Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


The supposed Dr. Doom
FANTASTIC FOUR (2015). Director: Josh Trank.

I thought the original Fantastic Four film franchise, which consisted of two films, was perfectly good, but the FF was rebooted with this mediocre, but not totally awful, picture, which fans and critics seemed to hate, to put it mildly.  Fantastic Four does have a number of problems, the first being that the cast appears to be a little too young. As Reed Richards or "Mr. Fantastic," Miles Teller [Whiplash] completely lacks the charm of Ioan Gruffudd in the original films. Kate Mara [House of Cards], as Susan Storm or the "Invisible Girl" looks, as usual, as if she's twelve. [Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell play, respectively, the Human  Torch and the Thing.] The origin of the team and how they gained their powers has been changed from a trip to outer space and an encounter with cosmic rays, to a journey to an alternate dimension called "Planet X." The "Dr. Doom" (Toby Kebbell of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) of this movie only remotely resembles the venerable character from the comic books (admittedly Doom was a bit different in the previous films as well). There are too many military complications in this, and a tiresome plot, but there are some interesting touches, and the film, while disappointing, is not that bad. There's a good score by Marco Beltrami and Philip Glass. As of now Marvel is no longer publishing its flagship title (which first appeared in 1961!), and the failure of this film will probably not change that situation any time soon, for shame. See The Silver Age of Comics for more info on the FF.

Verdict: Better stick with the X-Men. **1/2.

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