Sunday, May 20, 2018
Things To Do

Review: Nothing fantastic about 'Fantastic Four'

Someone at Marvel needs to rethink the company's policy on using adjectives. There is nothing fantastic about Fantastic Four, the same way Spider-Man hasn't been amazing lately, and Hulk barely incredible.

Fantastic Four, however, has a unique strategy to milk fanboy debit cards: 90 minutes of YA pseudo-science and hardly any action, setting up a sequel that isn't likely to occur. It is undoubtably the dullest Marvel superhero movie in the post-Iron Man era, both in adventure and creative design. Nothing much happens, and it's ugly when it does.

A movie is beyond repair when the best it can offer as an alternate dimension looks like the worst golf course in the galaxy.

Josh Trank's reboot of Marvel's first superhero bunch is younger than the previous incarnation a decade ago. Which means several promising careers are put on hold while young actors who'll wise up strike force-field poses, grimacing at green screen meanies that aren't there.

Sooner or later this happens to all rising stars, so perhaps its best that Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara get it out of the way now.

Teller, a former Lecanto resident, takes the lead as Reed Richards, a brainiac experimenting with teleportation since grade school science fairs. Bell plays his best friend and parts supplier, Ben Grimm. Their work attracts the attention of Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), who's so top secret he works at Area 57. That's six more than the place where aliens are stored.

Storm wants Reed and eventually Ben to merge research with his street racer son, Johnny (Jordan), and adopted daughter, Sue (Mara), both brilliant, of course.

Even a temporary fifth member doesn't make this group fantastic. Toby Kebbell is the archly named Victor Von Doom, whose crush on Sue and jealousy of Reed's research will eventually lead to that other dimension, and a plot to vacuum all of Earth through a wormhole. Apparently there's a lot of closet space in alternate dimensions.

An earlier trip through the Quantum Gate leads to Victor taking a cosmic acid bath and the rest being bombarded with whatzit rays, giving everyone super powers. Johnny gets the coolest, flaming on and flying. Sue becomes invisible and makes travel bubbles for everyone else. Reed becomes elastic (although the talent isn't used much), and Ben is a walking rockpile.

Trank's movie spends most of its time debating whether these newfound powers will be used as weapons or for mankind's benefit. Squarely on the weapons side is Dr. Allen (Tim Blake Nelson, madly chewing gum to bring some sort of energy to this movie).

Fantastic Four is so mediocre that its title seems like a violation of truth in advertising laws. And if anyone walks away completely satisfied, it's truly a Marvel.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

 
Comments
Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra wraps up its final masterworks concert of the season with a masterfully complex Johannes Brahms piano concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s warmly accessible Symphony No. 6, commonly known as the "Pastoral."Friday’s sold-o...
Published: 05/19/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of May 21-27.

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of May 21-27.

Kendrick Lamar: The Pulitzer Prize-winning hip-hop powerhouse leads The Championship Tour on Tuesday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, with fellow hit makers including SZA and Schoolboy Q. $35-$125. amphitheatretampa.com.Tampa Ba...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Sunday

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Sunday

Our editors' picks for events on May 20.
Published: 05/20/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 20

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 20

Florida Orchestra Masterworks: In the season finale, the orchestra performs Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, under the direction of Michael Francis and accompanied by pianist Javier Perianes. 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Cle...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/20/18
St. Pete artist holding funeral for 600 block's vanished art galleries on Sunday

St. Pete artist holding funeral for 600 block's vanished art galleries on Sunday

If you're out in downtown on Sunday, this is what's going on.
Published: 05/18/18
St. Pete artist holding funeral for 600 block’s vanished art galleries on Sunday

St. Pete artist holding funeral for 600 block’s vanished art galleries on Sunday

Local artist Boo Ehrsam remembers seeing the photo in the news years ago. "It was this dark, empty street, and an egret flying away," she said. "The caption read, ‘Will the last one to leave St. Pete please turn out the lights.’ " That ...
Published: 05/18/18
The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff

The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff

om Wolfe’s best writing lifted real people into legend: car designers and astronauts and disciples of LSD. With that writing, Wolfe lifted himself into legend as well.The author of 16 books, including such bestsellers as The Right Stuff and The Bonfi...
Published: 05/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Saturday

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Saturday

Our editors' picks for events on May 19.
Published: 05/18/18
Have your favorite shows been canceled? Here’s a breakdown by network

Have your favorite shows been canceled? Here’s a breakdown by network

Last week brought the up-front presentations, when broadcast networks show off their new fall series to advertisers and, less ceremoniously, dump dozens of others.This year the bloodletting included beloved sitcoms and high-concept dramas, and the ne...
Published: 05/18/18
Walt’s Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

Walt’s Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

A Sarasota seafood fixture is celebrating its 100th anniversary.Walt’s Fish Market, Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 4144 S Tamiami Trail, will host a party at noon on Sunday complete with a mechanical shark, live music, live auctions, silent auctions, an al...
Published: 05/18/18