The task was quite simple: study the previous film-adaption of Marvel’s famed “Fantastic Four” comic book series and correct the mistakes that led to its universally hated reception. Mistake #1: do not spend the bulk of your runtime explaining the origins of the characters, especially characters who aren’t exactly that complex to begin with. Fantastic Four once again commits this sin when we learn a child genius invents technology bridging the gap between some theoretical multiverse. Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is ridiculed by classmates and teachers alike for his ambitious goal of teleportation, but his buddy Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), who is also an outcast, lends a helping hand. Their invention captures the attention of Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) who recruits the teenage boys into his “teenage genius school”, later known as his “family.” For some silly reason, Dr. Storm wants to transport his kids, including Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) and Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), into a desolate and terrifying dimension.
The process of building this transportation device is long and arduous, and Trank has no qualms about dragging audiences through the muck. Once the team finally reach this unknown dimension, an accident gives each of them unique special powers. Doom however is presumed dead, and quite literally, no one cares. Mistake #2: don’t forget to showcase those awesome powers. Much of the second act addresses the teams misguided attempts to shed their newfound abilities instead of actually using them for good. But the obligatory evil government agency, led by the obligatory evil agent wants to do the obligatory evil testing on the team, so he can build the obligatory evil army. It’s terrifying how bad this movie is. Simon Kinberg, the film’s co-writer would have you believe otherwise, suggesting this movie is faithful to the source material. But it’s far more likely Kinberg took a clipboard full of plot points and catchphrases, and just went through the motion of check-marking achievements. The result is a poorly-concieved story with cheesy dialogue delivered by a cast who all appear to be miserable.
Fantastic Four is the furthest thing from fantastic. Marvel movies haven’t been this bad since Howard the Duck assaulted audiences in 1986. Go home Kinberg, go home Trank; you’re drunk.