Review: “Fantastic Four” Confirms Trust Issues with Reboots

Rachel Smith 16’/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Miles Teller in Fantastic Four. Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.
Miles Teller in Fantastic Four. Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.
It’s summer which means big studios have to try and recreate classic comic books. This is all done through a solid trailer to bring in the money. Fantastic Four fits neatly into that same description. The trailer special effects were intriguing and the cast felt like a fresh, young take on the characters. When it came to the hour and a half though, it’s all lost. This time around the suits are sleeker, the creation of the “other dimension” was a test of more updated green screen technology, but the storyline needed the most work. They spent too much time on the look instead of the feel.
The cast on paper looks fantastic but on screen together, they lose their luster. Ben Grimm, (Jamie Bell) and Reed Richards (Miles Teller) are introduced as kids to create the back story of Ben and Reed being best friends forever. They’ve worked their whole lives to prove that teleportation is possible. Reed is the brainy nerd while Ben is the rough and tough kid from the industrial park. They grow up still best friends but move in different directions. Reed is the brains and gets picked for a college scholarship program. Ben goes back to his humble beginnings and basically waits for Reed to want him. The whole film could have been an example of a true bromance but of course, there has to be a love story. In comes Sue Storm, played dryly by Kate Mara.
Kate Mara in Fantastic Four. Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.
Kate Mara in Fantastic Four. Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.
Mara playing a smart chick who is a boss in the lab works wonders. Mara playing a love interest opposite Teller falls flat. They make Reed kind of timid and nerdy for most of the film but show his clear infatuation with Sue. However, she gives nothing back to him. They have one conversation that lasts 30 seconds which mirrors her vaguely wondering about his life. This is difficult to buy no matter how hard the writers are pushing it. She has another love interest, Victor Von Doom played by Tony Kebbell. It’s obvious he is in love with her and she feels nothing for him. From what is seen, it doesn’t seem like she has any emotions what so ever, not even for her brother, Johnny.
There was controversy about casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm but he really shined. They introduce him as a troubled teen that has to work for his father, Franklin Storm who is the head of this whole operation and the father figure to pretty much everyone except his own son. They have a lot of turmoil but it isn’t really fleshed out. Jordan holds the most comedic moments but there should have been more. Definitely a better take on Johnny than the 2005 version, despite Chris Evans in the role.
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Still from Fantastic Four. Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.
The focus on which team member is the leader is jumbled. Reed seemed to be the written character to take over, however most of the protection and action is given to Sue. The film follows the same archetype of a final battle with some moments of conflict to resolve. These moments are sadly weak and don’t reveal anything different; especially for a superhero film.
This film was basically a set up for a sequel. There was a lot of potential and character building in the beginning, and then they had to finish out a regular versioned super hero movie in the last 20 minutes. The movie isn’t too long but it’s felt in a negative way as there should have been more time allotted to even out these plot points and really invest in them being heroes. The cast had so much potential but the story just gets lost. Possibly with this as the origin story, the next one will be better.
Overall Grade: C
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