Fantastic Four is the latest superhero caper to hit screens, but can it match up to the others?
The problem with having so many high-quality superhero movies around is that when one fails to hit the mark it really shows.
Unfortunately that’s what happens with the Fantastic Four, which is at best mediocre and at worst a plodding endurance test.
Miles Teller stars as Reed Richards, seen at first as a geeky young kid who’s determined to create a teleportation devise.
Best friends with Jamie Bell’s Ben Grimm, Reed is offered a place at the prestigious Baxter Institute which is where he starts working on his invention with gusto.
It’s also where he meets Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) and Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), the trio tasked with helping him bring his plans to reality (poor old Ben doesn’t make it to the institute, but more on him later.)
If you think that sounds mind-blowingly exciting then you’re in luck, because that is basically your lot for the first hour of the movie.
The idea is obviously to show how the foursome developed a bond, but the clunking dialogue and tedious digs at big corporations wear pretty thin after the first half hour.
There are a couple of nice touches, such as too-cool-for-school Johnny trying to fist bump with speccy Reed, who awkwardly pats his hand instead, but they’re few and far between.
Eventually Reed, Johnny and Victor decide to use the device to propel them to a secret other dimension, with Ben coming along too.
Apparently Reed won’t go otherwise, and it’s not even considered that the only female lead might want to pop along…
Here they get attacked by shimmering green goo, which sucks Victor back (not the last we’ve seen of him, fear not!) and gives the rest of them their powers.
Including Sue, who gets covered in it when the teleporter explodes on the group’s way home.
And so finally we have our superheroes: Reed becomes super stretchy Mister Fantastic, Sue is The Invisible Woman, Ben the super-strong The Thing and Johnny The Human Torch.
You’d be forgiven for thinking things would ramp up a notch now, but they don’t.
Instead we’re treated to one of the shortest denouements seen on screen, peppered with seriously predictable one-liners and some CGI which is almost comical.
The four stars do their best with the material they have in this film, but it’s woefully lacking.
There are none of the sharp one-liners and tongue-in-cheek humour superhero movies have become known for, and the pace is so slow you’ll feel like creating your own teleportation device in the hope of moving things on a bit.
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