FANTASTIC 4 (2015)

Josh Trank’s new move, “Fantastic 4” is clunky at best.  However, as much as Fox meddled with his creation, the story works on some levels.

Reed (Miles Teller) and Ben (Jamie Bell) demonstrate their project, the teleportation of matter.  It catches the attention of Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his daughter, Sue (Kate Mara).  Inviting him on a scholarship, Sue, Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbel) and Dr. Stone’s son, Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) round out the development team to complete the project.  The initial test a success, the team wants to send themselves in.  Despite objections, they perform the test any way, exploring a new dimension they are enveloped, consuming Doom and forever changing Richards, Grimm and the Storm kids.

The screenplay by Trank, Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg tried to evoke a feeling of nostalgia, mainly movies of the 1980s.  This effort is short lived with the remainder of the movie reduced to a 100 minute-long background story.  Surprisingly, each character is given decent screen time.

The visual effects by Weta Digital work.  They were a part of the story structure, rather than the focus of it. There is nothing impressive or distinctive of the real world cinematography, but the other dimension world is a sight to behold.   Marco Beltrami and Phillip Glass’s score is an admirable effort.

Fox’s effort to reinvigorate the franchise is a mess.  It is a bit stronger than the original Fantastic Four and its sequel. As interesting as the ideas it portrays, namely technology and team work, one never feels like they were teleported anywhere but to disappointment.

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