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What to know: Disappointing but first half is riveting.
Recommended age 10-18
100 minutes
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FANTASTIC FOUR (2015) cover image Click to play video trailer
This is a disappointing film that has a riveting first half but a rushed and forced second half. Four young minds create a machine that transports them into a alternate universe. Once they come back they have acquired unique powers that they need to control.

The first half looks quite promising. The pace, character development and story are very engaging. The darker direction they take with the story makes it enjoyable. My favorite scene is when the four discover their abilities. There is a sense of fear, tragedy and betrayal with the characters. It starts out as another successful origin story, then it feels as if the editors pressed the fast-foreword button once it starts to get interesting. The second half feels as if it is a long sneak peek for the next Fantastic Four film. It has a great head start but it left me wanting more in a negative way. There is enough four, but it lacks "fantastic."

The updated special effects are one of the redeeming qualities of this film. The presentation of each power is stunning. The impressive design of Ben Grimm/The Thing (Jamie Bell) and the fluent stretching effects of Mister Fantastic give this film an updated edge.

At first there is a connection among the characters; both with each other and the audience. The actors pull this off seamlessly and you are sincerely captivated with their goals and struggles. However, they suffer during the second half as all their hard work is painfully rushed.

My favorite character is Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic (Miles Teller). Richards is one of the people who help build the machine. He ends up getting the ability of an elastic body which means he can stretch any part of his anatomy. Miles Teller has been on a roll with his career and for good reasons. He's a talented actor who dives deeply into the characters he plays. This part is no exception.

The moral of the film, though a bit forced, reminds me of Abraham Lincoln's quote, "A house dived against itself cannot stand." The four heroes face Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) and attack him individually. Soon they realize, that together, they are stronger.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 10 through 18-year-olds. There's some dark material and language that younger audiences may not be able to handle. This film has some saving aspects but sadly, they do not recover the whole film. This film is in theaters August 7th

Keefer C. Blakeslee, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

In Marvel's latest reboot, Fantastic Four, they failed miserably in trying to create a flawless superhero movie. And, when I say that, know that the movie is downright disappointing.

The film commences by introducing the young genius Reed Richards going through trials and tribulations with his new teleportation device. No one seems to pay attention or truly care about his work until his soon-to-be best friend Ben Grimm comes along. Reed and Ben thrive together through their years to make someone notice their hard work and make a difference in the world--this is where Franklin Storm comes along and gives them a full ride to Baxter Building for their ingenuity.

In Baxter Building they gain some new co-workers; Victor Domashev, Sue Storm, and Johnny Storm, who all happen to be your ordinary geniuses, and together they figure out what interdimensional travel is all about.

I have so many things to say about this movie that I wish were good ones. For starters, it is so boring. Seriously, it is probably the lamest film Marvel has adapted. Contrary to the other movies, the graphics weren't even breathtaking. The one time we FINALLY change settings and enter a battle scene, it lasts two minutes. They made Doctor Doom seem so weak and vulnerable and also gave him some new powers in this movie which is truly unnecessary when the character is already a perfect villain. Last but certainly not least, the acting was extremely dull. I felt depressed just looking at these monotone, boring "heroes."

Overall, Fantastic Four was a huge letdown. As a die-hard Marvel fan, I was really upset that this movie was so rushed and discouraging considering the original film was pretty great.

Fantastic Four is rated PG-13 for its intense sci-fi action violence and some mature language. I give this film 2 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Marvel's Fantastic Four, fills itself with great action, in depth special effects, and a talented cast. This film held my interest and makes me want to see other Marvel films. It's definitely an exciting film.

After being teleported to a perilous and different universe, the physical form of four young adults, changes in dramatic ways. The four of them are left with the challenge of controlling their new found powers and saving the world from a former friend and colleague who becomes their enemy.

The special effects, clarity and attention to detail is outstanding and I really enjoyed watching it. There is a sense of togetherness that you feel from the four main characters throughout their journey. They are working together for a common goal. Even though I haven't seen most of the other Marvel films, I still understand what's going on and can easily follow along. I also enjoy the different abilities the four main characters possess. If I had to choose out of the four powers to be my favorite, I would definitely pick the ability to become invisible, because there is so much you could do with that. I'm sure it would be a lot of fun. Something that I didn't enjoy is the slowness in the first half of the film. I feel as though the beginning of Fantastic Four ought to be shortened down to the essentials and another part should have more action in it, making it closer to what I'm anticipating from watching the trailer. However, the length of the film is good where it's not too long for you to get bored and not too short where you would want more.

My favorite character would have to be Sue (Kate Mara). She exemplifies traits of intelligence, self-control, and kindness. Also, being the only girl in the group, I relate to her most. My favorite scene is really any scene that the characters are using their powers, because I love when people have special abilities and they show them to others.

A great message in this film is of course team work. Many people working together is much stronger that one person working alone. It also communicates a message of helping others and in doing so, it shows people that you are reliable and that they can trust you.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and anyone who loves Marvel films. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Fantastic Four is in theaters now, so please check it out. Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

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Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
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