Fantastic Four is based off the comic superheroes of the same name and tells the story of their origin. Reed Richards (Miles Teller), is a child genius that has been working on his version of a teleporter since 5th grade. Together with his classmate and eventual best friend, Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), they work together to perfect the teleporter.
During his high school Science Fair, the perfected teleporter was submitted and although it worked, the teachers decide to disqualify the entry on account of it being more magic than science. Fortunately for Reed, he meets Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), and his adopted daughter, Sue Storm (Kate Mara), who shared their interest in Reed’s invention. Their idea was similar to his only it was a life-sized version. Franklin then offers Reed a full scholarship and opportunity to work on the project while getting an education at Baxter.
There, Reed gets introduced to Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) – the original creator of the life-sized Quantum Gate; who re-joined the project after having kicked out of Baxter. Franklin’s biological son, Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), eventually joins the project reluctantly after an accident in a street race left him with his car privileges revoked. Together, they work tirelessly to finish the Quantum Gate.
Upon the succession of the Quantum Gate’s test, the people who funded the project decided to share their data and expertise with NASA, who will then begin on the human trial portion of the test. The decision was made despite protests from the team who designed and made the Quantum Gate. During a drunken stupor, Reed suggests that the he, Victor, Johnny and his best friend, Ben, do the testing first. Since they were the ones who made the Quantum Gate, they should be the first to leave their footprints. Fueled by the curiosity and perhaps alcohol, Reed calls Ben and the four get ready to embark on their mission without Franklin’s approval. Luckily for them, Sue had been working late into the night and when she spots the boys heading into the Quantum Gate, she hurries to the lab to stop them but was too late – they had successfully launched themselves into the alternate universe.
The boys arrive in one piece in the alternate universe and decided to explore the lands a little while Sue observes them from the other side. Entranced by the yellow sort of liquid that ran between the cracks, Reed and Victor both decide to climb down to the heart of it. Unwilling to climb down a seemingly steep side of a cliff, Johnny offers to stay where he was as their anchor. Ben, Reed and Victor made their way down and tracked over to the pool of yellow liquid. With curiosity clouding his mind, Victor reaches down to touch it; immersing his palm fully into the liquid. Within a few seconds, chaos ensued and the boys rush to climb back up to where Johnny was. Ben and Reed just about made it to safety when Victor gets pulled away from them by the liquid. Not being able to do anything else, the boys hurry back into the Quantum Gate where Sue had visual on them. Seeing the boys all frantic, she starts to panic as she tries to manually bring them home. She only just managed to succeed when the boys each encounter a certain mishap. The Quantum Gate barely makes it back, with the force blowing Sue right out of her seat.
Gaining consciousness first, Reed finds the lab in ruins. He feels a pressure on his legs and turns to see his leg trapped under a piece of debris. Despite his own injuries, he hears Ben calling for help and doesn’t hesitate twice to try and make his way over to him. As he crawls towards Ben, he sees Johnny’s flaming body and could only hope that the worse had not befallen on his best friend. As he reaches a pile of debris, he hears Ben call for help again. Figuring he needed to stand up properly to assist his friend, Reed turns around to find that his legs had been stretched far beyond his imagination. Freaked out by the discovery, Reed passed out.
The next time Reed regains consciousness, he finds himself stuck to a bed where his arms and legs were outstretched, like they were made of rubber. He sees people around him and starts asking about Ben. But instead of answering him properly, they try to calm him down. When that didn’t work, they proceeded to sedate him, sending him back to sleep. Reed eventually wakes up later to Ben’s voice calling out for him. Motivated by the need to locate his friend, Reed tries his hardest to regain his limbs to the normal length before getting out of bed. Crawling through the air vents, Reed makes his way to where Ben was but instead of seeing his friend strapped to a bed like he was, he sees and hears his friend as part of a pile of rocks. Frightened by the sound of the alarm and announcement that he has escaped, Reed has no choice but to leave Ben behind – telling him that he will come back for him.
