You were worried about this one, you should be.
At this point I’m just worried by the fact that maybe we will never get a great movie based on the Fantastic Four. The first live action adaptations have been quite bad and Josh Trank’s latest directorial effort doesn’t really breaks the mold. Fantastic Four is nor good or bad, the movie is just there. There’s bright sides, but there’s also a lot of things that don’t work in this film.
This film is purely based of the Ultimate Fantastic Four, where Reed Richards and Ben Grimm have been best friends since childhood and which has Richards inducted into a program for the gifted youth that takes place at the Baxter Building. Later Reed will work with Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Victor Von Doom to find a way to travel into another dimension. As everyone knows, they succeed and get special powers after their journey.
Fantastic Four starts as a good science fiction film, there’s sense of wonder and hunger for discovery. Josh Trank’s vision of Marvel’s first team works for the first two acts, which rely on the characters. Watching these people bounce into each other is very nice, it’s far more interesting than the Fantastic Four released ten years ago. Trank and his team take another direction and focuses on the struggle of having superpowers (or in this movie, being some kind of monster), which is an intersting take for a while. As the film advances, it’s noticeable that the story is heading nowhere. There’s not many events here, the movie mostly stays in the same place, spending way too much time with exposition. Nothing happens and then the third act starts in the most abrupt way possible and it’s a mess. Fantastic Four has a nice start, but as time goes on, the movie breaks and falls into the ground.
The terrible thing about this reboot is how it criminally misuses the characters and just the property itself. There’s so much to do with all of these odd people, but most of them are pushed into a side, giving more space to Reed Richards. Michael B. Jordan’s Johnny Storm had the chance to be the breakout of the film, unfortunately that didn’t happen. You can play with the Human Torch and do some great, cool scenes with this character (like, the guy flies and he is covered in fire) and add amazing action beats to the film.
The Thing is great when we see him in action, but there’s not many scenes where we can enjoy his greatness. In the other hand Sue Storm, this time played by Kate Mara, is completely excluded from the movie. She doesn’t even travel with the rest to the team into the other dimension, there’s not a single hint which says we could see Reed and Sue getting married in the future, she has no character development. She is not properly used, and the worst thing is: she could’ve brought so much to this movie. It’s a shame to see this stellar cast doing so little.
Fantastic Four in the end never really feels like the Marvel Comics family. There’s no excitement, there’s no color, joy, or well handled action. Mainstream audiences who expect this movie to have the Marvel Studios formula or even Fox’s new X-Men tone will perceive the film as dull, eventless and unentertaining.
While the first two acts do some good character work, the messy third act – the CGI extravaganza – feels awful. The great finale has some good moments, like Doom exploding heads in a military base, but the rest of it mostly never works. The final battle is a disaster which hardly makes any sense.
I defended the film after the first trailer and expected it to be good, which is really heartbreaking… Fantastic Four is not so fantastic after all.
Fantastic Four gets 5/10