Fantastic Four

WRITTEN BY: Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, Josh Trank
STARRING: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell
RATING: 2.5 stars

Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is a genius while his best friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) is the muscle. As children, they create a teleporting machine but no one believes them except Dr Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his adopted daughter Sue (Kate Mara). So, Reed begins working at the Baxter Foundation with the pair alongside reclusive brainiac Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who invented teleportation first before Reed created an even better machine, and Dr Storm's biological son Johnny (Michael B. Jordan), who is smart but also a hothead. After they get the machine to work, Reed leads Ben, Victor and Johnny on a mission to visit another dimension using the machine. Of course, it all goes horribly wrong and leaves Reed, Ben, Johnny and Sue with unique powers, while Victor goes missing and is presumed dead. The Fantastic Four must then learn to best use their powers until they can figure out a way to cure themselves.

It is difficult to pinpoint where and how Fantastic Four went wrong. It has all the ingredients of a good superhero film – a solid young cast, a decent storyline and intriguing characters. Yet, the film is very slow to get started, and as a reboot, it offers very little excitement or originality from what we saw in the 2005 film led by Ioan Gruffard as Reed. Perhaps Fantastic Four takes itself too seriously because there are only a few laughs and way too much personal drama. The complex relationship between Reed and Ben is the most convincing and interesting, but even that eventually becomes boring. In fact, so much time is spent on character development, which is usually a good thing, but in this case means the action is all rushed at the end. The effects were also hit and miss, and there was some terrible dialogue. The final scene will forever be burned in my mind as an embarrassment to scriptwriting. A lot of people were critical of the 2005 and 2007 films, but they were more enjoyable than this reboot. I cannot imagine many viewers will be keen for a sequel, but we may have to endure one anyway.