Let me start by saying I’m a BIG film optimist – I can usually see the good in films, even if they’re bad.
Fantastic Four (2015) however did not leave me an optimistic bundle of joy when I left the cinema. Luckily I had very low hopes for this film so I’m not 100% sure why I went to see it… Good old Cineworld unlimited card I guess.
Anyway, on to my review of the film – the story starts off as most ‘origins’ films do, with a very young Reed Richards (Miles Teller) befriending Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell). Richards is your quintessential nerdy outsider who cracks teleportation to and from a parallel dimension (perhaps the same one we see in Avengers: Age of Ultron). Not surprising then that his crude machine is quickly noticed at the school science fair by Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his daughter Sue Storm (Kate Mara), who offer him a prestigious and quite substantial scholarship fund to build it on a grand scale.
Let’s just pause at second: Few early issues here for me; the added storyline of Sue being adopted? I’m not sure why that was added in and I’m still confused as to why… And secondly, how old was Richards? It felt like he was in his twenties, but showing his work at a school fair?… anyway I didn’t get my answer to either question.
Carrying on; they then build the first industrial scale machine with the help of Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), who by the way has his car taken away from him by Daddy for racing and subsequently crashing it. Then there’s Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who is living a life in hiding as a result of issues that stem from a previous attempt to build a similar machine… not sure why or what happened but he seemed to have a thing for Sue, but again this story-line was raised but never resolved!
The beginning the film moved at an OK pace, I did note to myself that, although they were covering a lot of ground starting from Richards childhood, they seem to be doing it well… but I was so wrong.
We see Richards working on the real machine and then quite quickly we jump to the machine being finished (the story is now picking up pace), because of the projects success the government decide to handed it over to NASA instead. Feeling let down; Johnny, Richards, and Victor decide to drown their sorrows – angry that they will not get to travel in the machine they built, they decide that a sneaky inter-dimensional trip is in order, and after one quick phone call to Ben, the four of them pop off to the parallel dimension.
Of course things go wrong, I won’t ruin the story-line here, but they come back with powers, and on re-entry, Sue is also exposed.
The film really starts to reach a snowballing pace now. Richards disappears and then we join the rest of the friends 1 year on just before all the action happens of fighting the villain of the film.
With the pace at the end of the film just manic, the main event is hurried and crammed into the last 15 minutes of the film, making it feel rushed and overall really messy. As for the characters, they didn’t really appeal to me, so I never felt any bond with them. Overall the film felt dull and at no point were there any heart-stopping moments. Despite the young, talented cast, including Academy Award-nominated actor Miles Teller, the acting wasn’t great or even believable (well for a superhero film that is) and FYI, Sue’s wig was even less realistic.
The film jumps quite unnaturally, is quite jarring to watch and doesn’t flow very well at all. It is at times frustrating to watch and with all the unanswered questions (why is Sue adopted? Why does no-one like Victor? Why so many wigs?) it just left me unsatisfied compared to all other Marvel blockbusters.
I wouldn’t advise going out of your way to watch this at the cinema!