20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Does the new Fantastic Four live up to its name?
The movie is a contemporary reboot of Marvel's longest-running superhero team, made up of Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic, (Miles Teller), Susan Storm / The Invisible Woman (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm / The Human Torch (Michael B. Jordan) and Ben Grimm / The Thing (Jamie Bell). Also starring are Reg E. Cathy, who plays Susan and Johnny's father, Dr. Franklin Storm, and Toby Kebbell, who plays the villain Doom.
The film is set for release on Friday.
Here's what five critics said about the new Fantastic Four:
1. The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy is not a fan.
"More like the Unfantastic Four," he writes.
"Beginning with Teller and Jordan, who have done such promising early work, the cast is utterly wasted here with mostly rote explanatory dialogue and little conflict or nuance to work on a dramatic level," he adds. "And the visual style is in a dark, unattractive, gloomy mode that infects every aspect of the film."
2. Time Out London's Tom Huddleston gives the film two out of five stars.
"This reboot of the Marvel superhero franchise is a film of two halves: the first likeable and fun, the second tiresome and loud," he writes.
"Following a spot of genuinely unnerving body horror courtesy of Teller's infinitely extendable arms, the second half is nothing more than a sub-‘Avengers' roundelay of superhero tics: naff catchphrases, brain-grinding exposition and lifeless punch-ups, the talented cast totally overwhelmed by the duff CG special effects," he adds.
3. ComingSoon.net's Edward Douglas gives Fantastic Four five out of 10 stars. He praises performances from Teller, Cathy and Kebbell but calls the special effects "dated and cheap."
"Basically, it ends up being another origin story with a couple of twists from what's been done before, but when the FF finally come together, the movie just ends and not in a place where you're left thinking, 'Boy, I really want to see another movie with these Fantastic Four,' he adds.
4. Variety's Brian Lowry says Fantastic Four "feels like a protracted teaser for a more exciting follow-up that, depending on whether audiences warm to this relatively low-key approach, might never happen."
"Where many recent superhero movies have risked overstaying their welcome, Fantastic Four, at 100 minutes, actually feels a tad rushed at the end, with a hasty climax that nevertheless produces some solid moments—at least a few of which, given the slow pace initially, probably should have come at least a half-hour sooner," he writes. "Instead, filmgoers are treated to a lot of science, with the central characters gazing intently into computer screens."
5. The Guardian's Henry Barnes gives Fantastic Four two out of five stars and calls the film "a dawdling indie drama dressed up in superhero garb."
"The latest Marvel comic-book adventure is straining for indie credibility while moving at a glacial pace—wasting some fine actors in the process," he writes, adding, "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."