I just want my work to make a difference.
– Reed Richards
I think Josh Trank originally wanted to make a difference in the mainstream superhero genre with Fantastic Four after his successful hit with Chronicle but what most likely happen was that the studio got their hands in the cookie jar too much and we ended up with THIS fantastic four film. Now let me break down my thoughts with three parts: Before they became fantastic, Becoming fantastic, and After they become fantastic.
Before Becoming Fantastic: The film starts off pretty well, we see glimpses of a young Reed Richards and Ben Grimm, classmates and eventually become best friends because of Reed’s teleporter. Years later, Reed is noticed by Dr. Franklin Storm about his teleporter and gets recruited to work for Baxter Foundation with his daughter Sue Storm, his protégé Victor Von Doom, and eventually his son Johnny Storm. I believe the cast had a great chemistry together during the first act of the film, showing signs of good character development while working on the Quantum Gate. The experiment is successful and instead of being chosen to go visit the unknown, Dr. Allen, the supervisor of the facility, plans to send a group from NASA. Upset they weren’t chosen to go visit this planet which is eventually dubbed Planet Zero, they decide to go visit the planet themselves and Reed invites Ben to this adventure.
Becoming Fantastic: So the team of Reed, Victor, Johnny, and Ben go to this planet and I’m liking the movie so far at this point. They visit this planet and Victor gets Googly eyes for the power source of this planet. Being too curious, Victor triggers the planet’s source of power causing the world to break down. While trying to escape all of this destruction, Victor gets stuck behind, falling into the green substance. The team barely makes it back with the help of Sue not before being effective by the planet and causing a change in them forever. And now this is where my enjoyment of the film completely stops.
After Becoming Fantastic: Thanks to the ripple effects of Planet Zero, Johnny becomes the human torch, Sue develops powers of Invisibility and is able to create force fields, Ben becomes a human rock thing, and Reed becomes elastic and stretchy, all while being captive in a government facility. I wish they would have shown us the one year of training they had, I would have loved to see them develop their new gifts but they went with the lazy way out. One year later, the team minus Reed whom escaped the government facility, are now working with the government. They all get these special suits to contain and to control their powers properly. Reed is eventually captured by Ben and the government. The fight exchange between Ben and Reed is the little bit of action we get in this movie. Reed helps the government with the Quantum Gate 2.0 in exchange for finding the proper materials for a cure. They are able to create it and Dr. Allen’s explorers go and they find Victor, who is going by Dr. Doom now (he somehow got his doctrine in a year on Planet Zero ). Victor is now insane and has the powers to control the elements, he comes back to earth peacefully but once he’s back on earth, he goes on a rampage and kills everyone. His motivation is now to make Planet Zero great again by destroying earth, the typical villain gimmick. Now this is where I get upset, the whole sequence of them fighting Dr. Doom was anticlimactic, they made fighting a guy who can control the elements so boring and this is the only superhero fight we got in the whole film.
Final Verdict: We made possibly never see the vision Josh Trank had for Fantastic Four but this film could have been done a lot better. They had a fantastic cast (pun intended) and a pretty good opening act but once they got to the actual superhero stuff, it couldn’t come through for them. SuperSam Rating of a 4/10, it is SUPER DISAPPOINTING.