Tim Story | 88 mins | TV | 2.35:1 | USA, Germany & UK / English | PG / PG
The Fantastic Four are the kind of superhero team that people in comics think are a big deal but the wider world aren’t so fussed about, as proven by the lack of success of their two film outings versus the likes of X-Men and The Avengers, not to mention all the other non-team heroes.
That said, the quality of the films themselves doesn’t help much. The first was a woeful wannabe blockbuster, an expensive cheap-looking effort that lacked either entertainment or polish. Somehow it earnt this follow-up. It’s better than the first, though that’s really not saying much.
The plot is nothing to do with the increasing prevalence of geriatric web users (though, to be frank, that might’ve been more interesting), but instead sees a metallic-hued alien surfer (the kind of thing that washes in comics but is a bit “wtf?” when just plonked into the cinema) arriving on Earth and starting to make holes in the planet. He’s the herald for a giant gas cloud thing that’s going to come and eat our world. So that’s not good. One way or another, the titular family get involved in trying to stop this disaster.
For a film with world-ending consequences, it all feels a little slight and lacking in scale. I’d say it feels “of its era” — a slightly indefinable feeling based on not only the quality of its CGI but also the cinematography, the choice of locations, the tone and pace… — but it’s less of its era, more a few (or more) years earlier. It’s six years old now, but it feels more. That’s something I noted about the first film too, interestingly.
It’s also the kind of film where the US military have jurisdiction Everywhere In The World, which is again the kind of thing that used to just slide but doesn’t seem appropriate any more. Apparently the General character was originally meant to be Nick Fury — if it had been S.H.I.E.L.D., rather than the US military, at least that part might’ve made sense.
Although this is an improvement on the near-meritless first movie, it’s still not any great shakes. Hopefully the reboot coming in 18 months won’t be so disappointing.