Monday, August 10, 2015

[Review] Fantastic Four

More times than not, superhero movie reboots come off as humdrum "Okay, let's try this again" attempts as the filmmakers try to inject new life into the franchise. When news broke of an upcoming Fantastic Four, the same thoughts rang out. But on the other hand, Fantastic Four (2007) wasn't very good, so there was at least room for improvement. Then, details of the cast emerged: Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan--which left some fanatics in a ridiculous (and racist) uproar. I personally thought the casting was great, so my optimism rose, potentially anticipating an "In your face!" moment. Unfortunately, even though the cast does a solid job, the story itself is an empty slog.

Following some childhood preludes, we flash forward 7 years and meet Reed (Teller) and Ben (Jamie Bell), two best friends who have been working on a teleportation machine. They're eventually recruited by a hi-tech university, where they meet Sue Storm (Mara) and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan). All of this stuff is very watchable, but we start to get the feeling that the film is going to be hella introductory and origin story-loaded. In fact, about 45 minutes pass before any semblance of superhero action begins.

A huge chunk of the duration involves the team trying to get the teleportation machine to work properly, which isn't very fun for other people to watch. Once they finally do get it to work, the crew launches into another interplanetary dimension. They stumble upon a glowy substance that explodes and gives them all their respective blessing/curse superpowers and we'll come to know them as Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, & Thing. I won't go into detail about their superpowers, because you probably already know or don't care. The narrative is so disjointed and misguided that it's hard to imagine anyone being satisfied with this.

The movie is basically either the longest trailer in history, or it's just one gigantic first act with a catalyst that comes extremely (and loathsomely) late. In a world that is crowded with comic book/superhero films and blockbusters that go for full glory, ain't nobody got time for this.


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