Fantastic Four (12A)

Four brilliant scientific minds are irreversibly changed when they are exposed to cosmic radiation. What happens next will change the course of history for all mankind…

Josh Trank’s origin story threatens to make a record-breaking loss at the box office. It seems having the coveted Marvel association isn’t as all-powerful as we thought it was.

Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and his best friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) have been building teleportation devices since 4th grade. But their attempts are laughed off or classed as cheap illusions.

But that all changes when Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his daughter Sue (Kate Mara) visit the duo’s high school. After observing Reed’s project they realise that they have just witnessed the successful teleportation of an object. Even better the teenager can get it to return from its destination intact.

Dr. Storm acts fast, offering Reed a full scholarship to his foundation. Reed has always been determined to make a difference in the world. Finally he has the chance to change people’s lives for the better.

His mentor assembles a team of brilliant scientific minds to help build an industrial-sized version of Reed’s teleportation device. Sue and Reed are joined by a former student Victor (Toby Kebbell). He started the project originally but failed to make it return matter and became a recluse. His contribution to the task at hand is crucial but he can’t help feeling resentment toward Reed for finishing something he couldn’t.

The last to join the group is Johnny (Michael B. Jordan), Dr. Storm’s son. As a way to earn his car back from his father he agrees to lend the team his engineering expertise.

After many long nights in the lab they finish the build, and when they test it with a monkey he successfully travels to another dimension and back without so much as a scratch.

It’s at this moment that the bubble bursts. It was only a matter of time before the CIA swooped in and tried to use the device for their own means, even turning it into a weapon. They forcibly request that it be turned over to NASA and there’s little they can do to stop it.

In a moment of drunken stupor Reed proclaims that they can’t take this chance away from them. That they will be the first ones to walk on the alien planet, not NASA.

He calls up Ben and before long the best friends, along with Victor and Johnny are strapped into the teleportation machine travelling to another universe.

When they open the doors of the portal the youngsters can’t believe their eyes, they made it. Their delight is short-lived though. After Victor makes contact with the planet’s energy source all hell breaks loose. They all run towards the portal but only Reed, Ben and Johnny make it back, leaving Victor to die.

Luckily the three boys make contact with Sue just in time to transport back before they are all killed. However when they return they realise that they have suffered a fate worse than death.

Following the blast from the planet and the exposure to the cosmic radiation that followed them home Reed, Ben, Johnny and Sue have been transformed forever leaving them with uncontrollable mutations.

Reed becomes a modern day Stretch Armstrong as he gains the ability to contort his body. Ben is covered in a mass of the planet’s rocks making him unrecognisable, but what he lacks in looks he makes up for in strength tenfold.

Sue can make herself invisible at a moment’s notice. Over time she also harnesses the power of telekinesis and creating spherical force fields as a means to protect others.

Johnny aka the Human Torch would constantly be on fire if it wasn’t for his special body suit that allows him to take control of his powers. With perhaps the coolest superpower of the four, he can also fly.

After Reed wakes up strapped to an examination table he makes a run for it, leaving his friends to fend for themselves. Little does he know that the facility he was in aims to help him and the others.

Eventually with the help of Sue and Ben they track him down. Bringing him back to facility to finish what he started. The only way to save the four of them is for Reed to reopen the door to the plant and discover the cause of their powers.

However a return trip to the planet only causes more havoc when it emerges that Victor aka Victor Von Doom is alive and well and ready for vengeance.

The power-crazed villain creates a black hole the pulls everything from Earth into his new planet. Powered by its energy source he is too strong to defeat alone. But as a team the so-called Fantastic Four stand a chance of saving the Earth and all of its inhabitants.

Can they stop Victor Von Doom before he dooms mankind to an unthinkable end?

I wish I could say that Josh Trank and Marvel had tried their best, that okay what they had created wasn’t great but it had potential. Like it said that’s what I wish I could say. Sadly this isn’t the case.

The CGI effects of movie were laughable. The Thing ended up looking like a clump of kitty litter. On another note he also delivers the worst trademark “It’s clobbering time” line I’ve heard to date.
Fantastic Four is a laughable action movie.

For example what starts off as a romance story between Reed and Sue gets cast aside midway through the movie without an explanation. Instead it’s the bromance between Reed and Ben that takes centre stage. This means that we don’t really care when Sue betrays Reed and reveals his location to the CIA, because we’re not invested in the characters.

In a weird turn of events Marvel have created a movie where you’re not really rooting for anyone.

The movie ends as it started, cringe-worthy and clunky. Just like The Amazing Spider-Man this is another origin story that didn’t need to be retold.

By Ruth Walker
★★☆☆☆

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