Fantastic Four (2015) Review
by Ramon Mejia
If you're reading this review, don’t worry we won’t spoil anything about the movie you probably haven’t seen in the trailers.
The Fantastic Four is a reboot of a failed movie made in 2005. The concept is based on the Marvel comics of the same name. The quick and dirty review of the movie is this: Don’t spend money to see this film. If you’re a diehard Fantastic Four fan just wait till it comes out on DVD to be disappointed. The movie had great potential but fails to fulfill any of that potential. This was due to conflicting opinions between the director, Josh Trank, and studio executives who changed the final cut of the movie at the last minute.
For a more detailed but still spoiler free opinion continue reading.
In the Marvel Universe the Fantastic Four are considered the first family of super heroes. Without their success Marvel doesn’t make enough money to create other amazing franchises like Spiderman, the X-Men, or many other now famous characters. The 2015 movie version of the Fantastic Four takes a new spin on the familiar story of this family of super heroes.
First, the story is based on a lesser known version of the fantastic four where Sue was adopted into the Storm family. Friends Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) have worked together on a prototype teleporter since their childhood, eventually attracting the attention of Professor Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), director of the Baxter Foundation, a government-sponsored research institute for young prodigies. Reed is recruited to join them and aid Storm's children, scientist Sue Storm (Kate Mara) and technician Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), into completing a "Quantum Gate" designed by Storm's wayward protégé, Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who begrudgingly agrees to help due to his unrequited feelings for Sue.
I won’t spoil any of the movie but obviously things don’t go as planned and bad stuff happens which leads to a big action battle.
Our Expanded Opinion
The movie runs 1 hour 45 minutes. The first 20 minutes of the movie are good. It gives new background information about the young Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. The next 40 minutes are OK. It’s the set up for how the team comes together and despite not initially liking each other over come challenges together to create the inter dimensional teleporter.
Then there’s the last 45 minutes. I call this section the CGI (computer generated images) crap-feast and the rebound. This is where the resolution of the story is supposed to happen. The big battle scene between the Fantastic Four and the villain. To put it bluntly, the scene sucks poorly CG’d balls.
First, there is way too much CGI. Just about everything in the battle scene is CG. Which means that the actors had to stand in front of a green screen and pretend to emote in the correct way and direction. This leads us to the next problem, the acting in the scene.
The acting during the battle scene is taken from the Kristen Stewart school of emoting. You have characters who are supposed be in anguish over the destruction and death happening around them. Instead they look and sound like they just woke up from Botox injections. It’s almost as if some studio executive ordered reshoots done and inserted into the final cut of the movie despite the director’s instance that they didn’t make sense for the story. Go figure, it didn’t work out well.
The last 5 minutes of the movie are the rebound. After everything is resolved, the four members of the Fantastic Four banter well and it feels again like their actually acting like a family. It’s this last bit that infuriates me the most. Not because anything is done wrong but rather that it gives a glimpse at the great movie that could have been.
I think Fox studios missed out on a great opportunity to tell a different story for the Fantastic Four. The set up was there in the first hour of the movie. Plenty of character development. Sure there could have been better acting but the bones of a dramatic character story about four different people forced together by a tragedy were there. The fact that the tragic accident also gave them all powers should have been a secondary concern. The main story could have been about the dynamics between the group members and how they come to be a family. Instead we get a bland story about five people in an accident, one of whom is barely in the movie before then (Ben Grim). Then one turns evil and the rest magically work together to defeat him. The End.