Movie review: Fantastic Four (PG) 

Movie review: Fantastic Four (PG) 
PHOTO: Twentieth Century Fox

Many have panned the earlier Jessica Alba/Chris Evans Fantastic Four movies, calling them kiddy, cheesy, and kitschy.

Those weren't great, but at least there were some fun elements.

The director of this latest big screen adaptation, however, seems to want to make a point about recent superhero movies being too jam-packed with over-the-top action.

Josh Trank's Fantastic Four doesn't seem to have much action at all.

He's tried going the dark, gritty route a la Christopher Nolan's Batman - and it would have been a great idea if he could have pulled it off.

Here, the movie plods along so slowly, setting up for a climax which, when it eventually came, deflated much faster than a popped balloon.

Trank seems to have zapped out all the energy and life of what could potentially have been a good reboot of a failed franchise.

The film started out promisingly enough, giving us some semblance of a back story of the foursome, particularly Reed Richards (Miles Teller), a science prodigy determined to prove inter-space teleportation can actually be done.

We learn that Ben (Jamie Bell) is Reed's loyal childhood friend, and Sue Storm (Kate Mara) is a science whiz at spotting patterns who becomes the group's fashion designer -- she's in charge of their space travel costumes.

Her adopted brother Johnny (Michael B Jordan) is rebel who has Daddy-issues. Then there's Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), a brilliant scientist who eventually becomes the baddie Dr Doom.

Setting them up one-by-one is a nice way to let us get acquainted, but it also takes too long. Halfway through the movie, we're still learning who they are.

Trank's debut film Chronicle (2012) was an interesting exposition of what young people could do when they were suddenly gifted with superpowers.

The story here is similar, just devoid of any emotions or driving forces to make a connection to these four accidental superheroes.

Only Bell brings some genuine anguish to the screen, after he's turned into a rock monster, but it lasts for all of 10 seconds.

Teller tries to bring some remorse to his character, but he's weighed down by groan-inducing lines.

There were some cool scenes, but too few to liven things up.

Perhaps this is merely a long set-up to the sequel -- yes, there's going to be another one even if this bombs at the box-office.

Whoever's taking over should have an easy task ahead to inject some form of life, considering that this is such an unoriginal bore.

Rating: 2/5


This article was first published on Aug 12, 2015.
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