Fantastic Four (2015) Review: A Film’s Journey To Find An Identity


(Without spoilers)

Often times the simplest things — those that have and will always work — are the most difficult to change.  There has been a lot of commotion around the 2015 Fantastic Four and it only came out this weekend.  The truth in the characters that make up the team (Reed Richards, Sue and Johnny Storm, Ben Grimm) is that they are extremely complex people that have spent most of their time with each other.  Their Super-Heroism is not necessarily derived from their powers as much as it is from their understanding of each other.  They are people with feelings and emotion as individuals and together they create their own family.

This current representation on film is a struggle to find the new Fantastic Four’s identity.  This group is a completely new set with contemporary perspective.  Not only that: they are also significantly younger than previous “Fours” have been.  This group is learning about each other as much as they are learning about themselves.  They are in their adolescence, as people but more importantly, in their relationships.

These are the kids that are misunderstood by their peers and their parents that have to learn on their own.  They don’t fit into the norm because they are drowned in statistics representing averages.  So support isn’t present in the same way it is with others; it doesn’t have the same effect.

The movie itself is childhood.  It is the difficulties against adulthood within the self as well as against adults.  In growing up one will make mistakes and do a lot of stupid things but being around people of similar calibers and issues helps recovery and progress.  The Fantastic Four — as a team — are not intended for individuality.  They do not create a whole story.  Not that they aren’t interesting on their own but they need each other to complete the entirety of the story.

Superhero stories should never be about “gods among men.”  These stories intend to showcase elevated powers battling opposition.  Or simply: a higher plane where ideals clash to create balance.  Uncle Ben in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man said it best: one does not fight as a preference but because of need.  And this Fantastic Four did that.  The movie creates a new field of battle as well as a maturity provided with self-teaching and internal struggle.  As young adults the world does not yet belong to you but it is your job to take control and eventually take possession from those that hold it now.

Fantastic Four‘s success comes in its final minutes.  All the foundation and learning built up from the rest of the movie changes hands and falls into those of Richards, Grimm, Storm, and Storm.  They accept everything that they were a part of and take control so that they can move forward with it as they see fit.  Their final interaction with each other borders on cliché but saves itself with cinematic realism and a common understanding among friends as a team of Super Heroes.

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