Review Roundup: Marvel Re-Imagines the FANTASTIC FOUR
Miles Teller heads the newest installment of the Marvel franchise, FANTASTIC FOUR. The film was directed by Josh Trank who co-wrote the screenplay with Simon Kinberg and Jeremy Slater. The film stars Teller as well as Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, and Reg E. Cathey.
FANTASTIC FOUR, a re-imagining of the classic Marvel characters we met in 2005's FANTASTIC FOUR, centers around four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate universe that alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
A. O. Scott, New York Times: "Fantastic Four," despite the dogged efforts of its talented young cast, has nothing. The special effects are at about the level of the early "Harry Potter" movies - lots of glowing green clouds and ice-blue bolts and force fields. The human drama is meager. Once again, the only real pathos belongs to Mr. Bell's Ben, who finds himself trapped in a stony new body and weaponized by a ruthless government. Mr. Teller stretches, not as an actor but as a digitally enhanced body. Mr. Jordan burns in the same way, and Ms. Mara disappears. Her character also has the power to make other things vanish. I would say she should have exercised it on this movie, but in a week or two that should take care of itself.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Except nothing about this misbegotten, cynical attempt at franchise-rebuilding is fantastic. That includes the crude, cheap-looking, unspecial effects that turn Reed into the stretchy Mr. Fantastic, Johnny into the Human Torch, Sue into the Invisible Woman and Ben into a pile of rocks called The Thing. Fantastic Four is a pile of something, too. You fill in the blank.
Brian Lowry, Variety: Joining Spider-Man in the annals of dizzyingly rapid reboots, Fox's second stab at "Fantastic Four" comes just eight years after the first try and its sequel, which didn't set the bar inordinately high. Yet if this latest version, with a significantly younger cast (one's tempted to call it "Fantastic Four High"), clears that threshold, it's just barely, drawing from a different source to reimagine the quartet's origins without conspicuously improving them. All told, the movie feels like a protracted teaser for a more exciting follow-up that, depending on whether audiences warm to this relatively low-key approach, might never happen.
Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Twentieth Century Fox has had two opportunities to get Marvel's "Fantastic Four" right (three, if you count the studio's "Rise of the Silver Surfer" sequel to its 2005 attempt to get a franchise going as a separate failure, rather than as salt in the original wound). With a shiny new reboot that renders the comic book superheroes' origin story as a tale of barely post-pubescent nerds who have acquired frightening powers that, like cystic acne, they are at a loss to handle, the studio seems to be making a bid for an audience too young to remember anything about the earlier flop. In other words, for some viewers, "Fantastic Four" will be the first experience of heartbreak. For me, it is merely one more in a chain of disappointments.