With Christmas just round the corner this week’s big DVD release is the latest superhero reboot: Fantastic Four. Should it find a place under your Christmas tree?
The movie follows young genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller) as he pilots the development of an inter-dimensional teleporter. He teams up with friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), siblings Johnny and Sue Storm (Michael B Jordan and Kate Mara) and the unfortunately named Victor von Doom (Tony Kebbell).
Naturally the experiment goes wrong and the youngsters are granted the powers which transform them into Mr Fantastic, The Thing, The Human Torch, The Invisible Woman and Dr Doom. It shouldn’t be too difficult to pick out the bad apple in that bunch and it isn’t long til Doom is trying to make his name a reality.
It’s not been that long since these Marvel superheroes were last on our screens. Their previous outings came in a couple of light-hearted romps back in the noughties but the shift in tone here couldn’t be more stark.
Director Josh Trank has taken a more sombre approach, creating a decidedly downbeat movie which often feels dull. At 90 minutes it’s a short film by modern standards but a lot of that is spent with these gloomy youngsters mooching around doing not very much.
The worst thing is that nobody is really having any fun. You can make superhero films serious, but stray too far from the comic roots and it’s hard to keep things credible.
With a lack of any real action in the first half the film comes very close to stalling before things finally kick into gear in the last act when effects-fuelled battles inject a little pace into the hitherto drab proceedings. But by this point it’s a little too late, and the Fantastic Four has failed to live up to the name.