Fantastic Four is the latest comic book film to release at the cinema and while there have been two Fantastic Four films in the past, this one represents a complete reboot of the franchise and everything starts all over again. This film comes directed by Josh Trank who has only ever directed one other feature film before this which was Chronicle (2012). Fantastic Four stars Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Tim Blake Nelson and Reg E. Cathey.
Fantastic Four Trailer
Fantastic Four Review
The Fantastic Four are a group of characters that I’ve always enjoyed watching either on film, in one of their TV shows or reading about them in their comic books. While the previous films weren’t what I would call masterpieces (but were still somewhat entertaining), I always had hopes that someday and maybe with this new film that we might get a much greater, much better Fantastic Four film. But those hopes were wasted completely in the bottomless pit of disappointment which was Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four.
This Fantastic Four film from Josh Trank is a lot darker and much more serious in its tone when compared the the light entertainment that we had from the Tim Story Fantastic Four films. While I do quite enjoy films with a more serious tone, this tone does not help this film one bit. It’s mainly because the film feels empty at certain points where crucial character development should have occurred and the other reason is because this Fantastic Four film is entirely predictable. If a film is going to be dark and serious, I expect to also have some serious characters, not the easily predictable ones that we received.
The film does have one thing in its favour and that’s some fairly convincing special effects. The Thing (Jamie Bell) looks quite well done and the planet that they visit which is filled with all this strange green lava, doesn’t look that bad either. One thing that I could not stand about The Thing is that for some reason he has no pants or shorts! He just walks around with no clothes at all! I wonder about this because not only does it just look strange. Everyone else in the Fantastic Four has clothes on or was given a full body suit, but not The Thing. Wouldn’t a human being complain about this issue? Was Ben Grimm not a person before this? I think this says it all when it comes to the work on the characters in this film, they just don’t make sense.
Acting wise things are fairly mixed. I enjoyed both Kate Mara who played Sue Storm and Michael B. Jordan who played Johnny Storm during this film and could see no flaw with what they did, even though their characters needed a lot more depth, they held up well. Reg E. Cathey who plays Dr. Franklin Storm who is the father of Johnny and and adopted father of Sue did well as the caring father figure. However I did not at all buy Miles Teller as Reed Richards or Toby Kebbell as Victor Von Doom. Both had very weak characters as well as performances, especially for Victor Von Doom, who even though had a character that looked kind of cool, he was easily the poorest villain on screen this year.
Fantastic Four also feels very short, I was standing outside the cinema much earlier than I thought I would be standing there. But that’s not a big problem, a short film can still be good, it feels quite shortened because it takes so much time building to the moment that we see the Fantastic Four in action and then it feels like it’s over in less than 2 minutes. If you’re going into this film for big action scenes, you get an okay one, but it’s short and it’s just a special effects scene that isn’t that special at all.
As a film in the comic book film genre, Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four has everything in there that should make it a great movie. There are certain points of this film which are quite good and everything looks nice. All the comic book movie features are in this such as the origin story, couple of character learning their powers, one villain, the girl that everyone likes and there’s even a dark tone surrounding it all. But it just doesn’t work, in my view this film is a failed film in the genre, it’s almost very good. But it just doesn’t get there and particularly towards the end it goes downhill very quickly.
There was some controversy in the lead up to this film surrounding the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm due to his race and not fitting with the race of the original comic book character. While some will argue that the character shouldn’t be that way, I don’t see it that way at all. Michael B. Jordan did a fine job as Johnny Storm and he’s a great actor, he deserved to be cast in the film. Where the film does fall down, is with characterisation as a whole, nobody in the film really seems real or genuine and that’s the number one flaw that this Fantastic Four film has.
In the end, while I would not tell someone not to see this film as I myself was very curious about how it will be. I would advise you that you’re not going to see the best thing ever if you go out to see it this weekend. While the film has many flaws, I do not consider it a complete disaster, it’s just a very mediocre film that doesn’t succeed as a good film in its genre. The Fantastic Four are great characters and I love the Fantastic Four story and everything about it, but they deserve something better than the predictable two dimensional treatment they received. Go and see this Fantastic Four film only to satisfy your curiosity about it, but I do want to let you know that it might not satisfy much else beyond that.
P.S. There are no final scenes after the credits for those who stay back and wait.