Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fantastic Four

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! How long before we hear from Fox that the sequel was canceled?



Fantastic Four – 2 out of 5

I bet you thought this was going to be another perfect score but for the first time in a long while, I’m not giving a comic book film a 5 out of 5 because this reboot of Fantastic Four is just abysmal.  I tried to keep an open mind and was genuinely interested to see this new vision from Chronicle director Josh Trank but the film just ended up being an excuse for Fox to make a piece of garbage so they don’t lose the rights to Marvel Studios—the place that Marvel’s first family belongs and would treat them right.

                                                                                                           20th Century FoxIf Scientology got their own mainstream music genre like the Christians do, I would assume
this is how their cover of one of their albums would look like.

                          **Warning:  This review may contain some mild spoilers**

Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is incredibly intelligent and he and his friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) figured out how to successful transfer material to another dimension.
  This is noticed by Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathy) and he is brought in to help with their own teleportation program.  Alongside Dr. Storm’s daughter Sue (Kate Mara), his reckless hot-head of a son Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and troublemaker Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) they being to work on getting the device working.  After successfully getting the device to work on organic material, Reed, Victor, and Johnny decide to go rogue and try going on the journey themselves and Reed brings along Ben.  Once they hit the Negative Zone this new location called Planet Zero, chaos occurs and they lose Victor and return to Earth after being bombarded by an unknown power.  This energy leaves them with new abilities they must try and control before they return to the new dimension…only problem is they soon learn that Victor is still alive and is overflowing with power and wants to destroy the Earth.  Now the four must come together to save the world and stop the newly christened Doctor Doom.

                                                                                                           20th Century Fox
The ladies find Michael B. Jordan hot and in this one he's so hot he's--
Eh, I won't finish that terrible joke.

This version is loosely based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics that came out and probably could have equaled a breath of fresh air to the heroes but it was painfully clear that Fox had no faith in the product and only produced this film in order to keep the rights from going back to Marvel.  Changes to the source material are expected when bringing something to the big screen and the mass audiences but you also need to have the basic essence of the material and this film just didn’t have that.  These characters are the Fantastic Four pretty much in name only.  Yes, The Thing is all rocky and stuff but he never feels like the Ever Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing.  The Human Torch is kind of a hothead but his daddy issues overpower that.  Reed sorta feels like Mr. Fantastic and Sue is too bland to really be anybody.  And then there’s Doctor Doom…

                                                                                                          20th Century FoxDoom's mouth part borrowed from a Cylon.

Victor Von Doom is not a hard character to get wrong.  He’s super smart, can create amazing weapons, he’s power hungry and he likes to dabble in magic.  That’s it and yet, Fox has now managed to eff him up twice.  Granted, Toby Kebbell is actually playing the character very well—BEFORE he turns into Doom.  Like all the other characters, there was a flicker of what makes Victor Von Doom Victor Von Doom but once the transformation takes place and he’s in his absolutely ridiculous new design and is given ridiculously powerful abilities, it became absolutely impossible to take the character seriously because what you were seeing wasn’t Doctor Doom but some silly looking bad guy that has no real arc going for him.  Additionally, he is absent for a long portion of the film so he’s never developed well and his threat level is introduced and resolved in less than 15 minutes.

                                                                                                           20th Century Fox
The best part of Mr. Fantastic's powers is never having to get out of bed to pee.

Which brings me to the next issue…this film is boring.  The film is so preoccupied with making itself gritty (they even decided to make the origin of The Thing’s catchphrase to be something his brother yells at him before beating him up) that they ignore making the film both interesting and entertaining.  Man of Steel is gritty but it doesn’t do so at the expense of action and it certainly didn’t do so at the expense of the character’s main attributes.  Superman was still the Boy Scout trying to do right—not like in this film where every character is a ghost of who they should be.

                                                                                                           20th Century Fox
Poor Tim Blake Nelson...you'll never be The Leader in the MCU and now you
won't be the Mole Man in this Marvel product either.

Fantastic Four also lacks subtlety, BIG TIME.  Director Josh Trank really wants you to understand that the film is all about family.  That makes sense because Reed and the gang have always been labeled Marvel’s first family.  However, making sure that the world “family” and ensuring that Franklin Richards only refers to everyone as “his children” every five minutes is a little much and equals the point being driven home like it is a small framing nail being pounded in by an armored truck driving it directly into a concrete wall.  It gets so ridiculous that it started to feel like a joke.

                                                                                                            20th Century Fox
"My children, there is no 'I' in 'family.'  Also, family family family.
Son, do you hear what I am familying about family?"

Visually, the film has its moments where it looks great and the film does prove to have some elements that are decent.  Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller and Reg E. Cathy are all giving great performances (take that people who bitched about having a black Human Torch.  There were real things for you to complain about instead with this film).  The special effects on The Thing look great and Jamie Bell’s soft voice really created a nice antithesis to the monstrous hero.  Finally, despite lacking action, there is a decent fight scene between the team and Doctor Doom but these bits can’t cover up that the film is lazy and boring—especially since that fight scene is only 3 minutes long and is really the only action sequence in the film.

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
This action scene was so good...just act like there's a Weeping Angel on the
screen and don't blink.

Finally, whoever made the decision to make The Thing naked should never be allowed to make a decision in their lives, let alone in the world of film, again.  Sure, mass audiences might not mind it but there’s always been an unanswered mystery in the world of comics and that question is whether or not Ben Grimm still had genitals.  That question has been answered and, honestly, it shouldn’t have because it just looks freaking weird.  

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
The mystery we never actually wanted solved:  The Thing has no dick.

Overall, Fantastic Four is a major disappointment that has only a few aspects working in its favor—but that’s the result you’re going to get when you have a production company making a film for no other reason than to hold on to the rights and hiring a problematic director who is quickly establishing himself as difficult to work with.  The film never really establishes an overall conflict and the bit it does bring in is eliminated and solved in minutes.  The film didn’t turn to the source material for the inspiration it needed and too many of the characters lack depth (making them sad doesn’t make them dynamic).  In the end, this film is just one long First Act that skips its Second Act and gives its Third Act only moments to arrive and be resolved.  This film actually makes the first two that came out better by comparison.  The only saving grace this film has is that it’s almost assured the rights of the FF are going to go back to Marvel Studios and image how awesome it will be to see Galactus enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

2 comments:

  1. Nice review =) Question is,....where on the "worst marvel films" list will this production go? IMDB says its lower than the Nic Cage crazy Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) and the forgotten Sci-fi throwaway Man-Thing (2005) lol

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    1. It's much lower than the second Ghost Rider. At least that one was so insane it was mildly entertaining. This one was just boring and it was clear that Fox didn't care. It's like the old made-for-TV movie pilots Marvel did back in the day.

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