THE FANTASTIC FOUR
Lousy, ridiculous rebooting of Stan Lee's flagship superhero group from "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!"
Film Review © 2015 by Trip Reynolds
Directed by Josh Trank. Screenplay by Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg, and Josh Trank from the original Marvel comic book by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Produced by Gregory Goodman, Simon Kinberg, Robert Kulzer, Hutch Parker, and Matthew Vaughn. Executive produced by Avi Arad, Bill Bannerman (additional photography), and Stan Lee. Associate produced by Cliff Lanning. Creative consultant producer, Mark Millar.
Starring: Miles Teller (as Reed Richards), Michael B. Jordan (as Johnny Storm), Kate Mara (as Sue Storm), Jamie Bell (as Ben Grimm / The Thing), Toby Kebbell (as Victor Von Doom / Dr. Doom), Reg E. Cathey (as biological father of Johnny Storm and step-father of Sue Storm, Dr. Franklin Storm), and a host of others.
Why the reboot? Yes, it's been ten-(10) years since the release of "The Fantastic Four," but why the reboot with a different cast and an entirely new origin of Marvel's most iconic superhero group? Instead of filming a third film with the cast from the two previoius "official" Fantastic Four films "somebody or a group of somebodies" decided to reboot the film with a new (i.e. cheaper) cast and a new storyline that's completely contrary to the legendary comic book.
Fans of the comic book and of the 2007 film, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" have been patiently waiting for the second and third chapter of the original comic book, which would have finally showcased the single-greatest villian/non-villian threat to the entire Marvel Universe - Galactus. Galactus is a being so powerful that, in order to survive, he must consume entire planets! Galactus is the great-white shark of the universe, neither good or bad, quote:
"Emotion is for lesser beings."
The story of Galactus is the greatest untold story in the Marvel "cinematic" Universe.
GALACTUS - More powerful than any other super hero, mutant, pseudo-God, or other entity in the Marvel Universe.
Simply put, this reboot is a complete waste of time. This film has several major problems:
1. Reed Richards is supposed to be a genius, and probably smarter than the combined intelligence of Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Bruce Banner (The Incredible Hulk). Yes, Reed is just that smart. Instead, Reed Richards in this FF reboot is no more than an intellectual geek.
2. Johnny Storm is Black, and his adopted sister is White, which is just preposterous, dumb, stupid and without being racist, is contrary to the 40+ years of family history and folklore created by the iconic comic book.
3. Dr. "Franklin" Storm, a Black man, who as usual in Hollywood "franchise" films does NOT have a wife, adopted a White girl from some eastern European country to save her from being a political victim. Stop laughing. By the way, if you didn't know, in the comic book "Franklin" Storm is the child of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, and Franklin is one of the most if not the MOST powerful mutant in the world.
4. Ben Grimm, best friend of Reed Richards, is presented small in his human non-mutated stature, and he's not particularly smart either; again, this is contrary to the legendary comic book where the non-mutated Grimm is: "an exceptionally skilled and experienced pilot, proficient with many varieties of both conventional and exotic aircraft, and was also trained as an astronaut. He is uniquely gifted in the art of hand-to-hand combat (a skill Ben honed long before he became the Thing), though his fighting style tends to be a rather loose brawling technique all his own. In his youth, Ben was a talented football player." Source: http://marvel.com/characters/59/thing
Given the skewed characterizations, the plot is just as pathetic, because the screenplay (and direction) has great difficulty knowing when and how to effectively transition from drama to campy to action and back to drama. Simply put, the "tone" of the film is uneven. Film would have been much better if it was a smart (with on-screen technology that commands our interest) and sinister, life-and-death drama with actors who can effectively convey such. Equally important, the mediocre special effects do not save this film. There's absolutely no chemistry between any of the principle characters or the villainous Dr. Doom, and there's very little on-screen use of the FF's so-called powers, and when their powers are deployed they appear emasculated. This film is a big let down. How bad is this film? Stan Lee, who conceived the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, The Hulk and nearly every other Marvel Comics super hero and who's known for making a cameo appearance in nearly every Marvel film, didn't make a cameo appearance, that's how bad this film is!
This "is" The Fantastic Four This "is" The Fantastic Four This "is" The Fantastic Four This is NOT The Fantastic Four
Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards
Jessica Alba as Sue Storm
Chris Evans as Johnn Storm
Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm
Julian McMahon as Victor von Doom
Direction by Josh Trank was slow and burdensome. Special effects were clearly within budget, thereby enabling us to lower our expectations. Editing by Elliot Greenberg and Stephen E. Rivkin was by-the-numbers. This is a made-for-TV movie, and not a theatrically released feature film, and should have been edited from 100 minutes to 90 minutes to allow for 30 minutes of commercials for a two-hour time slot on the Fox FX Network.
Recommendation: Completely ignore this film, and ignore the sequel planned for release in 2017. Instead, rent or download or purchase from the $5.00 bin at Walmart "Fantastic Four (2005)," and "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)," because these films are better cast, better acted, better produced, and better directed. Or, you can send me your non-taxdeductible donation of $100,000 or more to support my Kickstarter campaign which I'll use to reboot the Fantastic Four. Here's what my brothers and I have in mind (LOL).