Fantastic Four


Reboot of Marvel’s goofiest superhero team Discuss this article

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Following delays, dodgy trailers and on-set rumours, the advance buzz on this reboot of Marvel’s goofiest superhero team has been increasingly gloomy. It’s hard to imagine what the pundits were expecting. This is, after all, a story featuring teenage characters called Mr Fantastic (special power: stretchy limbs), The Invisible Woman (special power: take a guess) and the villainous Victor von Doom, adapted from a lightweight 1960s comic strip and given a 21st-century makeover by a guy whose first film, 2011’s Chronicle, was an ugly, noisy found-footage mess. Frankly, it’s amazing the result is watchable at all.

And more than that – for the first 45 minutes or so – Fantastic Four is actually a lot of fun. We’re squarely in Joe Dante country, as pre-teen science whiz Reed Richards and his bulky best-pal-cum-bodyguard Ben Grimm, set to work on the world’s first inter-dimensional teleportation device. Flash forward seven years and these high schoolers, now played by Miles Teller and Jamie Bell, are ready to present their invention to the world. Following an invitation to continue this research in a proper scientific setting, Reed and Ben trip off to a parallel universe in the company of similarly nerdy youngsters Sue Storm (Kate Mara) and her adopted brother Johnny (Michael B. Jordan). But after an encounter with a bizarre energy force, the quartet return with supercharged powers and are immediately whisked off by shady government forces.

At which point the film goes badly off the rails. Following a spot of genuinely unnerving body horror courtesy of Teller’s infinitely extendable arms, the second half is nothing more than a sub-Avengers roundelay of superhero tics: naff catchphrases, brain-grinding exposition and lifeless punch-ups, the talented cast totally overwhelmed by the duff CG special effects. It’s a shame, because there are points early on where this promises to transcend its silly source material and become a worthwhile addition to an increasingly overstuffed and predictable genre.

By Tom Huddleston
Time Out Doha,

Fantastic Four

  • Duration: 100
  • Released: Thu, 13 Aug
  • Classification: PG13
  • Language: English
  • Director: Josh Trank
  • Stars: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan

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