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The Fantastic Four (stylized as Fant4stic) is an American live action action-adventure superhero fantasy film directed by Drew Goddard, and developed by 21st Century Fox, starring Miles Teller Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Jenson Ackles. The film was released in early 2016, in February 17th, for it`s international premiere.

Development and Production

The film was in development hell for a decade, starting in 2006, when Marvel attempted to win back their movie rights for Fantastic Four, following the box office disaster of the film, a year ago. However, Fox won a debate against Marvel and continued to develop a sequel for the first film, and they created Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which also was commercially unsuccessful. After they confirmed a third film, Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Skrulls that was supposed to be released in 2010, with a fourth film, Fantastic Four: Secret Invasion that was supposed to be released in 2013, However, some Marvel fans revolted against the ideas of two more Fantastic Four movies, against the idea of two more 'disastrous films.' The revolution lasted for a month, before Fox cancelled the following movies, and decided to end the franchise.

In early 2014, film director Josh Trank suggested the idea of a Fantastic Four reboot, and Fox seriously considered it. After six months, Fox confirmed a Fantastic Four movie was under the works. Josh Trank was confirmed as a director, and a whole production was cast, however, an argument between Trank and 21st Century Fox Studios led to a dissociation. Later onwards, Fox adopted Drew Goddard as director of the upcoming film, and a new cast was confirmed, and Jay Baruchel who was originally supposed to play Mister Fantastic, and Carrey Mulligan who was supposed to play Invisible Girl, was fired, and a new cast was developed.

Filming and principal photography started in December 7th, 2014. Additionally, promotional campaigns were held in April 30th, 2015, with the cast visiting several locations for question and answers.

Plot

Following a whole decade gone into waste for a scientific project, struggling scientist and genius, Reed Richards (Miles Teller), is mentally sabotaged after all of his efforts of creating a teleporter has been destroyed, and he becomes suicidal. However, his childhood best friend, Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), resolves his mental issues and invites him over to the American Scientific Organization (A.S.O), a military operative facility where scientists can introduce their inventions to officials, where Ben is working as an aerodynamical engineer. The A.S.O is owned by the multibillionare and ruler of the mystical nation of Latveria, Victor Domashev (Zachary Quinto), who is secretive, arrogant, dominant and extremely aware of people and greedy.

Reed Richards lands a job within the A.S.O, even after an awkward interview with Dr. Franklin Richards (Reg. E Cathey), the man in charge, who congregates him to his son, Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), a notorious and sarcastic joyride, and his adoptive daughter, Sue Storm (Kate Mara), who is brilliant, confident and charismatic. Reed immediately falls for Sue, however, he discovers that Sue already has a boyfriend, Harvey Elder (Jenson Ackles), an arrogant, popular and an intelligent co-worker. Reed Richards introduces the concept of his failed teleporter to Sue in order to impress her and surprisingly, it works, as she is astounded by the brilliance of the project. She convinces Reed to revamp the project, and they can work on it in complete confidentiality as Reed wants, and even if Reed does not want it to happen, he agrees to Sue`s storm to keep his crush on her oblivious.

As Reed and Sue develop a teleporter together in secret, Harvey is suspicious of Sue`s faith of their relationship and thinks that she is being attracted to Reed, and in fact, she is, but mutually. Jealous of Reed, Harvey secretly follows Reed after a meeting one day, only to discover him to enter a secret room with Sue. Misunderstanding the events, he lashes out, and infiltrates the workspace of Reed and Sue, to assault Reed; however, he discovers their secret project, and he is shocked at how this amazing project did not come to the eyes of Franklin and decides to flash this secret project to the community, however, Sue tempts him to keep it a secret, but he suppresses them to make him take half of the credit of the project, once it is done.

