Fantastic Four, 2015.
Directed by Josh Trank.
Starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, and Tim Blake Nelson.
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.
10 years ago Batman Begins introduced the term ‘reboot’ and became the shining example of how to introduce audiences to a character and their world. Since then, mainly due to Marvel, we’ve been spoilt with the overall quality of comic book films. A golden age you might say.
Fantastic Four is sad proof that the genre is still capable of creating a stinker. The troubled production has been well documented; just yesterday director Josh Trank had a tweet clearly aimed at supposedly meddling FOX execs hastily deleted. Reshoots were arranged, and the internet has been less than kind from the off.
Whatever may have happened though, visiting the cinema is not a cheap experience, and a film can’t be reviewed on what it might have been. Based on the final film, I can’t suggest that you spend your hard-earned money to watch Fantastic Four.
Riddled throughout with clichéd dialogue, the first half attempts to build things thoughtfully but completely fails in creating the relationships that will later be tested. Broad brush strokes give us no reason to invest in these future heroes.
No matter, as the second half throws what little story there was away, hell-bent on giving us a villain and a fight. It’s rushed, boring, and feels as though it was from a different film.
Infuriatingly there may be a better film buried in here somewhere. But like Ben Grimm it’s given no time to become anything more than awful dialogue and dull action. With the horrifying changes to their bodies and the threat of weaponisation this film could have made a real mark in ways that the Marvel films can’t.
Once the dust settles we’re left with the group in a new base, congratulating each other as they devise a name for their superhero team. Not only is it a horrifically contrived final scene, but it flat-out isn’t earned. This scene and FOX’s announcement of a sequel all comes off as incredibly cocky, as if audiences would just lap up anything that has a superhero in it. Sure, the hunger for comic books films is huge, and the business case is compelling.
You need to actually make a decent film first though.
A waste of acting talent, as well as two hours of my life, Fantastic Four is an immensely frustrating experience that amazingly fails to improve on previous incarnations.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★★
Listen to the Flickering Myth Podcast review of the movie using the player below:
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