This week we’ll take a look at the Josh Trank directed Fantastic Four, starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan. It is rated PG-13 for for sci-fi action violence and language.
Fantastic Four follows the story of a group of four young outsiders: Reed Richards (Teller), Sue Storm (Mara), Johnny Storm (Jordan) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), who are sent to an alternate universe, resulting in them gaining incredible powers. The team must learn to harness these new powers and save the Earth from an old friend turned enemy.
2 out of 10
Imagine this: you’re a big baseball fan, and your team is looking like good for the season. It has 4 star players, all of whom are proven and young. However, they go out there and have an absolutely destructive season. The manager makes all the wrong moves and the coaches hurt rather than help. In the end, everything is a failure. The players have solid seasons, but no one works together as a team, and damn, you have the worst season in baseball history.
This is what Fantastic Four felt like to me. They had four viable stars, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell. These are good actors! But then you go out there, and you have an awfully written script, horrible editing and a director who was being pushed as far away from the project as possible. That is a recipe for disaster. Fantastic Four is, quite frankly the most horrendous movie I’ve seen in a really long time.
The script was just terribly written, both with dialogue and general storytelling. The only laughs I really got were from laughing at how absurdly written the dialogue was. “I’m so putting this Instagram” was the line that ticked me off more than any other. Sorry Josh Trank, this is not Gossip Girl. And the story made absolutely no sense. Lets go through standard team superhero storylines:
Step 1. Something bad happens that unites the group together
Step 2. They fight the bad guy, get their butts kicked because they have no chemistry
Step 3. They go through a bad-ass training montage where they get their act together
Step 4. They beat the bad guy. The world has been saved!
Step 1 was half-assed, Step 2 didn’t happen, Step 3 didn’t happen, and Step 4 was very underwhelming. There was no chemistry between the four characters, who weren’t really characters at all. They had no personality. None of them developed as they went on. Man, Johnny and Sue didn’t even know Ben, but look at that, all of a sudden they’re fighting side by side. I can’t recall what this film did for an hour forty, because it didn’t develop characters or relationships.
And the graphics were pretty terrible as well. Johnny Storm looked pathetic, the Sue Storm forcefield thing was horrific, and the Thing brought back bad memories of Green Lantern in terms of crappy CGI. How does a movie made in 2015 with a budget over 100 million dollars produce such poor editing and effects. That is real feat of cinema.
I really feel terrible for the quarter of Teller, Jordan, Mara, and Bell. They weren’t even that bad! Teller was horribly cast though. Reed Richards should have been an older, more experienced scientist. Mara’s dialogue was probably written the worst, resulting in a one-dimensional, boring character. Johnny Storm’s character was probably the least true to the comics, as the womanizing hothead we know and love was completely absent. And Bell was heinously underused.
The last major crime this film committed was its short and anticlimactic climax. Doctor Doom appeared out of no where, randomly revealed his motivation— which made no sense, now that I think about it— opened up some black holes and then got beaten by the Fantastic Four within minutes. They had never fought together! Doom is a really strong character! That shouldn’t happen! That isn’t how it works! More exclamation points to express how stupid this movie is!!
The ending of this post will mirror the ending of this film. Abrupt and stupid.
3.5 out of 10
Fantastic Four is a zombie. A frankenstein crafted with all the foul tropes and cliches people have come to hate in the modern comic book movie landscape.
It’s bedazzled with wasted talent. It’s plagued with the symptoms of production hell. It’s choppy, it stumbles, and it’s plain awful.
Screw spoiler warnings. No more precious income shall be wasted on this film.
I’m going to jump right into it. If it were me making this film (adapting the Fantastic Four seems to be harder than curing cancer around Hollywood), here’s how I would’ve done it (just to prove that a 17 year old with no experience could’ve done this better). Sins of the actual film are in parentheses:
– They’re all actual adults, seasoned, veteran scientists (In the film, they have the dream team practically played by a bunch of twelve year olds).
– They’re all carefully handpicked and assembled (Not found while trolling Science Showcase as they are in this crapfest).
– Doom is not a shut in nerd, he’s an edgy manipulative badass (like Magneto) who tells it like it is. He’s cunning and clear cut. His motivation doesn’t just materialize in a few seconds. Seriously, Fox, it takes a lot of talent to screw up the character that inspired Darth Vader….
– The Four are assigned to be sent on the expedition (Yeah, they just kind of go for intergalactic spin drunkenly here) and then they get powers gradually (not in a lazy shopping list way).
– Doom is envious/afraid of their gifts and creates a suit with his own powers after he witnesses their potential in order to protect the earth after they misuse their abilities a few times.
– The team actually, y’know, has chemistry and talks. They argue about the extent of their powers, collaborate in action and relish the victories (All Fox cooked up for the whole Four here was one bickering scene).
– The team combats Doom, wins some, loses some and BUILDS UP to a final climax.
(The final fight in this one gains on you faster than a speed-addled cheetah).
– Some actual pacing might help too here (Dissolving through time skips is not pacing).
Bam. Better than that pathetic excuse for a film Fox puked up there. But I don’t really mean to punish them, their box office numbers are already doing that.