A faltu-stic rendition of Fantastic franchise

A faltu-stic rendition of Fantastic franchise


Fantastic Four English (U/A)Cast: Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell and Reg E CatheyDirector: Josh TrankRating: **

The world of tech support — the guys you call when any piece of technology does not work — has a beautifully succinct saying for how the “management” (read: the money people who know zilch about technology) often take disastrous decisions just because there’s nobody to challenge them. They say: “Manglement will mangle.”

This is exactly what seems to have happened to this reboot of the “Fantastic Four”. Although Marvel Comics created them, Fox owns the filmmaking rights, and would have had to let go of them if it had not released the film this year. Marvel’s success with its cinematic universe must have fuelled Fox executives, but they have ended up producing a super-dud. 

Now, Josh Trank’s second outing as a director might not have been all that bad. While Reid Richards aka Mr Fantastic (Teller) betrays vulnerabilities, schoolmate Ben Grimm aka The Thing (Bell) starts out as a cowering boy who would rather not be violent. 

The build-up is promising, as we also meet Sue Storm aka Invisible Woman (Mara), Victor von Doom aka Dr Doom (Kebbell), Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch (Jordan) and Dr Franklin Storm (Cathey). The Storm siblings, Richards and Doom work under Dr Storm to build an interdimensional transporter, which the young guys take out for a spin without their boss’ knowledge. Grimm joins them for the ride. 

In another dimension, Doom tries to “feel” and energy source. “It” strikes back, and while Doom gets stranded on the alien world in the ensuing mayhem, the others return, having been exposed to this energy. They also bring back some of it, which affects Sue. 

It is from here that the film goes downhill, presumably because the studio, after watching Josh Trank’s 2hr-20m-version of the film, ordered major re-shoots this January and chopped the flick down to a mere 1 hour and 40 minutes. As a result, the entire second part of the film feels hurried, and the climax is over even before it begins to sink in! Also, several dialogues and scenes from the promos are missing in the cut that hit the theatres. 

“Fantastic Four”, in the end, is a whimper in an otherwise successful era for comic-book adaptations. Not even hardcore fans will appreciate it.

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