Fantastic Four (2015)
August 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
Okay, the first time I get to know Fantastic Four and seen their adventures is during the 90s where an animated series about them aired as part of Marvel Action Hour block along with Iron Man and Stan Lee’s intros. It was a fun show right down to Brian Austen Green giving us The Human Torch rap in one episode. Since then, I read their comics, see few of their movies and laughed at the team being satirized on recent season of Arrested Development. When it comes to Roger Corman’s low-budget unreleased take on the franchise, that movie is almost faithful to the source material. And say what you say about Tim Story-directed depiction of the team but at least effort has been made on those movies being similar to the comics.
And this year came a new interpretation of the team which many fans have issues with from the fact that The Human Torch is now an African-American to the movie heading to the same gritty realistic superhero reboot experience that already has been done with The Man of Steel and The Amazing Spider-Man and not in a good way. Even what goes on in the movie production draws concerns including after its release with Josh Trank tweeted (and deleted) about his version of the team being not what you see on the big screen. Heck, Marvel Comics themselves took a jab on this movie with an issue of The Punisher depicting three cast members getting killed off along with rumors on the company not making any more of their comics.
So what is different about this movie than the previous three? Well, let me spoil you the details. After being disqualified for their science experiment in high school, Reed Richards (Miles Teller) gained immediate notice from Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his adopted daughter Susan (Kate Mara) which leads his teleportation device to expanded with the help of Susan, her brother Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and Franklin’s old protegé Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell). As the experiment became successful, Franklin’s supervisor Harvey Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) suggests a group of astronauts to cross to another dimension in The Negative Zone (or in this movie’s case, Planet Zero) which disappoints Reed and the two so they decide to go there themselves along with Reed’s longtime best friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell).
The experiment was successful at first but after tapping into a liquid substance which caused… a Zeroquake if you will! Doom gets left behind and is presumed to be dead by the three and the others escaped with Susan helping out back home. And as they returned home, the three returned with their own powers (with an explosion that caused Susan to get her own at the same time). The government retrieved the four and send them to Area 57 to use them as their own super-soldier subjects which has Reed deciding to escape and become a fugitive.
A year has passed and Reed has been caught by soldiers and Ben. After Harvey asked Reed to restart the experiment, Reed relunctantly agrees and Harvey’s chosen subjects have gone to Planet Zero before returning with Doom being alive. Victor turns all-out evil by killing nearly everybody in the base and wants to go back to his new home while attempting to destroy his old one with his evil plans and the four unite to defeat Doom. It’s obvious they have won and the movie abruptly ends with Reed about to announce the team name.
If you think the movie was gonna be that bad before and after its release without seeing it, you are so absolutely correct because this reboot of Fantastic Four is quite possibly one of the worst superhero movies I have ever seen and keep that in mind that I’m a guy who don’t mind Howard The Duck, Iron Man 2 and even Batman and Robin has moments you can’t look away from. Okay, it is obvious that I’m not a fan of remakes/re-adaptations/reboots that has no heart and is considered dull and lifeless. Total Recall and RoboCop being those examples I brought up and Fantastic Four now falls into those. I even ask few of my friends at the comic store and they agree on this movie being suck big time so somebody ask this, how did Fox think this is their best idea?
First to the acting and they are all wasted big time on this. Miles might play the best impersonator of John Cusack but he is so not Mr Fantastic, Jamie doesn’t fit as The Thing (and any action hero overall since he didn’t do well in Jumper), Kate might look better than Jessica Alba as The Invisible Woman but even she looks bored for this and Michael B. Jordan would have played The Human Torch well but he is barely used for this. Oh, and Toby as Doom? What in the fuck was that? Toby, you might be a nice guy but you’re the worst actor to play the villain ever even with how your character looked.
Both Reg and Tim didn’t do much here and deserved much better than this. Now it’s understandable that this movie is more based upon the Ultimate imprint version of the team than the traditional Marvel take on the four but here’s the thing, I read Ultimate Fantastic Four when it was originally released and what Mark Millar did on the comic felt like a good contemporary take on Marvel’s first family. The origin fits and the tone is right since it read like a comic book before the shitstorm that is Ultimatum ruined the whole Ultimate Marvel franchise. This movie almost adapt that source material well but it’s ruined by few things at the same time.
For one, there’s basically a three-act structure that didn’t structured normally. The first being how Reed became a super-genius and meet the Storms starts off nice and the second which has them transformed into superhuman with a bit of Cronenbergian body horror is almost a bit okay but the third ultimately negate it big time when Doom re-enters the scene and since I mention Josh Trank’s controversial tweet earlier, I can see that third act being the cause of Fox executives fucking up the superhero genre with this and why not? They already fucked up Batman with Gotham and Lucifer with… well, Lucifer.
Back to the movie and really, not every superhero movie can be emulated to realistic gritty territory like Nolan’s The Dark Knight saga. The Fantastic Four was meant to be light-hearted, fun family of heroes exploring the impossibilities while saving the world and the movie took that part but throws away the “light-hearted and fun” out of it. Heck, the “family” part might as well be thrown out since the only time they can act like they are family oriented is the last few minutes of the movie. I can even say that the scenes with Susan Storm and The Thing is only in one scene in the first act and they didn’t meet again until after Doom’s return to Earth. What the fuck is with that?
Oh, and since I already brought up Fox meddling this movie, the movie promotion handled more worse given the trailers and a B-Roll footage has several scenes that’s not in the final product. I don’t know if they would be included on DVD and Blu-Ray release but dammit, this is a dumb cheap shot for making audiences check this out because they think the trailer might make the movie good. No, it’s not. And lastly, I read that one commented on this movie being this generation’s answer to Batman and Robin… Well, Doom saying “there is only Doom” might come off like Mr Freeze saying his puns but I don’t see this FF being a campy superhero movie, I see it as a boring, pathetic and unoriginal excuse for Fox to jumpstart their own Marvel universe and really, they already got X-Men so maybe they should just stick with that and not abuse other Marvel (and DC) properties that they currently own for movie and television rights. You know what? Fuck it, I should review Pixels instead of talking more about this awful movie so I’m done bitching about this movie.