“Fantastic Four” is simply the Tin Man. It’s got the same old cinematic structure we’ve come to expect in a super hero film, but it has no heart. In fact, the actors look pretty soulless as they get their lines out to fulfill their contracts. Even the film’s villain is cheated out of being seen for at least half of the movie. (He gets 30 minutes, if that.) It’s sad, because this movie could have finally gotten the Fantastic Four franchise on track. While it dug into new territory with a new approach, it still dug itself into a hole that we should all hope it won’t return from.
Reed Richards (Miles Teller) has been a genius since he was a child. He was able to teleport a toy car between dimensions with his friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) in middle school. After being brought into some kind of an off the grid super science college (??? it’s never really clear as to what the place is) ran by Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), Richards teams up with Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), and Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) to create a stable inter-dimensional teleportation device.
After teleporting a monkey safely, the boys are looking for glory with their discovery. They decide to teleport themselves, only to return infected by the other world’s energy. Of course, the U.S. government steps in to try and weaponize the group, and for some reason a guy who can turn into flames and fly, a woman who can make herself invisible and create force fields, a guy super strong and made of rocks, and a genius who can stretch his body, all decide that they can’t fight the government and will do whatever they say.
It makes no sense. Much of the movie makes no sense. What are all the design schematics that they pull up on computers, monitors and displays throughout the movie? We’ll assume it’s something real for the movie. As Sue Storm quickly presses keys almost violently in a particular scene, we’ll assume she’s really getting somewhere for the movie. When the Earth has yet another portal beam sucking its contents through it, we’ll assume...wait, no we won’t. This doesn’t make sense, and we’ve seen this stuff before! Any super hero film asks you to believe what you’re seeing is real, but this one goes to far.
I had high hopes for “Fantastic Four”. The Fantastic Four cast (Teller, Mara, Jordan, & Bell) are all stellar young actors and have individually done much better work, but together the chemistry in this film didn’t work. The rote story and dialogue will make you regret that you paid for admission and think to yourself “could I walk out and sneak into Mission Impossible?” Save your money folks! Don’t even get it on Red Box. Just wait until it’s on cable.