Fantastic Four ***
I rarely read reviews before I see a movie, as I don’t want to be tainted by outside opinions, and I know this is counterintuitive for a guy that loves movies and writes reviews, but whatevs, it’s how I roll. As much as I resisted, I couldn’t help notice how poorly the new Stan Lee/Marvel superhero movie, “Fantastic Four,” was faring; 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, for example. This movie was universally dogged by most everyone.
But as a true sci-fi lover, one who is especially intrigued by alternate universes and teleportation, I couldn’t resist.
After seeing the movie, which by most accounts had a solid cast, I wondered what all the fuss was about. While not as well written as “Ant-Man” and other Marvel releases, “Fantastic Four” is a solid, Saturday matinee kind of sci-fi flick reminiscent of the glory days of first generation Sci-fi of the 1960s.
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That the story is based on the beloved superhero team of four brilliant young people accidentally transformed on a molecular level into Mr. Fantastic (Miles Teller), the Invisible Woman (Kate Mara), The Thing (Jamie Bell) and The Human Torch (Michael B. Jordan) only adds to its appeal.
Predictable plot devices (government intrusion and the team’s weaponization), along with basic special effects, gives the movie an uncomplicated, cartoonish appeal, but after all, isn’t that what we expect from our comic book heroes?
What do those stars mean?
* Really, really, really bad. Don’t bother.
** Pretty bad, with one or more redeeming scenes.
*** Pretty good, but maybe not great, worth seeing for most
**** Really great, a winning combination of story, casting, and directing
***** The rarest gem, an all-around perfect motion picture