released 14 decemBer 2015 | 12 | Blu-ray/dVd
Director Josh Trank
Cast miles Teller, Kate mara,
michael B Jordan, Jamie Bell
If there’s one thing to applaud about the latest attempt to put Marvel’s First Family on the big screen, it’s that you get the feeling Josh Trank really did want to try something different. It’s just that his stab at dark, gritty and real (or as real as you can go with a bloke of rock, a stretchy leader, a flying fiery hothead and a forcefieldgenerating living cloaking device) comes across as drab, dour and utterly unsatisfying. While we weren’t in need of another overtly cartoony burst of silliness like the two Tim Story films, this approach overcorrects the wrong way.
And there’s no getting away from the feeling that this one couldn’t survive the muchreported behind-the-scenes wrangling, with changes and compromises aplenty. How else do you explain a plot that feels incredibly slow and leaden to begin with, then lurches unsteadily to a rushed action climax that features a few sparse minutes of the characters using their abilities?
While some of the cast do their best to generate chemistry, there’s a frustrating lack of convincing bonding here, except in a few patches, largely sparked by Michael B Jordan’s ability to liven up dull scenes as Johnny Storm and Jamie Bell’s commitment to the easy-going role of Ben Grimm. And the less said about Toby Kebbell’s embarrassing hackerturned-crystalline-crackpot version of Doctor Doom the better.
It’s a shame, as Trank showed real promise with Chronicle and assembled an able young cast, but nothing gels here and last-ditch attempts to fix the film only seem to have caused more problems. The result is a big-budget disaster, destined to become known as a textbook example of How Not To Reboot A Franchise.
Extras Buy the DVD and you get one featurette (19 minutes); the Blu-ray adds three more (23 minutes), plus concept art and a trailer. James White
“Hang on, I ordered the fried chicken!”