Fantastic Four

This is a movie that is much ado about nothing.

Fantastic FourAnt-Man was tolerable, while Fantastic Four is not. The one good thing about Summer coming to an end is that films based on Marvel comic book creations are ever so slowly disappearing from the big screen. For those of you who occasionally like to combine entertainment with thinking, let me simply say, “Thank God!”

Director Tim Story’s Fantastic Four is profoundly regrettable primarily because our four stars are not fantastic. It is a film that is nothing more than a large back story that fails to deliver any type of suspense.

This time last year Miles Teller was about to dominate the big screen with his unforgettable role as the young drummer in Whiplash, and he has to be shaking his head after wasting his considerable talents on this cinematic dud. The plot is uneven and is remarkably dull. It begins with Teller’s character appearing as a young inventor in grade school, and the movie impersonates a dim-witted theme from “Peter Pan” in that it never allows its principal characters to grow up.

In case you care, and you shouldn’t, Teller joins forces with four other young geniuses who devise capsules that can transport the occupant into another dimension. Repeatedly expressing their egotistical desire to become famous like the early astronauts, they follow-up a mission involving a chimp by sending themselves. It comes as no surprise when they are forced to leave one of their comrades behind, and the others return to find themselves transformed into humans with super powers. The problem is that these super powers just aren’t that super.

The gang that surrounds Mr. Teller ( Mr. Fantastic) is Kate Mara as the Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan as The Human Torch and Jamie Bell as The Thing. While they all have previously shown their ability to bring interest to the big screen, their talent in this regrettable movie is kept hidden. Let me simply say that our super heroes’ lost friend (Toby Kebbell) comes back as the villain known as Dr. Doom. You can guess who wins the battle at the end of the film, and I can only promise you that you will have to repeatedly suppress the desire to yawn.

As I watched this film, I was trying to imagine what possible audience could enjoy it. I started to think of the prisoners who have spent over a decade living in primitive conditions at Guantanamo Bay, and I thought that this film might be preferable to waterboarding in the attempt to make them talk. After all, who wants to be dulled to death?