A reboot to 2005’s cutesy attempt at a Fantastic Four franchise, Fant4stic Four is Fox Studio’s revitalization of their second Marvel property (after X-Men). There were some notable changes made in an attempt to modernize and differentiate this version of the Fantastic Four from its last films, but it still went ahead and delivered another unbelievably unnecessary origin story.
Four scientists gain unnatural powers after a botched experiment in inter-dimensional teleportation. The sponsor behind this project is the American military, and they’re none too happy about this accident. However, they figure they’ll recoup their losses, make some lemonade, and use the roasted bodies of the scientists to do it. Realizing the military applications of creating super-powered soldiers, they immediately began plans to test and experiment on the survivors: Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan). Oh, but there’s one thing: Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell). He was the brainchild behind inter-dimensional teleportation. He was the only rational voice that said they should be weary of the military’s interest in their project. And he was one of the four who actually traveled to this, ugh, second Earth? Yeah, I’ll go with that. Anyway, Doom didn’t make it back from that primordial hellscape, where some of the survivors were lightly spritzed with a taste of this power-imbuing planet’s nectar (I’m sure this is an understatement). Doom, on the other hand, was engulfed by it (now this is pretty accurate), but the government is too preoccupied to worry about those little deets, amirite? It’s not like that’s going to come back and bite them in the ass, right?
Wrong. VVD comes back with a vengeance, and now the Fantastic Four have to work together to stop him.
Fant4stic Four is much different from its earlier versions. Some of the things that make this film superior to Fantastic Four (2005), in my opinion, is the spot-on casting, and the darker and more serious tone. I enjoyed watching Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan working together. They really made this experience considerably more tolerable than I’d imagine (yes, I was totally against this movie). The seriousness of this movie’s tone did not escape me, I noticed there was a hint of horror elements in there too — something you wouldn’t normally catch in today’s blockbuster superhero summer movies. It was, er, “interesting,” I guess? It was sort of like watching The Fly, you know, because of the teleportation element, something going wrong — “ahh!,” a transformation that seemed cool at first, but was pretty messed up in hindsight. So, as far as tone goes, it was aiming for The Dark Knight kind of feel.
But in all honesty, this film is an ungodly monstrosity that must be banished from whence it came.
Where do I start? It’s supposed to be a superhero movie, right? With a trumpety heroic soundtrack, a fun action driven narrative that everyone can digest, something that doesn’t require that much focus — but no, this movie was emotionally draining (and not in a good way)! Fant4stic Four did some “interesting” things here, but I didn’t come for “interesting.” I came for a movie, something that has a beginning, middle, and an end, but this film avoids the most necessary of narrative guidelines. The film’s setup wears out its welcome, and then nothing really happens until the end. The majority of this movie is just watching things happen with little audience involvement. There’s barely time to care for any of the characters, and their relationships with each other. Also, don’t let the trailer fool you. The trailer is misleading, because parts of it don’t make it into the actual movie and all the good parts have already been seen before even going into the theater. Do yourself a favor, and save your money. Or, at least, go watch Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation or Ant-Man, if that’s still showing.
The verdict? The saving grace is the cast, but it’s just not enough to save this boring movie. This is a glorified B-movie destined for Redbox. Sorry, folks. No bueno.
P.S. I feel bad for the cast, but I’m sure Miles Teller can act like this movie never happened.