The sheer disappointment I felt upon leaving the cinema after seeing the reboot of Fantastic Four has compelled me to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, to share in everyone’s discontent and frustration. I, like many, was not a fan of the original Fantastic Four franchise, but to cut it some slack Marvel were finding their feet at this early stage. However, the Marvel universe has grown immensely since 2005 when the first Fantastic Four was released and I think everyone was expecting more based on what we know and love from the likes of The Avengers, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy to name just a few… even the reboot of Spiderman worked for me!!
The film itself wasn’t terrible in fact, the casting was interesting and I found the characters compelling. I loved seeing Kate Mara (Sue Storm) and Reg Cathey (Franklin Storm) of House of Cards fame. Although I’m not sure Mara was really showing us anything new in her repertoire here, Cathey really went for it and tugged some heart strings. Casting Miles Teller as Reed Richards may have been unexpected but it worked, he is a believable addition to the team, smart and slightly arrogant – I think I am bias due to his performance in Whiplash last year but I enjoyed seeing in something else. Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm aka The Thing was a little ‘meh’ for me, but I thought Victor Von Doom was probably an unconventional choice for the ‘bad guy’ but Toby Kebbell was menacing enough. Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm was about the only thing bringing some charm to the bunch.
I enjoyed the build up of the teams relationships and seeing how they got their powers. Understanding that director Josh Trank wanted to put a more realistic spin on the situation was somewhat thought provoking. It would be a very difficult thing to comprehend that your body has radically transformed into something life changing. That being said, the very nature of the Fantastic Four and its source material is potentially a little too tongue in cheek for this to really translate well and resonate with the audience. For example, it is very difficult to turn a man into Mr. Tickle and make it feel dark and serious. Whoever was hired to create the trailer did a really good job at leading us all to believe they could pull off the dark and moody version mixed in with some light humour (which is actually none existent in the film).
As well as the material they were working with, I found the dialogue tacky in places, awkward in others and pretty dull over all. The story takes an incredibly long time to get going and the action takes place in the last 20 minutes, building the audience up to something which ends up being spectacularly lack-lustre. Not to mention something as simple as continuity, where Sue’s hair changes from natural mousy long bob to blond wig every other scene… very distracting, and with a budget of $120 million you would think someone would point this out.
I think that just about sums up my thoughts on this one, and I haven’t even gone into the plot vs. the comic, there probably isn’t any need to. Let me know your thoughts about that in the comments below, and please tell me I wasn’t the only one thinking about Sue’s hair!