Movie Review: Fantastic Four
Aug 10, 2015 01:39PM ● Published by Davis Johnson
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The film starts off with adolescent Reed Richards and Ben Grimm working together to create an inter-dimensional travel machine. Reed (Miles Teller) is the brains of the operation and Ben (Jamie Bell) provides the muscle and the parts used to build the machine collected from his family’s junkyard. When they finally turn it on, the machine malfunctions and shuts down the neighborhood’s electricity.
The movie then fast forwards to Reed and Ben’s senior year of high school where the two have entered the device in the school science fair. The machine works, but the teachers believe that all they did was a magic trick and disqualified them without listening to any explanation. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his adopted daughter Sue (Kate Mara) walk in and explain that they’ve also been working on inter-dimensional travel. They agree that Reed has come closer to cracking it than anyone else, so they offer him a scholarship for the Baxter Foundation, a government sponsored research facility for young prodigies. Reed jumps at the opportunity and works with Sue, her brother Johnny (Michael B. Jordan), and Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), the man who started the program.
The movie goes into a montage of the group working tirelessly until their task is completed. They are excited to see that they have safely transported a live chimp to and from a world that they dubbed ‘The Negative Zone’. The celebrations came to a crashing halt as they are informed that the government would be taking over and not be letting the four scientists travel to the other dimension.
In an act of defiance, Johnny, Reed, and Victor decide to use the machine, and bring Ben along at Reed’s insistence. Their idea soon proves to be a mistake as Victor is pulled into a mysterious pool of energy and the other three manage to make it back to their world thanks to Sue’s help. However, the machine explodes, transforming their molecular structure. The government detains the team, but Reed manages to escape. Now on the run, he must try to find a way to save his friends.
Director Josh Trank was expected to create a home run after his break out success in Chronicle, but left much to be desired. He himself actually panned the film and blamed the studio for its failure. There were rumors that he was difficult to work with, was caught high on cocaine during filming, and destroyed set pieces. The script itself was flat and dull. It possessed no real fluidity and no chemistry amongst the characters. There were no real emotional interactions between them, save for Ben and Reed. Ben himself is just thrown into the mix and barely has any interaction with anyone but Reed. One of the most aggravating things about this movie had to be Doctor Doom’s concept. After final applications, he looked like Futurama’s Bender on meth. The costume looked like someone dumped spackle and glitter on a gray leotard.
Don’t bother seeing this movie in theaters. Instead, save your money and wait to watch it online. The fact that it got a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes should tell you everything you need to know.