Almost August…are you superhero’d out yet? I’m just about there, I think, after “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, “Mad Max: Fury Road”, “Terminator: Genisys”, “Ant-Man” and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” (I realize they’re not all officially superheroes…but just about!) assaulted our senses, in one way or another, for the past three months. But wait…we’re not done yet. It’s time to relaunch the “Fantastic Four” franchise! Yes, we’ve already been down this road with the 2005 hit “Fantastic Four”, along with its 2007 sequel, “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”. And they each performed relatively well at the box office, despite the fact that the majority of critics weren’t kind to the Tim Story-directed tandem. I believe it’s safe to say, that the pair is largely forgotten now, after the Marvel Universe really took flight after 2008’s “Iron Man”. Probably the biggest curiosity with last decade’s “FF” would be experiencing a pre-Captain America Chris Evans as the Human Torch. But is there any good reason to jump on with this reboot?
There just might be. For one thing, the new “Fantastic Four” has a very interesting cast, with Miles “Whiplash” Teller as Mr. Fantastic, Michael B. Jordan (star of the upcoming “Rocky” reboot in “Creed”), Jamie “Billy Elliot” Bell as Ben Grimm / The Thing, and Rooney Mara’s sister Kate, as The Invisible Woman. Pretty good group, right? However, the biggest reason to get excited about “Fantastic Four” is director Josh Trank, who supplied us with the ersatz superhero entry, “Chronicle”, in 2012. That was a low-budget little corker, with a high-octane charge. Michael B. Jordan was one of its stars, as was the versatile Dane DeHaan, of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”. If you haven’t yet visited “Chronicle”, I highly recommend that you do. It’s a dark and terrific actioner, shot found-footage style–with some of the most impressive flying shots you’ve ever seen. Give it a try. So, maybe Josh Trank is just the right kind of director, for launching “Fantastic Four” into a successful new franchise. The world will find out, when it explodes in theaters on August 7th.