by James Howey
The long anticipated reboot of the “Fantastic Four” franchise hit theaters last week. The film hopes to revive the Marvel foursome that had been riding the bench since Tim Story’s 2007 “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” With other Marvel films thriving in recent years, “Chronicle” director Josh Trank helms the directing seat for the film aiming to bring the franchise back from the dead and build on Marvel’s smashing superhero success.
Unfortunately, this film is a major downgrade compared to many masterworks that Marvel has put forth in recent years. Miles Teller of the “Divergent” series plays the role of Reed Richards, but unfortunately doesn’t keep much of his wit and charm that has worked for him in past roles. One of the best actors in the business, Michael B. Jordan, does a decent job at times as Johnny Storm, but he is ultimately wasted in a role that could have been his breakout role into mainstream films. Kate Mara is rather dull as Susan Storm. Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm suffers from poor character development, a common theme throughout the film. Reg E. Cathey stands out the most in his role as Dr. Franklin Storm.
The one critical component to any superhero movie, however, is a good villain, and this is where “Fantastic Four” fails the most. Toby Kebbell never comes across as believable as Victor von Doom, causing the transition to Dr. Doom to leave the foul taste of undercooked villain in moviegoer’s mouths.
The back story in the beginning of the film is bland, and the climax proves itself to be uneventful. The film might not have deserved the meager 9 percent review it received on Rotten Tomatoes, but overall is a huge misstep compared to other superhero films in recent memory. Flame off.