It's been ten years, so Marvel Comics has decided that it's time for another reboot of this popular series. This time it's called a "re-imagining," so we leave everything we knew and approach this with an open mind although we recognize some familiar landmarks. We learn what event caused our team to be invested with their unusual skills.
Life on Earth as we know it, is at risk and who better to save us? We see a high-echelon group of powers-that-be sit down to assess cost versus benefit, when a professor offers a group of his high-achieving students as our next best hope to develop inter-dimensional travel and as a result, find new energy sources (don't ask!).
- * Reg E. Cathey ("House of Cards") is Dr. Franklin Storm, who is convinced his brilliant students can solve this sticky problem.
- * Toby Kebbell ("Down of the Planet of the Apes") Victor von Doom/Doctor Doom is his disenchanted former student whom we first meet in self-imposed exile. He had been thisclose to solving the problem. One condition of his return, he does NOT want to wear a lab coat!
- * Michael B. Jordan ("Fruitvale Station") Johnny Storm/The Human Torch is his son who is lured onto the team with an offer of a new car (he wrecked his father's). He is defiant but has his own skill set.
- * Kate Mara ("House of Cards") Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman is a charter member of this invincible quartet. She is Dr. Storm's adopted daughter from Ukraine.
- * Miles Teller ("Divergent") Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic brings a prodigy's unusual abilities to the table. He wants their team to beat NASA to the punch and travel in their invention before Government take over.
- * Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot" 2000 and "Defiance" 2008) Our friend Ben Grimm/The Thing has kept his old job at the wrecking yard, but answers our hero's call for adventure.
- * Tim Blake Nelson ("Child of God") as soon as we see Dr. Allen's smarmy smile, we peg him for a double-crossing villain, although HE certainly doesn't see things that way. He just sees a scared cadre of kids who can be very valuable to the government.
Any shortcomings in this production I lay at the feet of writer/director Josh Trank. This is his first outing and will no doubt improve. I have seen these cast members in more demanding roles and they are highly capable. This is PG-13, so expect lots of blowie uppie stuff, unusual fisticuffs and Computer Generated Imaging, some mild profanity and no sweaty bodies. Have I left anything out?
In our screening audience, fans of Sci-Fi and CGI left the theater happy.