Friday, August 7, 2015

Fantastic Four (2015)

Three strikes and you're out. Hang it up, Fox, and give it back to Marvel. You clearly don't know how to make a good Fantastic Four movie. This might be one of the most disappointing superhero films ever. Even with lowered expectations, this reboot of Fantastic Four still managed to come up short. It's so bad that even Stan Lee didn't do a cameo. It makes the first two Fantastic Four films look halfway decent in comparison.

On paper it has a lot going for it. I was optimistic that Chronicle's Josh Trank was directing, but whether his vision was off (I heard he had limited knowledge of the source material) or the studio interfered, it's just so lifeless and dour. I heard they did massive reshoots due to all the backlash (like Dr. Doom being a blogger, not from Latervia, and named Domashev), but even with all the reshoots the tone is all wrong. It's not just the tone, but entire film lacks the color the Fantastic Four should have.

It also had a great cast. Unfortunately, they are all misused. While Miles Teller and Kate Mara are a step up from Ioan Gruffudd and Jessica Alba as Reed and Sue, they have zero chemistry together. They barely flirt and give you nothing to see how they'll eventually be husband and wife. Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan, while fine actors, don't compare to the fun that Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans had playing the same roles. There's no sense of family, and none of the bickering you'd expect. Everyone plays their role mopey or detached. Was anyone having fun at all?

We get yet another origin story. I like that it was grounded in science, but two thirds of the film (it's barely 100 minutes) is dedicated to showing the team working on computers, building stuff, and then eventually get their powers as if an afterthought. Oh, and how they handle Sue Storm will drive fans nuts. Once they get their powers, the story immediately jumps ahead a full year. Have they mastered them and are a successful team saving the world at this point? No, the government has stepped in and is training them as weapons, as if that trope hasn't been beaten to death. We only get one scene of them at the end working together. Doom is reintroduced as the bad guy and then resolved in like ten minutes. There's no threat or stakes at all.

Outside of The Thing (his look was probably the lone improvement over the original), the effects weren't all that impressive. The Human Torch looked okay, I suppose, but it's nothing you haven't seen before. Where this movie really failed was the look of Dr. Doom. He looked like a cross of that stupid computer monster in Superman 3 and someone on their way to a rave. It looks homemade, but I've seen better cosplay than this. His powers, origin and motivation are all off.

There's nothing about Fantastic Four that warrants seeing on the big screen. Any film that casts Chet Hanks in a role does not deserve to be seen. It's not a complete disaster, but it's still an overall failure. Save it for rental if you want to punish yourself. I don't actively root for films to bomb, but I really hope people don't go out and see this. Please don't encourage Fox to attempt this again.

1.5 (out of 5) Death Stars

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