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FANTASTIC FOUR (2015)

SYNOPSIS: Reed Richards (Miles Teller) has long been interested in inventing a transportation device to another dimension and works with a team comprising his old school friend Ben (Jamie Bell), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) at the Baxter Institute. After a trip to an alternate universe when they acquire dramatic new powers, they have to learn how to harness their new abilities and work together against Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who has changed his alliances.

Review by Louise Keller:
Spectacular visual effects and an engaging cast make this Marvel Superhero fantasy into a moderately enjoyable adventure for the fans, although it feels as though we have seen it all before. While the script by Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater and director Josh Trank commendably spends much time establishing the characters, the film plays out like an elaborate set up piece, offering little but a platform from which the next in the franchise can spring. Itís been 10 years since the last remake (and 8 since the sequel) in which Ioan Gruffud plays Reed Richards to Jessica Albaís Sue Storm. This time around Miles Teller brings good cred as Reed, the leader of the team and the rest of the cast is fine although not exceptional enough to stand tall as super heroes.

The action begins in 2007, introducing the young nerdy Reed who tells his teacher and classmates of his aspiration to become the first person in the world to be teleported to another dimension. His school pal Ben is sold on the idea. Seven years pass and Reed (Teller) is still on the case, now under the wing of Dr Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), who he meets at a science fair, offering resources required at the Baxter Institute, where the experimental has to answer to commercial realities.

Kate Mara as Sue is the most interesting of the people he meets at the institute; she likes to listen to music as she tries to identify patterns, while Toby Kebbell has a dark presence as the unpredictable, volatile Victor Von Doom. Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) is a cool dude and an aspiring rev head brought into the institute by his father against his will. By this time, time Ben (Jamie Bell) is brought on board to make the secret experimental trip to the alternate dimension, when they discover a rocky, desolate reality replete with energy source.

Much emphasis is placed on the visuals as the team acquires its super powers. Reed can stretch his arms to abnormal lengths, Sue controls force fields and being invisible, Johnny flies and can burst into flames and Ben becomes a super-strong rock monster like that in The Never Ending Story. As for Victor, his lengthy exposure to the unlimited power source lures him to the Dark Side.

By this stage, the characterisations and storyline are subservient to the effects, which are big and bold and we are left with nothing but expectations for a better experience in a sequel.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

FANTASTIC FOUR (2015) (TBA)
(US, 2015

CAST: Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Tim Blake Nelson, Aaron V. Williamson

PRODUCER: Gregory Goodman, Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker, Matthew Vaughn

DIRECTOR: Josh Trank

SCRIPT: Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, Josh Trank

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Matthew Jensen

EDITOR: Elliot Greenberg, Stephen E. Rivkin

MUSIC: Marco Beltrami, Philip Glass

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Chris Seagers

RUNNING TIME: TBA minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 6, 2015







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