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George At 

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The Fantastic Four


As a fan of Marvel movies for years, the past Fantastic Four movies have always left me bored. As a matter of fact, I walked out of the first one and didn't see the Silver Surfer sequel.

To say I walked into the new FANTASTIC 4 with low expectations is an understatement. Sad to say, this mess of a reboot met those expectations.

Director Josh Trank (Chronicle) takes the characters all the way back to when they were 10 to start the film. It's kind of like asking someone how their day is and having them say, "Well, I was born on a small farm in....". Not sure we need THIS much set up, it's like being forced to read a new car's owners manual before starting it up, and this thing takes forever to get started.

Marvel fans know the basics. Reed Richards (Miles Teller) develops a machine to transport matter from one place to another with his childhood buddy Ben (Jamie Bell) at his side.

Reed is recruited into a government funded science institute to develop the project into a full blown method of transport.

At the institute, Reed meets brother and sister Johnny and Sue Storm, along with a stereotypical slacker genius Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell).

Through story mechanics too predictable to bother repeating here, the five are exposed to alien energy matter that makes turns them into Stretch Armstrong, Fire Dude, Girl in the Bubble, RockBoy and bad green lava guy. I'm sure they had real character names, I just couldn't find the energy to care.

For this big of a budget, the special effects are good but not great, there are too many long stretches of exposition and its weighted down by some very bad acting.

Reg E. Cathey is just plain awful as Dr Storm, Johnny and Susan's dad. He is all gravelly voice, loud lesson shouting and overly earnest cliches. Picture Mike Brady on the Brady bunch played by a drunken Morgan Freeman and you get the drift.

Tim Blake Nelson is also painfully bad as the head of the government agency that soon wants all too big a piece of the agency when the transporter works and they smell ways to weaponize the new power sources. Gee, no one saw that coming.

Miles Teller is an amazing actor and his turn in 'Whiplash" last year was a real statement of what he can do on screen. Here, the script gives him nothing to do but scream when he stretches and try to grow a very spotty beard when he goes rogue.

Michael B. Jordan is fun as Johnny and breathes some much needed humor to the film but Kate Mara is dull and poor Toby is forced to spout bad lines like "No more Victor...ONLY DOOM!"

Oh brother......

Director Trank took to Twitter the night before the premiere to say that the film was "yanked from me a year ago and my vision of the film will likely never be seen".

If I had directed this turd, I'd be trying to turn my back on it too.

The last five minutes seems like a cheerful coda on the first 95 minutes. It's such a tone change from everything before it, it's as if the filmmakers said, "Okay, let's make the last part FUN so they all get excited for the sequel!" Yeah, that's not going to happen.

What a fantastic mess.

F4 gets a D.

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