FANTASTIC FOUR (2015)

FF

Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb.

Eight years after the second movie, 20th Century Fox returns Fantastic Four to the big screen with a complete reboot of the franchise. With a new cast and re-imagined origin story, most fans and filmlovers are rightfully asking “Why bother?”.

I actually enjoyed this new interpretation, the first half of the movie, which is a slowburn to the team’s ultimate fate is well constructed and entertaining. The latter half of the film suffers from some unusual edits and poor characterisations, despite the earnest effort from the cast. Various reports indicate that late re-shoots and a studio version not favourable by the director Josh Trank (Chronicle) is the version seen in cinema, and there is obvious problems with plot, flow and understanding of the finale presented.

There are some real positives to the movie, with the youthful cast well lead by Miles Teller (Reed Richards), Kate Mara (Sue Storm), Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm), Michael B Jordan (Johnny Storm) and Toby Kebbell (Victor Von Doom). The definite highlight of the film is the fantastic music by Marco Beltrami with Philip Glass. Even is this movie fades away to obscurity, I’m confident the music delivered here will live long beyond the years.

I’m not sure why the large amount of hate this movie is getting? I can only imagine it is for matters outside of the film (ie: Marvel not having the cinematic rights, perhaps the re-casting, or an origin story more like the modern Ultimate Fantastic Four [rather than the 1960s version that people know better]).  Some have suggested an aggressive smear campaign from Disney and/or Marvel!?

Seriously, this movie is no worse (nor better) then the previous two FF films. Thus, I fear the property itself has no place in a cinematic universe, and would be better suited towards something like a television series, where the characters can really be fleshed out and interact with the subtleness and depth they deserve and desperately require.

Fantastic Four is a good movie, best viewed by newcomers to the franchise or those with an open mind free of prejudice (and perhaps low expectations?), as this just isn’t the film the fans of the comic book are looking for. Maybe one day on home media release we’ll see Director Trank’s original vision and then judge would could have been truly fantastic?

Score: 6.5 out of 10

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