Hi everyone, Bryan Here…
‘Fantastic Four‘ has always been a fun comic book. Ever since the early 60s, these four heroes have entertained us in each crime fighting, earth saving, and alien destroying issue. With Reed Richards, Johnny and Sue Storm, and Ben Grimm, there was nothing that these four couldn’t handle. One of my favorite story arcs was from the mid-2000’s where Ultimate Fantastic Four had to deal with zombies. It was an excellent storyline, one that I wish will be told on the big screen at some point. Speaking of the big screen, the Fantastic Four have never seen a good adaptation.
There was a movie in 1994 made by Roger Corman (king of the B-Movies), which was never released. It was only made to secure rights for a friend, and is stuff of pure cinema legend and sought out by cult film fanatics. If you’ve seen any YouTube clips of it, you know it’s terrible. Let’s fast forward to 2005, where the guy who made the ‘Barbershop‘ movies was given the opportunity to make a ‘Fantastic Four‘ movie. If you can recall it, you’d remember it was awful and that Jessica Alba was really the only memorable thing from the movies, or at least the most talked about. ‘Fantastic Four‘ is one of those Marvel properties that has yet to be turned over to Marvel itself, and is still owned by 20th Century Fox, which is unfortunate, because that studio still has no clue what it’s doing with this franchise.
That brings us up to date with 2015’s ‘Fantastic Four‘, which is a movie where nothing happens for 100 minutes. The studio hired Josh Trank to direct the film. Trank’s only other credit was the “found footage” superhero film ‘Chronicle‘ which had its good moments, but supposedly Trank is very difficult to work with, which is why he was booted off the upcoming ‘Star Wars‘ film. Whatever good ‘Chronicle‘ had going for it is non-existent here with ‘Fantastic Four’ and seems like it’s one long set up for something yet to come. Over 95% of the film takes place inside a science lab where we see Reed Richards (Miles Teller) , Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) building a teleportation device and typing fast on a computer rather than using any powers or participating in an action sequence of any kind.
Then there is Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who of course is Dr. Doom and is evil for really no real reason. Maybe he’s pissed because his name is Victor Von Doom. It’s never really explained. For a movie that is really 100 minute of an origin story that is supposed to run deep with character development, we really learned nothing about any of the characters at all other than that Sue loves to listen to her iPod, Reed can type fast on a computer, Johnny likes to race 90’s rice rockets, and that Grimm may or may not enjoy his new rock body. That is literally the character’s story arcs. Sure they come together and travel thru their teleportation device to another dimension after one of the monkeys from ‘Dawn of the Plant of the Apes‘ does, but that’s about it. It’s not until the final 45 seconds of the film where we see some fraction of a team forming.
I get that this is the start of something new and a big origin set up for future films, but there has to be something at stake here and some sort of conflict. Unfortunately, there isn’t, other than at the end of the movie, there is a small crater in a rural area.The only good moment of the film was seeing Dr. Doom show his sadistic and violent powers, but it was over way too quick and was met with some bad directing. Then there is a the issue of the script, which is just terrible. I’ve seen better dialogue the ‘Sharknado‘ films than I did here with ‘Fantastic Four‘. Most of the movie is just someone shouting what’s happening on screen and what they should do to fix it. It was cringe worthy, complete with Ben Grimm yelling his actions as he’s executing it in full on Thing mode. This is a shame too, because there are some very talented actors here who aren’t given anything good to work with. My advice is to wait a few more years until Fox gives up the rights to Marvel so that we get a real origin story to this great superhero team.
AVOID THIS MOVIE!
– Bryan Kluger