Heroes and Villains: Fantastic Four (2015)

PosterThe Fantastic Four were initially adapted for film in 1994 with a version that most of us are thankful for not seeing, especially if you take a look at some of its stills. 11 years down the line, the Marvel super team resurfaced for another big screen adaptation, this time proving to be slightly more popular with exciting CGI and big Hollywood names, but ultimately failing us as it escapes our minds a decade later. Now the latest take on the Marvel superheroes has hit cinema screens worldwide, disappointingly leaving us with yet another adaptation we wish to forget.

With what essentially seems to be a film that tries to be modern, Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four really comes across as a failed attempt in more than one respect.

The film opens with a promising start, providing a little backstory between Reed Richards (Mr Fantastic, played by Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (The Thing, played by Jamie Bell), before investing in a scientific plot, seeing the eventual creation of a transportation device to a different dimension, and somewhat exploring the characters of Reed, Ben, Sue Storm (Invisible Woman, played by Kate Mara) and Johnny Storm (The Human Torch, played by Michael B. Jordan).

Soon, the teleportation device is used in which the Fantastic Four develop their powers. From this point, the film takes a downwards spiral, failing to fulfil its promising beginnings. Completely skipping the crucial process of our heroes learning to control their new abilities, Fantastic Four takes a big leap forward, showing our main protagonists held captive by the US military before their ultimate escape to take on the evil Dr Doom (Toby Kebbell).

Fantastic Four 01The film is an hour and 40 minutes in length but it certainly feels longer. Its narrative feels very confused with what is effectively a beginning, an extension of the beginning, an excessive backstory followed by a huge fight which leads to a conclusion. It majorly lacks conflict whilst the three-act structure is a mess, effectively providing a short story about the Fantastic Four gaining their powers and fighting Doom.

Another disappointing factor of the film is that the Fantastic Four bare little to no resemblance to the team we see in the comics: Mr Fantastic lacks his streak of grey hair, The Human Torch has gone from being Caucasian to African American, and The Thing has a different structure.

Marvel fans complained before the film was even out, fearing that Johnny and Sue’s relationship would be entirely different to the comics. Following this, a whole line of other issues was uncovered: the way in which the Fantastic Four use their powers would be different, Doom would now be a computer geek with new powers and a mask that’s permanently grafted to his face, The Thing’s voice would be different, and the backstory of the heroes significantly different. In fact, the only trait of the Fantastic Four to be kept and not played with would be their personalities.

Overall, Fantastic Four is an incredibly bad film in which mindless things happen. As an adaptation, the film is even more horrendous with absolutely no narrative adapted from the comic books.

What did you think of Fantastic Four?

Comment with yours thoughts.

– Matt Haughton


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