Reed and Sue attempt to activate the teleporter for the first time, but as Reed expected, it turned out to be a complete failure, however, realizing that their patterns was wrong all the time, he reversed the mechanism in the teleporter, and activates it once again, only to summon a flash of exponential and unlimited energy; he created an energy transmitting space wave device. Sue is amazed and she develops feelings for Reed and decides to present it to his stepfather, however, Reed is completely devastated, and says that this is highly hazardous.

He is able to convince Sue of the danger and she decides to let go of the project, however, Harvey discovers that the project has been completed and disobeys the orders of Reed; only to exploit it to Franklin. After Franklin realizes of the danger yet resourcefulness of the project, he summons Reed and says that keeping secrets within the community is prohibited. especially for the sake of science, and he snatches the project. Completely terrorized, Reed teams up with Ben, Johnny and Sue to burglarize it as midnight falls. In midnight, he is able to infiltrate the quarantine room where the teleporter is being kept, and he and the other three successfully steal it, and decide to destroy it, somewhere far away, however, they are discovered by Harvey, who expected this, and he follows them.

Reed plans to sink it under the Washington River as it can not be simply destroyed within land, and air, however, he realizes that Harvey is tailing them and he panics, Harvey drags Richard and the other three`s car into the nuclear reactor within the A.O.S headquarters, and the five are involved in a fight, before Harvey accidentally activates both the nuclear reactor and the energy space wave teleporter. The energy within the space wave teleporter charges the nuclear reactor, to spread radioactive energy around the whole area, somehow causing a molecular conflict, to actually transmit them to an alternate dimension, in Planet Zero, where they can surprisingly breathe.

They discover the extraterrestrial elements there, and the five reattempt to build the damaged space wave teleporter, however, Harvey starts hurdling with an unknown rock inside the planet, only to blow up the core of the planet. The planet starts to blow up, and Reed messes up the function of the teleporter to alter it`s usage. Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben with Harvey are effected by the elements of the dying planet, before they are teleported to Planet Earth, and are unconscious.

A week later, the five wake up in a quarantine hostile facility, where they discover their new superhuman alteration; Reed can stretch his body up to any height and weight; Sue can generate force fields and become invisible; Ben`s whole body has become nothing but a harness of near indestructible alienate rock; and Johnny has become a living hybrid of flesh and fire, and Harvey`s powers are quiet unexplainable, seeing that he had been touched by all the five radioactive molecules and is still unconscious.

The four have become completely exhausted as they are forcefully trapped within a hostile area, and Franklin is trying his best to get them out, however, the American military dissuades of Franklin and observes the five people. Harvey wakes up, only to freak out, and lash out, he has developed atokinesis, and can manipulate any atom, he destroys the whole quarantine facility and escapes.

Reed, Ben, Johnny and Sue ally together as a team to stop Harvey because they know they started it; Harvey, who has become completely insane of his experience in another dimension and raged at his 'enslavement' at a hostile zone in Earth, causes havoc on a bridge before being intervened by the other altered four. The four fight against Harvey, and successfully, calms him down, however, the military interferes and nukes Harvey, making his anger rise above his level and completely destroying the bridge and injuring dozens of life, before escaping to the shadows.

Reed, Ben, Johnny and Sue save a lot of lives although many succumb and they are dubbed as the Fantastic Four by the press, yet they are considered fugitives of America. They hide from the police, military and any government related affiliations, and hide under the Baxter Building, an abandoned territory of Reed`s parents. They know that Harvey is somewhere and will return and have to convince the military to work together to take Harvey down. Harvey who is dubbed as 'The Atom,' is confronted by Domashev, the Latverian-American businessman, and Domashev promises Harvey enough resources for the destruction of the Fantastic Four, (who Harvey believes is the reason of his alteration) in exchange of doing a set of tasks for him.

The Fantastic Four successfully ally with the military, however, the following day, reports of several bank burglarizations and financial disappearances stun the FBI who hand over the case to the military. Reed believes this is somehow related with them; into further investigation, Sue and Johnny crack the mystery, and discover that Harvey is behind this and he is transferring all the stolen funds to a single network; The Latverian International Station.

