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Fantastic Four (DQ)


Stars: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Michael B Jordan, Toby Kebbell, Reg E Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson

Director: Josh Trank

Some way after, in more ways than one, the first Fantastic Four film, which made a star of Chris Evans (now Captain America), this rather underwhelming Marvel factory fantasy runs like an extended prologue for a much longer film. Guardians of the Galaxy had a similar structure, but managed to be much more entertaining in the process.

Teller, though is well cast as genius nerd Reed Richards, who, when still a bespectacled schoolboy, invents a machine that will transfer matter through space. Fully grown (though still bespectacled) and still accompanied by childhood buddy Ben (Bell), Reed is inducted into a vast advanced scientific facility where he becomes part of a team, involving Sue Storm (Mara), adopted daughter of the facility's founder (Cathey), whose biological son Johnny (Jordan) and reclusive genius Victor Von Doom (Kebbell) complete the group.

Threatened with losing control of their project after successfully putting a chimp through space and back, the quartet, plus Ben (with Sue at ground control), enter their own teleportation machines and find themselves on a hostile planet whose energy force turns them all into something other and more powerful than themselves (why they aren't all the same is something the screenplay doesn't even attempt to explain).

Alas, the odd piece of sci-fi gobbledegook - 'Somehow she's shifting in and out of the visible spectrum' - just isn't enough to sustain us through to a climax in which the FF must battle with Victor, now deformed Dr Doom, and his plans to destroy the world. It's a nice-looking film, but action is in very short supply, something that will hopefully be corrected if they can get the studio to back a sequel. Hmm.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox. Technicolor.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 06 Aug 2015