While an obvious improvement over the infamous 1994 version, this take on the story of the 'Fantastic Four' just isn't all that fantastic.This movie is a suitable summer superhero flick, but after the recent and truly fantastic Batman, Spider-Man, and X-Men offerings, FF comes off as a merely adequate film that would have been more satisfying prior to the year 2000, before the bar had been raised.
Each actor brings just enough life into each role and not an ounce more. There's more personality retread than human exposition, and character development is left to a loop of traits. Johnny Storm/The Human Torch is a cocky thrillseeker and impatient daredevil, Ben Grimm/The Thing is grumpy over Johnny's antics and his physical transformation, and Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic is a hopeless nerd who keeps snuffing the flame between himself and Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman. Together, the Fantastic Four face off against Dr. Victor Von Doom, a power-hungry millionaire with convenient menace. Don't worry about short-term memory loss; the film doesn't miss an opportunity to remind the audience how one-note each character.
The story also has a tendancy to remain as flat as its characters. After a bridge accident that quickly and conveniently escalates in order to give each of the Four a chance to showcase their talents, the plot meanders around with the group dynamic before climaxing in a showdown with Von Doom that once again provides the opportunity for each hero to shine once more. Thankfully, the plot keeps moving and the effects don't flounder too much, but director Tim Story (Barbershop, Taxi) brings nothing special to the film, no depth, no attitude, no edge to bring it above any other comic-book movie.How a movie, comic-book or otherwise, can be so exceptionally mediocre is beyond me. If the inevitable sequel turns out to be either kick-ass or acceptably campy, it'll be an improvement over 'Fantastic Four.'