Fantastic Four. Film Review

DIRECTOR: Josh Trank
SCREENPLAY: Josh Trank, Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg
STARRING: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, and Tim Blake Nelson.
RUNNING TIME: 100 mins

Yet again we have another Hollywood reboot of a popular franchise.

The story opens with childhood uber-nerd Reed Richards teaming up with his mate Ben Grimm to build a transdimensional teleporter – hoping to transport objects and ultimately people to other worlds and dimensions. Later, when our young genius is in his late adolescence, he demonstrates his invention at a school science fair which draws the attention of Professor Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), director of the Baxter Foundation. Reed (Miles Teller) is immediately snapped up by the scientist and together with his team mates Ben (Jamie Bell), Johnny Storm (Michael B Jordan), Sue Storm (Kate Mara) and Viktor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) – manage to perfect the machine. Of course once this happens Uncle Sam wants to step in and take all the glory. Our young heroes aren’t having any of that so Reed, Ben, Viktor and Johnny decide to take a little jaunt to a planet, the creatively named Planet Zero, in another dimension. Once there they are exposed to a strange green lava which affects them in different ways.

You know the rest. They develop various powers – Reed becomes a human elastic band, Ben becomes the ‘Thing’ a creature that is, literally, rock hard! Johnny becomes the dude wreathed in fire – the human torch. Sue can become invisible and generate force fields. Upon their return, the group are initially treated with fear and incarcerated until the US government realises their potential in war and starts to use them in conflict.

There’s an old saying, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” So one wonders why Hollywood chose to reboot this franchise so soon after the last Fantastic Four flick, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007. Could it be Hollywood’s cadre of writers are that dim (or crap) they can’t think of anything original? Or is it just sheer greed?

The last Fantastic Four film was good, not just because it had a stellar cast, including Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Ioan Gruffudd but because the story, at that time, was original. It also had a dose of humour to make it more palatable.

This version brings nothing new to the table. The story has been done before, and better. Due to the lack of humour, weak script and uninspiring performances, the film ends up being yet another CGI fest with a story that’s as original and thrilling as watching a blob of green lava ooze down a wall.

The overall verdict on the Fantastic Four 2015? Boo! Hiss! And yet more boos!

‘Nuff said.