WHILE PIXAR'S latest, Inside/Out, could be the best film of the year, I have no doubt Fantastic Four WILL be the worst of 2015. It's rare you feel so cheated after spending money to see a film that is a miserable colourless mess with almost no redeeming qualities.
Josh Trank is the director here and seems to have been blamed for this monstrosity. Trank burst on to the scene in 2011 with the quite remarkable found footage film Chronicle. Even in 2011 found footage was a tired genre but he managed to make it feel fresh, and, with a great young cast, it was one of the better movies of that year. He has since developed a reputation of being difficult to work with, was seemingly kicked off a Star Wars spin-off film this year, and reports from the Fantastic Four production are not good. As of last week he has already disowned this film.
Reed Richards is a young misunderstood genius spotted at a science fair and enlisted to government funded science lab. The lab team have been attempting to travel between dimensions and Richards seems to possess the missing link. In the lab, he meets Johnny and Sue Storm, and also the ludicrously (and hilariously ) named Victor Von Doom. When they finally make the breakthrough they have been looking for, they drunkenly teleport to the other dimension along with Richards’ childhood friend Ben Grimm. An accident leads to Doom being left behind while the other four become endowed with strange powers. As you can imagine from his name, Doom is not a happy guy at the best of times, and now he’s pretty much furious about being left behind.
The cast list is a who’s who of up and coming actors. Lead by Miles Teller, this is his first film since he broke out in Whiplash, one of the finest films of last year where his incredible performance was probably under appreciated considering the plaudits that went to his co star. Michael B Jordan (Johnny Storm/Human Torch ) is, in my opinion, the best young actor working today. In Fruitvale Station and The Wire he gives two of the best performances of the last decade. Kate Mara, who seems extremely unenthused about playing Sue Storm, was certainly the best thing on House Of Cards and in some scenes is sporting a hilariously cheap looking wig! From those three, along with a supporting cast of Jamie Bell, Reg E Cathy, and Tom Blake Nelson, you really would expect a better film.
Fantastic Four is entirely humorless, I don't think I mustered a single smile let alone a laugh. The story is illogical, there is zero character development, and I cared less about these characters by the end of the film than I did at the beginning. There is also a joylessness to it that is quite striking - the actors do not seem to be having any fun. The best scenes from The Avengers and other successful comic book adaptations genuinely make being a superhero look as cool and fun as you think it would be. I was dying for the movie to end and it felt like the characters in the movie were too. A fantastic bore.