The long-running Marvel Comics series about the four amigos with
superpowers takes to the big screen for the prequel, the story about how
they acquired their particular talents.
Reed Richards (Owen Judge as the kid, Miles Teller as the adult)
is a brilliant little nerd with a couple of parents who are completely
oblivious to his remarkable intelligence.
Reed is busy building a device in his garage that would transport
matter, while his parents yell at the television watching sports. His
best buddy, Ben Grimm (Evan Hannemann as the kid, Luke Bell as the
adult) has parents who insist he help out in their salvage yard
business, but that gives Ben a kind of mechanical facility that winds up
helping out Reed. Together
they make an entry at the local science fair, which pretty well goes
unnoticed except by a couple of important visitors from a secret
government R & D institute. They
recruit the boys to continue working on their brilliant idea, which the
R & D group has already tried, but so far haven’t been able to
work out the kinks.
Fast-forward several years. Reed
and his buddy Ben now have much better resources to develop their
transporter, especially with the help of scientist Sue (Kate Mara) and
former whiz kid Victor (Tony Kebbell), and their sponsor’s
talented-but-slacker son Johnny (Michael B. Jordan).
The team begins to develop some good chemistry with each other as
they near success with their prototype, but they’re all disappointed
to learn that the government intends to take over their project once
it’s completed for their own purposes (mainly military dominance). So
they all decide to use themselves as guinea pigs, and manage to
transport themselves to another dimension.
Yes, that’s a long back story, and it plays like that in the
movie, as well. So far,
nobody’s displayed any superpowers.
But something happens in the “alternative universe,” an
infusion of raw energy or something (this is still a comic book movie),
that affects each of them differently.
Reed can instantly stretch his limbs like rubber (or silly
putty), Sue can move matter particles (including making a shield-bubble
that can protect them all), Johnny acquires a fiery-like appearance with
lightning-fast ability to move, even fly, and Ben Grimm becomes some
Thing seemingly made out of rocks, along with great strength and huge
stature. The difference is
that Reed and Johnny and Sue can switch back to their “normal
selves” at will, and Ben apparently can’t.
Victor, accidentally left behind on the wild planet, turns into
someone who can summon energy at will, but he also turns violent,
greedy, and selfish: in
other words, the always-needed Bad Guy.
The four with newfound powers find that they can’t fight Victor
(now Dr. Doom) individually, they have to co-operate, and thus they
learn to become a team in a different way than before.
Now, they’ve become the Fantastic Four, ready for the next big
Sure, there are plot holes, and of course, the science is more
whimsical than factual. But
at least the special effects are not overused, and they spent some time
on character development before we got busy saving the world.
My grandkids liked it. It
won’t withstand high expectation, but it’s a fun little summer