A year passed and Reed never came back. Ben, Sue and Johnny had come under the Government’s care and were learning to control the new abilities they had. Unlike the others, Ben was instantly contracted to help assist the military on missions since he had a rock-like exterior that virtually rendered him injury-free. Sue had gained the power of invisibility and the ability to create force-fields, while Johnny had gained the ability to control all things fire. Sue takes her time to adapt to her abilities, knowing that this was all a ploy for them to be a new military weapon. She shared her concerns with Johnny who only took that as a motivation for him to get deployed sooner. To avoid his children becoming weapons of warfare, Franklin continues to help work on the new Quantum Gate – to find a cure for them. Knowing that he cannot finish the Gate without Reed, he enlists Sue to help locate him. She eventually tracks him down through his behavioral pattern and a team, with Ben, was assembled to bring him in.
Reluctantly, Reed helps to fix the errors with the Gate and when it was ready, a team was sent over to collect geological samples from the alternate universe. Before they could start collecting samples, they see someone walking towards them and after learning from the Reed that it was Victor, they hurriedly sent for him to be brought back home. They thought that bringing him home would help them understand the alternate universe better but having his own ideals about Earth, Victor sought to destroy humanity so that his alternate universe can continue to survive without threat. Victor escapes from his room and begins to kill anyone he encounters as he made his way towards the Quantum Gate. He eventually comes face to face with Franklin who tried to talk to him but Victor didn’t want to listen and ended up killing Franklin, just as Sue, Johnny, Ben and Reed came into the lab. Together, they try to stop Victor from entering the Quantum Gate but ended up failing.
Victor returns to the alternate universe where he begins a process to destroy the human race. Seeing their opportunity to slip in, the four of them enter the newly made portal to stop Victor. Using their new abilities against him individually wasn’t enough to defeat Victor so, Reed tells the others that by joining forces they might stand a chance. Together, the four of them successfully stopped Victor and closed the portal to the alternate universe – not without some damage done to Earth already.
The four of them get recognized for their bravery and efforts in helping stop Victor. So, as a condition set by them, the Government gives them their own lab in exchange for future aid as the Fantastic Four.
So, I contemplated really hard about watching this film because of all the bad things I’ve been hearing. This film was sort of set out to fail from the beginning because of the lot of negative comments, articles and reviews. It’s suffice to say that all those negativity made me lower my expectations a lot when I finally decided to give this film a go.
To be really honest, I didn’t think the film was all that bad. As it was supposed to be a film about the origin of the characters, I didn’t really expect to see much action – which I really didn’t get to see in this film. However, as the Fantastic Four are Marvel characters, I did expect the due quality of a Marvel film. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. In turn, the film was concentrating so much on the telling of a story that the action at the end became a rushed, stunted experience. Victor Von Doom wasn’t given the screen time he deserved as Doctor Doom and the action sequence at the end just felt like a filler that was put in because they just remembered it was a superhero movie. It was very weak compared to action sequences from X-Men; which is also a Fox studios production.
As a Marvel fan, I agree that Fox does not give the Fantastic Four the due credit and respect they deserve. I generally had no issues with the casting and in fact think that if Marvel had taken over this production, these actors would have gotten great chances to shine as the characters. I liked Kate Mara as Sue Storm as opposed to Fox’s previous casting of Jessica Alba. I just felt that somehow, Kate didn’t look like a fragile woman as compared to how Jessica played Sue (sorry, Jessica! I still think you’re awesome!).
As a general movie-goer, I thought that this film was okay. The somewhat funny dialogues and reactions from the actors made for passable viewing.
All in all, I didn’t like it or hate it. My feelings are neutral when it comes to this film… Although I did regret paying $13 for a ticket to this film. So, if you are looking for a good superhero film, Fantastic Four isn’t for you. But, if you’re a displeased Marvel fan interested in watching a poorly-made franchise film just for laughs, this would be perfect for you. Either way, just remember one thing – Don’t sit till the end. This ain’t a Marvel film.