I could easily say that this new Fantastic Four outstretches its welcome, that its plot vanishes without a trace, that the action fails to ignite, or that the script could have used a good clobbering. But I’ve got a simpler statement: this is a bad movie. I know what many of you are thinking: “Can it really be as bad as those campy previous two films?” It’s a photo finish, even (and especially) with its bold shift to a serious/humourless tone.
The first hour of the film is dedicated to the set-up, with the characters showing barely any solidarity – or any actual character. Wise-cracking Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) hardly ever cracks a wise, Ben (Jamie Bell) is left on the sideline until he’s The Thing, Reed (Miles Teller) is never interesting before or after stretchiness, and Sue (Kate Mara) largely keeps to herself until she gets her powers – which she only uses in the climax to make the guys invisible.
After the mutation, the Four are treated like frightened lab rats. To the film’s credit, there are slithers of good dramatic weight in this situation, with Ben’s freak-out being the most tragic as Reed abandons him. But even this scenario is cut off at the kneecaps as the narrative suddenly decides to skip forward to a year later, leaving a gigantic gap where the team aren’t a team.
Not that any of these plot details matter, for the final ten minutes throws all of it into a wood-chipper in service of the film’s ONE action scene, where Victor Von Doom’s motivation to destroy lots of things boils down to “I’m crazy and it’s your fault.” And even on a switch-your-brain-off level, this one action scene sucks.
‘Fantastic Four’ Movie Times