The Fantastic Four infiltrate Domashev`s Pennsylvanian hyper-mansion, full of guards, high tech security and gadgets and they neutralize all of their targets, however, surprisingly, they find, Harvey instead of Doom, who has already activated an American nuclear satellite that has targeted the homes and bases of the relationships and families of the Fantastic Four, and nothing can compromise the missile.

Reed and Sue attempts to hack into the missile; while the Thing and the Human Torch stall the Atom, which engages all the four into a near everlasting battle. The hacking fails and the missiles that will be launched from one single flying jetpack (that is over a hundred foot) is approaching the targets. Johnny decides to enact a suicidal mission, he is inserted within a cannonball, and with the force of the Thing, he is released to the sky, and he literally as a fire cannonball shatters the jetpack which destroys the missiles.

Domashev, who via his private jet has escaped to Latveria is enraged of his failure and realizes that he has grown a vigilancy and he has to come up with an escape plan.

Meanwhile, the Atom who has emerged from a pile of wreckage, is completely devastated and hurt when he discovers that Domashev has not able to keep his promise and the Fantastic Four is still standing. Now, the Atom single handedly pursues the Fantastic Four, and they engage in combat, however, the Atom is defeated after his molecular structure is penetrated and he is sent back to the same alternate dimension, the Negative Zone, via the space wave teleporter where the dead Planet Zero existed, and the teleporter is shut down, and the Fantastic Four win.

With their vigilancy cut off, the Fantastic Four are credited with thankfulness as the Baxter Building is rebuilt as their headquarter. Learning the full extent of their full powers, the Fantastic Four vow to hunt down Victor and rebuild peace in America, for the trouble they have cost, by committing superhero activities. Reed and Sue have also engaged in a romantic relationship.

In a post credits scene, Reed is checking on all of the resources of the Baxter Building, only to be horrified when his broken space wave transmitter is missing, and he finds a note which has the word "Doom" inscribed, indicating that Domashev has somehow stolen his teleporter.

Cast

  • Miles Teller as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic; a struggling yet prodigious twenty eight year old scientist, who works his whole life to build a teleporter after being inspired from science fiction shows; he joins the A.O.S to only develop a crush on Sue Storm and start a revamp on his failed teleporter. However, the delusional Harvey Elder learns about their project and causes a havoc. He later gains the ability, to stretch his body to any extent, he can inflate it, stretch it, twist it to a long measure, and alter the size of anything of his body. He is the founder of the FF, who are bent on prohibiting Domashev and Harvey enact their terrible plans.
  • Kate Mara as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman; a peaceful, romantic, brilliant and charismatic woman, who worked on a teleporter with Reed Richards, however, his arrogant and delusional boyfriend, Harvey, got weary of the things and caused havoc, eventually, somehow altering her, Reed, Harvey and two other to an alternate dimension where she barely escapes, and gains radical powers. She is the love interest of Reed at the end of the movie and a primary member of the FF.
  • Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/Human Torch, a notorious and sarcastic playboy, the yet-to-be company manager of A.O.S, who helps Reed steal his device, but later becomes a living flesh of fire.
  • Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/Thing, a prosperous worker in the A.O.S who helped Reed alongside two to burglarize his energy space wave transmitter, but eventually get into an accident that changed his body into a living body of unbreakable rock; he becomes a member of the FF.
  • Jenson Ackles as Harvey Elder/The Atom, an arrogant A.O.S worker who gets genetically altered after a transformation in an alternate dimension, the main antagonist, developing atokinessis, he becomes insane, and wants to hunt the Fantastic Four, as he thinks they played with his feelings.
  • Zachary Quinto as Victor Domashev, a dexterious and crooked Latverian international businessman, manipulating Harvey`s emotions to transfer money to his worldwide account.
  • Reg. E Cathey as Dr. Franklin Storm, the biological father of Johnny and adoptive to Sue, man in charge of the A.O.S, and it`s director.
  • Tim Blake Nelson as Retired Officer Stanley Morse, a former military officer especially hired to hunt the FF.
  • Dan Castellaneta as H.E.R.B.I.E, an artificial intelligence voice command recognition system

Reception

Box Office

Drew Goddard was responsible for hiring six CGI studios to perfect the animation and visual effects of the movie, additionally strengthening the budget for the movie, that totaled to 142.3 million dollars.

