NEW MARVEL FILM NOT SO FANTASTIC: ‘Fantastic Four’ Film Review, 2015

We went to our favourite local cinema, Hoyts Tea Tree Plaza of course, to see the latest MARVEL Superhero offering, the reboot of Fantastic Four.

When I first heard about this reboot last year, I was unsure about whether or not I wanted to see it. For me, it’s still too soon since the Jessica Alba/Michael Chiklis/Chris Evans-before-he-was-Cap Fantastic Four films in the mid-2000s. Sony had already made a similar mistake with a far-too-soon reboot of Spider-man in recent times – were 20th Century Fox going down the same ill-conceived path with this film? The cast seemed younger, and the first trailer was uninspiring. However, as subsequent trailers were released, I became more and more interested. Maybe this was worth watching after all?

Character-BannerIn the last month, I found out that this version of the Fantastic Four is, in fact, based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book series, which began in 2004 and ran for six years. This actually explained a lot. This was why Reed Richards and his friends were much younger, basically teenagers, and that their powers were as a result of a teleportation accident, rather than a cosmic storm affecting their spaceship. As I mentioned recently, I’m a MARVEL Fanboy from way back, and one of the earliest cartoon series that I became a fan of was the original Fantastic Four. Thus, I’m very familiar with that original storyline, the storyline that the Jessica Alba Fantastic Four films were based on. So knowing that there was a different set of source material for this film made me much happier, and I spent a lot of the last week reading up on this new origin story for MARVEL’s First Family. I went into the cinema last night well prepared.

After a good start with pre-teen buddies Reed Richards & Ben Grimm, and a steady build up with the creation of the teleportation device, I was expecting big things from this film. Oh gee, was I wrong. Once the transporter accident occurs (and what a great scene that was, really), the film seems to completely lose its way. The plot is disjointed, jumping across time, and completely dismissing what should have been a solid chunk of the film. Character development is almost non-existent, and you can’t identify or empathise with the main characters, because the time taken to show the heroes developing their powers, and the ups and downs involved in that, simply wasn’t shown. Then, when the main villain of the film, and the main villain of the Fantastic Four (Doctor Doom) actually shows up late in the film, he’s powerful but not the complete bad-ass that Doctor Doom needs to be. And he barely has any screen time. Even Julian McMahon’s Doctor Doom 10 years ago was far superior. It’s barely an action film, with only one major battle right at the end of the movie, and the special effects are well down on what we expect coming out in a film that has MARVEL attached to it.

It’s like the producers at 20th Century Fox just threw this film together in a slapdash way to simply rake the cash in. Little or no care seems to have been put into this flick. And at barely 90 minutes long, it’s far too short – they should have added 30 minutes worth of decent character development to make it up to a solid two hours. You know there’s problems when there’s a lot of footage used in the trailers that’s not in the finished film! And there was no tidbit after the end credits either!

Words used by us at the conclusion of this movie: Limited. Underwhelming. Disappointing. This film could, and should, have been so much better. First thoughts are often correct.

2 stars on its own + the 0.5 star loading for a film series I’m invested in = 2.5 stars
(Note: my ‘pass mark’ to make it a film worth seeing is 3 stars)

***


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David Emms is an electronic engineer, a father, and an avid movie goer.

He lives in Adelaide

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