Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Faulty Dimension 'Fantastic Four' Fails to Measure Up to the Comic Superheroes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Faulty Dimension 'Fantastic Four' Fails to Measure Up to the Comic Superheroes

Article excerpt

Other than a limitless lust for cash by the studio that currently holds the license to Marvel's oldest superhero team, there's no reason for director Josh Trank's version of the Fantastic Four to exist.

Two failed attempts in 2005 and 2007 to put on the big screen the series Marvel once hyped as "the world's greatest comic magazine" - before it unceremoniously canceled the book late last year - should have been enough to convince those responsible for green lighting "Fantastic Four" to think again.

Precocious high school genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller) has been tearing at the fabric of interdimensional space-time in his Oyster Bay garage since he was a fifth-grader stealing component parts from the scrapyard owned by the family of his classmate Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell).

Reed's genius is noticed at a high school science fair by Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), a government-sponsored scientist who believes the young man's dream of teleportation is achievable with enough corporate and military backing.

Dr. Storm and his adopted daughter Sue (Kate Mara) scour science fairs recruiting folks like Reed to come work for the Baxter Institute, a high-tech company with close ties to the U.S. military.

Reed's equations provide a doorway to another dimension that Dr. Storm believes can be tapped for its unlimited supply of energy. He persuades a troubled former Baxter Institute employee, Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), to return to the project he had previously worked on for a decade and help Reed perfect the science of interdimensional teleportation.

Dr. Storm's borderline delinquent son Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) is also enlisted in the project because he is a whiz at building fast cars from scratch.

After Reed and Victor create a successful teleportation device, the military moves in and restricts their access, informing them that they won't be allowed to be the first humans to travel to another dimension.

A night of drinking with Victor and Johnny prompts Reed to call his old friend Ben to meet them at the Baxter Institute. The four men rig the teleportation machine to spirit them to another dimension so that the fame belongs to them, not to NASA or the military. Their night of drinking clearly killed their collective brain cells.

Of course, disaster ensues once they reach the other dimension. One of them is left behind, and the three that make it back to Earth are changed dramatically at the cellular level. So is Sue, who did not travel to the other side but who nonetheless was transformed by residual waves of energy that accompany the three back to Earth.

Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben are quarantined while scientists try to figure out why they have superhuman powers. Reed can stretch his limbs to impossible lengths. …

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