The reviews are in for the latest reboot of the ‘Fantastic Four’ franchise… and we’re afraid to say they're not pretty.
Regrettably for Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell - who make up the latest incarnation of the superhero team - the latest film, out now in cinemas, has been all but torn apart by critics.
Various scathing reviews have singled out the film’s storyline, special effects and dialogue among its greatest flaws, although the cast have been repeatedly praised for making the best of what they had been given.
Here is just a selection of what the press have had to say about ‘Fantastic Four’...
“We barely even get to see the team use their powers, and there is almost no spectacle aside from the rushed, ugly CGI inter-dimensional climax.
“Despite the best efforts of its talented cast, this joins ‘Terminator Genisys’ as this summer’s big disappointments. Far from fantastic.”
“Delivered so slowly that you can sense other worlds for the team to explore forming as the run time ambles on. The cast are some of the most promising actors of their generation, but what chemistry there is between them is swept away by wave after wave of expository dialogue and ludicrous exclamation (“His biochemistry is off the charts!”).
“There are many references to the purity of creative endeavour being corrupted by corporate involvement. After the fifth or sixth mention, it’s hard to not to read this as something of a dig at the studio.”
“The first half of the film is almost completely bereft of anything approaching action. We see Johnny racing cars and Reed causing electrical interference when he tests his transporter but, for most of the time, the young scientists are in the labs. There is little sense of what they're trying to achieve or where they hope to go.
“The director Josh Trank (Chronicle) belatedly throws in plenty of shock-and-awe spectacle in the final reel. We see cars sucked into a vortex. There are rumblings on the soundtrack and cosmic fight sequences. This, though, presents a new set of problems. The characters are so transformed from what they were that we seem to be watching a completely different movie.
“After taking forever to arrive, the foursome’s big team-up moment feels illogical and perfunctory – not to mention spectacularly ugly, with blurry special effects and some inexplicable stylistic flourishes. Doom’s famous metal mask, for instance, is nowhere to be seen: in its place is a smooth, swirly face which unnervingly resembles the Monkey Jesus painting on the wall of a Spanish church that became a minor internet sensation a few years ago.
“The harder a film strains to shut ridiculousness out, the more likely it is to seep back in at the worst possible moment. And while there’s no reason that superhero films can’t be serious, they forget their comic roots at their peril.
“The scenes that work best are those that require no effects and minimal action, when the film's appealing young cast are given free reign to play off one another – Teller and Jordan being, unsurprisingly, the charismatic standouts. Even with relationships as surface-deep as the ones here, there's something endearing about their interactions and the film's emphasis on friendship.
“Unfortunately those moments get fewer and further between as the story unfolds, with the third act losing itself entirely in cliched dramatic beats and a would-be climactic final battle that feels utterly weightless and lacking in any stakes.”
“It would be gratifying to report that 20th Century Fox's new Fantastic Four film finally gets it right. But sadly, this costly reboot from Chronicle director Josh Trank is an uncommonly dull summer blockbuster sunk by painfully misjudged pacing.
“Though it spends aeons on protracted backstory scenes introducing the callow quartet who will ultimately become the Fantastic Four - geeky genius Reed Richards (Whiplash's Miles Teller), his childhood pal Ben Grimm (Billy Elliot's Jamie Bell), teen rebel Johnny Storm (Chronicle's Michael B. Jordan) and his more focused sister Sue Storm (House Of Cards' Kate Mara) - it fails to make them engaging.”
"Ultimately, Fox’s stab at reviving one of its inherited Marvel properties feels less like a blockbuster for this age of comics-oriented tentpoles than it does another also-ran — not an embarrassment, but an experiment that didn’t gel. And having seemingly missed twice in trying to get Fantastic Four right, the studio, unlike Reed, might want to think seriously before making any more trips back to the drawing board."
“Not only is it no fun, Fantastic Four also falls into the trap of being heavy on the origin and light on the story.
“Tonally, the film is also a failure with superheroes this cheerfully ridiculous crying out for a light directorial touch. Instead the film is visually dark and the plot is poe-faced and notably missing any fun factor.
“It all adds up to a fantastic bore while a planned sequel, due in 2017, looks like a fantastically bad idea.”
The Hollywood Reporter
“Fantastic Four feels like a 100-minute trailer for a movie that never happens.
“This time, the reins have been handed to director and co-writer Josh Trank, whose one previous feature was the 2012 “found-footage” thriller Chronicle. Unfortunately, there is no youthful enthusiasm or sense of reinvention evident in this outing. Nothing that Trank and his co-writers Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg have come up with does anything to alleviate the feeling that the titular quartet simply don't constitute very interesting superheroes.”
“It’s one thing for a movie to leave you wanting a sequel and quite another to make you wish you were watching that sequel instead.“Fantastic Four” — the second attempt by Fox and the third by Hollywood in general to bring Marvel Comics’ popular superteam to the big screen — offers glimmers of good things to come in its final moments, but only after the audience has slogged through yet another dispiriting origin story and yet another Earth-rescuing battle in a bland, CG-created nowhere land.”
'Fantastic Four' is in cinemas now.