[Movie Review] New ‘Four’ Still Mostly ‘Fantastic’
While it’s long gone from local theaters, I still want to give you my Fantastic Four review because I did not think the superhero reboot was nearly as bad as most critics (and many fans) wrote it off to be, thought it is simply unnecessary.
Re-telling the story of “Marvel’s first family”, a gifted brother and sister, her scientist love interest, and their brute pal, the biggest thing against the new Fantastic Four was that the last film about the origin of this team (2005’s Fantastic Four starring Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman and a pre-Captain America Chris Evans as the Human Torch) was not all that bad itself, if a bit lighthearted.
The new version is certainly darker (both thematically and visually) and takes itself far more seriously than the previous film, but overall I would take about half of this film with about half of the other to create the perfect Fantastic Four movie.
Miles Teller (Whiplash) is a fine actor and enjoyable enough to watch, but his boy-genius Reed Richards comes across as a bit too young to fully buy into, though he later makes perhaps the best use of Mr. Fantastic’s incredible stretching abilities yet presented on screen.
Kate Mara (House of Cards) takes over Alba’s role as Sue Storm, who has surprising little to do this time out, without even one naked/invisible joke, which Alba had plenty of in the 2005 film and its sequel.
Michael B. Jordan (Creed) is the hotheaded Johnny Storm and he is perfect for the role. Jordan is a natural talent that is magnetic on screen. Expect him to be around for a long time.
Rounding out the foursome is Jamie Bell as the grumpy Ben Grimm, who is unluckily transformed into the powerful but massively awkward Thing, entirely created with CGI (computer generated imagery) this time, though much more striking and effective than his orange-tinged previous incarnation (played back then by Michael Chiklis of The Shield). My only gripe with the new look of The Thing is that they could have given the poor guy a pair of pants.
The new Dr. Doom, played by Tobe Kebbell, is a lot more menacing, even before he gets left behind in an alternate dimension that transforms him into his ultra-sinister supervillain look, pretty much matching exactly what was created in the original comic books more than 50 years ago.
In the end, Fantastic Four is still all about old fashioned family values and the eternal triumph of good teamwork over bitter isolation, themes that never go out of style.
Fun but unnecessary, the new Four is still just as Fantastic.
Official Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Matt Artz
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