So let me tell you where I was before watching this film. I was a fan of both the 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four movies and I still am. If nothing else they are fun and are effortlessly watchable. Like most reboots these days I saw little need for this one too. Then a couple of nights ago when films fans took to twitter tearing Fantastic Four to shreds its safe to say that my expectations were rock bottom.
I’ll admit that there are a lot of issues with this film but it’s getting a rougher time than it deserves. Let’s talk about the new team first; Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara. All of these cast members did very well and as a result Fantastic Four was a well acted film. However it’s a shame because the team just doesn’t have the same chemistry that previous versions have had. This meant that the moments that were intended to particularly dramatic, emotional or funny were never as effective as desired. There was a lot of build up and background played out in the film before anything too exciting happened and I was okay with this. I seem to have a certain patience for origin stories that most others lack with films these days. Although, I thought that this time could have been used better to showcase greater character development and chemistry which would have made those moments more effective. I wasn’t too much of a fan of the altered story from the Fantastic Four origin I know and I have to say that most of the characters were disappointing unable to live up to previous portrayals. However, I thought that Ben Grimm/The Thing was done well and did improve on what has been before. I really liked the consistency between his character before and after the accident and I really felt like it was Jamie Bell portrayal of Ben who was that pile of rocks. However the CGI nature of The Thing meant that at times amongst the other team members he did look out of place. One aspect that was different than expected that I did enjoy was Victor’s involvement, it was cool to see him as an equal in the team and he felt like a part of the team rather than someone above it. Unfortunately after the accident when Dr. Doom arises I felt his potential was squandered.
I did enjoy the more violent action courtesy of his character which made a nice change from the usual PG Marvel action. However, it’s unfortunate as his design was hard to accept and his motives weren’t developed enough to make sense. The action scenes that followed were good but by the time they had arrived I’d nearly lost interest. I did enjoy the darker and more serious tone to the film and I admire the film for attempting this route. However, because of the lack of exploration into more emotional storylines and the lack of fun the film did end up slightly dull. Also talk about that carbon copy ending from Avengers: Age of Ultron, so unoriginal. I feel that this version had and has potential, it’s not a bad movie but it’s not great especially amongst the quality of superhero canon we have in today’s movie culture.
So whilst many will tear it to shreds as it was disappointing I can see what was attempted here, unfortunately it never really hits it marks. Despite this I did enjoy aspects of the movie, I liked Jamie Bell’s Ben Grimm and the different approach with Victors character was good if only carried through. More of the violence on offer here would be welcome too. I haven’t given up hope, if we get a sequel to Fantastic Four I’m confident it can build on this origin (I can hear you haters, “It would be impossible to be any worse!”) Although it wasn’t a spectacle I did enjoy the movie and there are things to enjoy here, I’m not sure I’d be in a rush to recommend it, though those willing to give it a chance may enjoy, I did.
Rating – 6.5/10
P.S. Anyone else amazed at the healing speed of Johnny’s broken arm!?