Let’s just get down to it. Fantastic Four is not a very good movie. For those of us with at least a passing knowledge of the comic book world the film is supposedly based on, we know that these are some of the cartooniest heroes ever created. Sure, they have their own issues after decades of existence but it all boils down to a super-smart rubber man, a woman with invisibility and telekinetic powers, a man on fire and a rock monster.
So when you think about it, a Fantastic Four film should be something like Ant-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy: fun, adventurous and kind of goofy. This movie is none of those.
During a too-long opening we learn that young Reed Richards (played by Owen Judge) has always been obsessed with instantaneous biological transportation (teleportation). After too many barely revealing scenes we’re transported to 2015 where young adult Reed (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) are still working together to get the teleportation machine right. Of course nobody believes in or supports Reed’s dreams aside from Ben so a sudden benefactor appears: Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey).
Fortunately Mr. Storm just so happens to be working on the very same thing! How convenient! The only problem is, they weren’t able to keep the machine stable but Reed seems to have accidentally solved that problem. So he’s recruited to help out alongside Mr. Storm’s son Johnny (Michael B. Jorday) and his adopted daughter Sue (Kate Mara).
But the “convenience” isn’t over yet! The guy who was designing a teleportation machine parallel to Reed is Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), played here as a super-genius….guy. That’s it really, his character is super smart and very cynical about how people treat the world and each other.
So they get the machine working and decide to take it for a spin before the mysterious company they’re working for gives all the information over to NASA. If you haven’t figured it out, bad things happen.
All of a sudden, Ben is a rock monster, Sue has the power of invisibility and bubble shields, Johnny can fly (when he’s on fire) and Reed is now Stretch Armstrong but without the depth of character.
And that, my friends, is this movie’s biggest problem. Sure it’s boring, far-too-serious and poorly written but some of that could be forgiven if any of the people in this film were even remotely fleshed out. Yet each and every one of them is made up of a single character trait.
Yes, the special effects are cool but who the hell cares about FX when there’s nothing else to it? I’ve seen three minute YouTube clips with effects almost as good and better character development.
The only bright side is that Fantastic Four didn’t use CGI outfits.