd take the Jessica Alba version anytime. Jamie Bell cannot do much about his short role as Ben Grimm, as the character was treated like an afterthought here. Ironically, Michael B. Jordan, the actor whose casting was most talked about because of his race, seemed best fit for his role as the cool Johnny Storm. The four do not have much chemistry with each other. This movie ended without showing them act as a real team.
Director Josh Trank obviously really tried very hard to make this reboot very different from the previous Fantastic Four incarnation ten years ago. That 2005 version was really very campy and colorful. The actors Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis attacked their roles in a very hammy style. It felt like a unintentional comedy, light-hearted and uncomplicated. This new retelling took all of that fun away. It is relentlessly dark and dull from beginning to end.
With all the faults of the 2005 version, it was entertaining. This 2015 version is NOT entertaining at all. The poor production values and rushed climax certainly did not help. 4/10.