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Seemingly trapped forever in cinematic mediocrity are the films based upon the Fantastic Four. This 2015 effort is the third attempt by 20th Century Fox at making these films a hit, and it is also the third time they have failed.

The first Fantastic Four film rolled into cinemas in 2005, with a sequel arriving in 2007, and both were relatively financially, if not critically, successful. Both films arrived at a time when the superhero cinematic landscape was changing and suffered for it.

Director Josh Trank has tried to do something a little different with his incarnation of the Fantastic Four. The first half hour builds character and friendships and attempts to move the film into more emotionally charged territory. Indeed that does work for a while, but just after the half hour mark, his film loses its way.

Trank has been open about the studio interfering here, but no matter where the blame lies, the rest of the film is an incredible mess. What starts as interesting soon descends into the sort of silly fluff that plagued the original films. And despite having a fine young cast, the development of each character is a monotonous journey with an all too familiar outcome.

2/5

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