***WARNING: slight spoilers ahead!
It has been eight years since comic book superhero film Fantastic Four graced the silver screen. The last two movies weren't exactly cinematic gems and did not set the bar very high but, at the very least, they are fun to watch.
The latest attempt to reboot this beloved Marvel icon tried their best to make the new film edgy by adding a new spin on the origin story, as well as putting the characters in a more serious light. They attempted to be more creative with the source material, but the result fell far too short.
First of all, the origin story was too long. It stretched towards the childhood of Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. While in many films this is very important to establish the characters, as well as endearing the audience towards their struggles, it felt forced and within the context of the story the length was unnecessary.
And then, if there is such a thing as bromance chemistry, Reed and Ben don't have it. Whether it be the childhood version or the teenage version played by Miles Teller and Jamie Bell, it was really hard to believe that Ben and Reed are best friends.
Speaking of which, the sibling bond was also missing with Johnny and Sue Storm, except for one scene where Kate Mara's Sue said that she told her brother that she was glad he was there. And that is only because she said it; there was no warmth to it and she could have been sarcastic for all I know.
Then there was the pacing--it was too slow. For the majority of the film, it felt like I was waiting for something. There was too much 'science' talk, and all the characters were stiff and mechanical. The attempts at humor were cringe-worthy, to say the least.
Also, don't expect a lot of action in this. It is more science fiction than superhero.
The climatic battle scene, which is a penchant of films of this genre, was short, terrible, and came as a surprise. The 'villain' itself came only towards the end; for majority of the movie there is no clear enemy. The team really had no purpose or apparent goal, other than to be cured or serve the government. The 'mission' or 'quest' was not there. There was no build up towards the climax.
In fact, it felt like there was no climax at all!
Of course the character of Victor as a normal man was present in the beginning. They had enough time to establish him better, and yet they didn't, choosing instead to put as many scenes possible of the characters wielding stuff, doing calculations, and staring at their computer screens. Doctor Doom came in at a rush and stuttered through his brief screen time to be evil.
Then there was that rudimentary part where they were trying to figure out their superhero team name. It was really painful to watch. The conversation will make your eyes roll.
With that said, overall, this movie is not worth the ticket, and is an injustice to its beloved source material. Better to just wait for it on cable.
Fantastic Four will hit theaters in the U.S. on Friday (August 7), and is now showing in select countries all over the world.