Fantastic Four (d. Josh Trank UK/Germany/USA 2015)

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

Entertainment: starfish starfish starfish 

Performances: starfish starfish  starfish

Predictability: starfish starfish 

Technical: starfish starfish 

Another Marvel film, another super hero – well super heroes. Whereas Guardians of the Galaxy (d. James Gunn USA 2014) was soon to be integrated into The Avengers (d. Joss Whedon  USA 2012) universe, Fantastic Four is its own entity. After an unsuccessful run with Fantastic Four (d. Tim Story USA/Germany 2005) back in 2005 (in spite of a sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer , (d. Tim Story USA/Germany/UK 2007) they performed badly with critics and the sequel was a flop at the box office). It would appear that this is a time for comic book reboots. Spider-Man (d. Sam Raimi USA 2002) being a famous example but Hulk (d. Ang Lee USA 2003, Daredevil (d. Mark Steven Johnson USA 2003)in Marvel but there’s also Batman (d. Tim Burton USA/UK 1989) and Superman (d.Richard Donner USA/UK 1978). So not just super-heroes but reboots of super-heroes, which goes with the recent trend for remakes. Alas, poor Kick-Ass (d. Matthew Vaughn UK/USA 2010), Zebraman (d.Takashi Miike Japan 2004), Chronicle (d. Josh Trank USA 2012) and Megamind (d.Tom McGrath USA 2010) the few who aren’t. With each reboot there is an effort to make the film fresh and appealing to a new audience whilst cashing in on the reputation of the franchise. Let’s see the new Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Avengers, Fantastic Four film we like the characters and will like the film and they’re doing something new! At least this is what they’ll hope we’ll think. Problem is, most of the time, the changes they make aren’t always good and they also suffer from being a remake. Fantastic Four does fall into this category. It’s a reboot/remake of established characters and has the same advantages and disadvantages.

Fantastic Four actually has a great cast and they give some wonderful performances in their respective roles. I have to admit that some I wasn’t expecting. When I first saw them I thought them strange but they give a great weight and depth to each role. They have good presence and the way they interact gives some interesting character development for each of then. Though the main problem is with the villain. Firstly, no matter what, the characters name gives so much away. This actually undoes any of the character development from then on. We know what’s coming and it makes it very predictable. The character was done well but not given much screen time to really develop properly. This is also reflected in the narrative structure. Now, normally when you say you need more story this can be a good thing. If I watch something likeBattle Royale / Batoru Rowaiaru (d. Kinji Fukasaku Japan 2000) Die Hard (d. John McTiernan USA 1988) or Lethal Weapon (d. Richard Donner USA 1987) and am left wanting more, so that I want to watch it again or want to spend more time with the characters and action, that’s a very good thing. However, here, the ending falls flat as there isn’t enough development of story or of the villain. It just kind of happens.

Now let’s talk CGI for a moment. Every film is using it nowadays to varying degrees of success. The Motion Capture technology that we recently saw in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (d. Rupert Wyatt USA 2011) was stunning and it’s definitely getting better. Having said this many films fall to CGI as a reliance and this isn’t always powerful or fitting. Unfortunately, with some exceptions, Fantastic Four is another film to fall upon this reliance. It doesn’t always work, it can fall flat and look awkward. Thankfully the characters, despite their predictability, carry the film to such an entertaining beginning – not end.

Worth a watch? Well it is entertaining. Central characters are good but it doesn’t really go anywhere, this may have been the beginning of a trilogy and therefore it is just that first third of a film but not a film in its own right. Thank the actors it’s still alright, unfortunately not much else carries the film but perhaps it is worth watching all the same, it does entertain – for a bit.


A wiz kid at school teams up with an unlikely friend to make a teleportation device. It doesn’t go smoothly but they’re noticed by top scientists and find a way to another dimension. This dimension gives them superpowers that they must now deal with.

Further Reading

Official site

Interview with Cast

Interview with Jamie Bell

Interview with Josh Trank

Characters and Reboots Differences Explained 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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