When Fantastic 4 becomes Fant4stic, you do know the reboot you are getting. Yes, they are younger, right out of school. But brilliant as they are — talking teleportation from 5th grade and listening to Portishead while figuring out pattern recognition — they want us to believe that the only reason they go looking for “another dimension”, is to find “resources to save the Earth”. For how can our planet be saved otherwise from its greedy, corrupt, bad and always-fighting big governments?
And so when they step into a machine to be transported to that other dimension and return with their superpowers, they stomp their feet petulantly at the very same governments trying to use them “as tool”.
Yet, when it comes down to it, the Fantastic Four and the villain Doom leave at least two planets badly scarred, with the government having no hand in it at all.
But that’s the larger picture. How about the smaller ones? Like Kate Mara stepping in for Jessica Alba, or Michael B Jordan for Chris Evans? Especially when the older two are still fresh in our memory? How about the story that never travels too far from the doors of the teleporter machine, which makes an alarming amount of light and sound? How about the childhood sequence that has two very uncomfortable-looking kids handling some very serious stuff? How about the wise old Black man who calls everybody “son” (and never anybody daughter) and has taken all from a Kosovo orphan to a delusional adult who has locked himself in with symphonies and served jail time under his wings? And then there is the chewing-gum munching corporate honcho/government collaborator played by the always creepy Tim Blake Nelson. Can we hate that chewing gum more?
In this film, Reed (Teller), Sue (Mara), Johhny (Jordan) and Ben (a very slight Bell who has the misfortune to become The Thing) acquire their superpowers after a long conversation about how the men who actually do the hard work of building spacecraft never get credit that men such as Neil Armstrong walk away with. So they decide that the first people to be teleported in the machine they have built should be them, rather than NASA guys.
We know the rest. Except what happens to chewing gum in fourth dimension. The mind boggles.
Star cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell
Director: Josh Trank
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