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.
For a comic book property that has failed with film adaptations three times, one would think that the fourth time would surely be the charm for a franchise dubbed Fantastic Four. Unfortunately that’s just wishful thinking, because as expected, this third reboot for the series is yet another disaster.
The writing was on the wall with Fox only making the movie so that they could hold onto the film licensing rights for the superheroes (keeping them away from Marvel whom probably could do wonderful things with the villains for the Marvel Cinematic Universe), director Josh Trank apparently being a nightmare to cooperate with to the point where his efforts on this project got him kicked off of steering the ship for a spinoff film for Star Wars, the primary cast mentioning in interviews that they haven’t been screened the final cut, and Miles Teller admitting that the film probably won’t get good reviews.
Mr. Fantastic certainly hit the nail on the head with that prediction, but the question is just how bad is this iteration of Fantastic Four. The answer is very bad but nowhere near a catastrophe as something like Daredevil or the infamous Batman and Robin. Instead, Fantastic Four is just a bland film with almost no cohesion. This will make no sense unless you actually watch it, but for a 100 minute movie that consistently leaves you bored out of your mind, it’s actually surprising that the movie ends when it does because there is only one action scene in the entire film. You’re left utterly confused considering the script kills its villain mere moments after properly introducing him. Essentially, Fantastic Four is 80 minutes of exposition with 10 minutes of action and another 10 minutes of credits.
Director Josh Trank previously excelled at showcasing the effects earning supernatural abilities could have on the psyche of average citizens with Chronicle. and seemed like a good fit to add some emotional weight with these beloved characters coming to grips and understandings with their powers. Somehow though, even considering that the majority of the film is exposition, nothing happens and none of the four titular heroes gain any sense of identity. Most of the dialogue from the Fantastic Four simply consists of lame jokes.
Being boring is one thing, but once again Victor von Doom is butchered. Right from when he is introduced in his basement with a caveman beard doing… something with computers (it also looked like he was playing Assassin’s Creed), it’s off to a bad start and only continues to spiral south. His actual metallic suit looks absolutely ridiculous and cheap looking.
The special effects for Fantastic Four are terrible all-around, most notably featuring atrocious cinematography that doesn’t even attempt to hide when characters are standing is front of a green screen. Pretty much everything here (whether it’s the costume aesthetics or Reed’s limbs stretching) looks like a pre-rendered scene from a PlayStation 2 game.
The only real positive in all of this is the talented cast featuring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Toby Kebbell desperately trying to salvage this trainwreck of a script that offers no action or plot. Somehow by the end of this movie you still don’t feel that these characters have bonded as teammates to create a well-oiled machine of superheroes, which had to be the entire point of the freaking movie. The actors cannot be blamed though when there’s nothing remotely juicy to work with.
The troubled production is also evident with the awful pacing and editing, making for a movie that really doesn’t know what should happen. The final battle, which is also the only action sequence in the movie, is also laughably bad and insulting regarding everything from character motivations, to the special effects, to the fight itself.
Fantastic Four might not be the worst superhero film of all time, but it’s certainly the worst since comic book movies have become accepted as legitimate stimulating entertainment. Fox cobbled this movie together so they can hold onto some licensing rights, but in the end, will it really have been worth it? Time will tell, but truthfully this movie deserves to be a box office failure. It is incompetently made from every aspect of filmmaking thanks to a soulless production process.
You can’t even have fun watching the Deadpool trailer beforehand as it’s an incredibly lame censored green band version!
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook
Listen to the Flickering Myth Podcast review of the movie using the player below:
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