Movie review of “Fantastic Four”: This Marvel superhero movie is not that fantastic. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell star. Rating: 1.5 stars out of 4.
Another week, another Marvel superhero movie. With the arrival of “Fantastic Four,” it’s clear that we’ve reached the saturation point of all things Marvel for this year.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Ant-Man” and now, bringing up the rear as summer drains away toward fall, comes “Fantastic Four” — which is the least impressive entry of the 2015 Marvels by far.
Movie Review ★½
‘Fantastic Four,’ with Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell. Directed by Josh Trank, from a screenplay by Trank, Simon Kinberg and Jeremy Slater. 98 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and language. Several theaters.
The lead actors are unimpressive. All have done good work elsewhere — Miles Teller in “Whiplash,” Michael B. Jordan in “Fruitvale Station,” Kate Mara in “House of Cards” and Jamie Bell in “ “Billy Elliot.” But here, under the lackadaisical direction of Josh Trank (“Chronicle”), they give the impression of people merely going through the motions.
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Their characters — the elastic Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (Teller), the fiery Johnny Storm (Jordan), the mistress of invisibility and force fields Sue Storm (Mara) and the hulking rock-pile Ben Grimm/The Thing (Bell) — are supposedly disputatious pals, but on-screen they seem barely engaged with one another.
This is an origin story that spends too much time plodding through the manner in which these characters meet and bond. The villain, Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), is a vengeful megalomaniac with all the depth of a cardboard cutout.
And the special effects … tsk. A significant amount of action takes place in an alternate universe where the four gain their superpowers in an experimental mission gone awry. The CG work that creates that world, full of spiky rocks and glowing green rivulets, is cheesy in the extreme.
Thus does the summer of the superhero movie stumble to an end with a whimper and a wheeze.