The potential this film possessed was monumental, it had the power to write over the mess that was the 2005 version of this infamous Marvel team, however it only served to make it look good; at least Tim Story’s smiling!
With a re-vamped cast inevitably comes a “modernised” story line, and whilst I knew this film would be re-telling the origin story of our four heroes, I didn’t realise that this also meant it would come with a heaving of cheesy and unnecessary dialogue. Who knew that Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) was on Instagram?
Miles Teller was by far the best thing about this movie, second only to its visual effects, his interpretation of Reed Richards far exceeded the efforts of Ioan Gruffordd. He was more believable not only as a scientific genius, but as a genuine love interest of Sue Storm (Kate Mara).
The first half was far more creditable than the second, here we see the blossoming of Reed and Ben’s (Jamie Bell) friendship, which steadily progresses to their scientific discoveries as a duo and finally advances to Reed’s scholarship at The Baxter Foundation; where he successfully builds a machine that can teleport matter. At this point the film was steadily progressing, sustaining audience interest and creating some diverse character relationships.
However, “One year Later…”, and it’s all gone pear-shaped! The trio are left without Reed, and are being used as puppets, dancing for the Government’s various assigned tasks. There is absolutely no sense of unity between them whatsoever, and to finally have The Thing revealed in all its glory; left nothing but a disappointed expression on my face. Despite all the controversy, and negative comments, surrounding the make-up of the Storm family in this adaptation, I found most let down by the lack of connection shared between Sue, Johnny and their father, Franklin. Give credit where it is due, the connection that Alba and Evans had in its first incarnation was that of a believable, loving sibling relationship. Whereas Mara and Jordan shared nothing but a couple of hello’s, angst-filled glances and mainly, silence. I can understand that there would be a certain amount of friction between the pair, given Sue’s adopted background, but this never fluctuated during the movie’s running time; therefore, making for no growth or change to their relationship.
And then there’s Doctor Doom, the one salvation point of the latter half of the feature, and SPOILER ALERT: he gets destroyed in all of ten minutes. The battle between him and our Fantastic Four is both lack-luster and weak. Given that they consistently made all four heroes, and our sole villain, physically spectacular throughout the whole movie, why not make use them magnificent effects when you needed it the most?
Overall, the film had fallen flat on its face by the end of its 1 hour, 46 minute run. Defeated mainly by the lack of character development, some laugh-inducing dialogue and its desire to be “relevant.”