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Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four

USA 2015 - with Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Fantastic Four
Genre:Fantasy, Action
Direction:Josh Trank
Cinema release:13.08.2015
Production country:USA 2015
Running time:Ca. 100 min.
Rated:From 12 years
Web page:fantasticfour-film.de
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Superhero Movies and Comic Adaptations are very trendy. You have to live under a stone to not have noticed. Whether the "Avengers", the "Guardians of the Galaxy" or "Ant-Man", there is hardly a superhero who doesn't lure the masses into the cinemas at the moment. And those who have the rights to such a lucrative franchise naturally want to make as much profit as possible from it right now. In about one year the rights to the "Fantastic Four" would have fallen back to Marvel if a new movie about the mutated quartet wasn't released in the cinemas by then. The US studio Fox (in Germany the rights are with Constantin Film), which has one of the hottest superhero irons in the fire with the "X-Men", naturally wanted to prevent this and commissioned a reboot of the series after the two artistically and commercially not really successful films of 2005 and 2007. The director was Josh Trank, who belonged to one of the greatest genre hopefuls since "Chronicle". In view of the harsh criticism of Tim Story's version of the "Fantastic Four" and the oversized competition from the other Marvel heroes, fans could hope that the studio and director would do everything right at this new attempt. And in the first half of the movie this actually seems to be well done for the most part. But then, unfortunately, there's another big one...

The movie is a typical "Origin-Story", in which the audience (again) learns how the Fantastic Four came to their strength and their name. Here, however, Trank takes a completely different path than Tim Story did before. His story begins with a very young Reed Richards, who already experimented with the invention as a child. Some years later, as a young man (Miles Teller), this invention brought him a place in a highly decorated research institute of Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey). Together with his siblings Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and Sue Storm (Kate Mara) and the ingenious loner Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), Reed develops a machine that can open the gate to a parallel universe. When the military wants to seize control of the machine after its completion, Reed, Johnny and Victor, together with Reed's childhood friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), venture on their own on a journey into the foreign world - with catastrophic consequences. Victor seems to have a fatal accident and the others are hit by genetically modified radiation - just like Sue, who has desperately tried to bring the four back into her world. Ben becomes a huge stone creature, Johnny a living torch, Sue an invisible, and Reed suddenly has an especially elastic limb. While he flees from the military to develop an antidote to these mutations, the others must learn in a secret facility to use their newly acquired skills for the good of mankind - at least that's what the military says. One year later they are put to a particularly hard test, which could decide the fate of the entire human race...

Director Josh Trank has publicly distanced himself from the film after the harsh criticism. The studio made it impossible for him to realize his vision. Whether the studio is solely to blame or not cannot really be judged as an outsider. However, there are several moments of the movie that clearly reveal Frank's talent and show that somewhere in the work there is a lot of potential for a really good superhero movie. The scenes showing Reed and Ben as children, for example, are interspersed with a touch of Spielberg's 80s nostalgia. And also the moments in which Reed slowly develops from a nerdy country bumpkin to a real scientist with a cross-dimensional thirst for research have their charm. Miles Teller, who was recently able to inspire in the great drama "Whiplash", convinces as a young Mr. Fantastic as well as Jamie Bell as his best friend Ben and the somewhat too serious Kate Mara as Sue Storm. Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch is unfortunately not as cool and entertaining as his predecessor, the current Captain America Chris Evans. And Toby Kebbell as Victor von Doom can only please as a grunge scientist in the first half of the film. But as Doom, he fails simply because of the hideous design of his mask.

The moment the plot jumps a year into the future, the chaos takes its course. The dynamics between the actors, which worked out so well before the movie, suddenly seem to be very stressful and the actors are obviously demotivated. The special effects are sometimes great, especially when it comes to Ben Grimm. However, in too many scenes they seem a bit cheap (especially in those that are playing in a strange world, where the movie's big showdown takes place). Especially in this aspect, which is very important for the genre, the "Fantastic Four" simply can't compete with their colleagues from the Marvel or DC universes. The second half of the movie seems like a lovelessly staged quick shot, which only shows the quality of a really successful beginning in a few moments.

You have the feeling as a viewer that plot elements have been randomly removed. The whole thing seems unfinished and rushed, which neither the actors nor the very popular original deserve. Nevertheless, the catastrophe that many critics see in the film is not the whole thing. Despite obvious weaknesses, the bad design of the bad guy and despite the rather disappointing finale, this reboot is entertaining and fast over long distances. And it is by no means the worst "Fantastic Four" film that has ever been shown in cinemas. But even if there is a certain entertainment factor and some decent viewing values, the hope for a really good "Fantastic Four"-movie unfortunately didn't come true this time either. But there is then only one: worth seeing with some concessions!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp

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Cinema trailer for the movie "Fantastic Four (USA 2015)"
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