However, box office came in strong, as the movie was able to pull of 76.3 on it`s opening weekend, later, in it`s first month, resulted to a total of 189.67 million, and finally after four complete months of being in the theatres internationally, it became a box office success after gaining 466.2 million US dollars, internationally, and augmenting, 100.5 million dollars from North America.

Critical Reception

The film has gotten neutral views, and has accomplished generally favorable reviews from many critics. Sburt Andersons from the Rolling Stone, describes the movie as, "so much story gobbled up in one film; so much action, and too much attempts at hilarity, this [the movie] is surprisingly an amazing effort, and is a classic Marvel movie; of the not-so-classic digital century." Peter Travis describes the movie as "lengthy, half of the movie is CGI, but nonetheless, an enjoyable roller coaster ride."

Kurt Busiek of Empire has said, "feels like a cheesy teen sci-fi television show that has so much going on, the only thing you can concentrate is the fun; and it [the movie] is fun!" While being negatively criticized for being overwhelming, lengthy, and overloaded with extensive coverage of intersecting storylines, the movie has also gained positive reviews for the visually stunning pictures, and the hilarity that ensues behind tensing moments and also the sufficient and somehow acceptable plotline.

The Roger Ebert Legacy website has given this film a rating of 3.5 out of 5, showing mediocre reviews. Entertainment has panned the movie, saying, "ultimately an action movie with unbelievably goofy dialogues and horribly portrayed scenarios." While many have praised the casting of the movie, Saorise Ronan, movie actress, has personally opened up for her disgust for this movie and the production, "I have been a Fantastic Four fan since I was a child, not to mention my stupid crush on Thor and Iron Man! [giggles] However, since I apparently know too much about them [the FF], I can only say that the story of the reboot was weird. The cast could not surprisingly execute what was going to happen and what already happened and God, help me out here!"

Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a certified fresh rating of Cf-lg 73% and also has a critics consensus reading, "Exuberant, eye-popping, visually stunning, the latest of the Fantastic Four feels like a roller coaster ride although being too much overwhelming, toned down and out of the classic comic book genre." Three months after the first rating of the movie, Rotten Tomatoes has now withdrawn their rating, and has pitched it down to 68%, with the certified fresh label disappearing.

Metacritic has given this movie mediocre reviews, delivering 59/100, meaning neutral views. At the end, Metacritic settled for 57 rating out of 100.

Comic Book Movie has given this film a B- rating to a C+ rating to a finally, B- rating. StateGeek have given a solid rating of 70% to this movie, and also with an "Appetizzer" [consensus stylized in their own format] reading, "The latest installment of the Fantastic Four has punched in a submersive and a charismatic thrill throughout the entire film, but that is the reason nobody puts the lousy plot at fault at all, thanks to the excelling guideline of talented storyteller Drew Goddard."

Sequels

The rebooted Fantastic Four franchise determined a sequel if it went commercially successful and as it proved itself worthy in the box office and sufficiently well enough for critical resistance, Drew Goddard confirmed a sequel in late 2016, in his Twitter.

In January 4th, 2017, in a San Diego Comic Con Convention, the Fantastic Four cast returned, announcing information, the newest movie was titled Fantastic Four Doomsday, and was titled to be released in September 21st, 2018. The antagonist was going to be Victor Domashev who would spark his transformation as the evil and ruthless Doctor Doom. Additionally, Nathan Fillion was elected as producer of the film.

The sequel was released in September 27th, 2018, as a delay, and it got generally negative reviews, which resulted in the end of the rebooted franchise.

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