Overview: Josh Trank tries to make another feature film based on the original Marvel superhero team, but struggles like all of those that have come before. 20th Century Fox; 2015; Rated PG-13; 100 minutes.
Doomed from the Start: I’m of the firm belief that there aren’t too many superhero movies. The argument is just as valid with any other genre, and God forbid we even mention how similar every Oscar nominated biopic is every fucking year, but the genre is settling into a nice little groove between crowd-pleasing and delivering worthy entertainment. That being said, there are a few of these movies that continue defecating on any defense I’m able to muster for the genre. A few years ago we had Green Lantern, last year we had The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and this year we have Fantastic Four. Long story short: It’s a godforsaken tragedy. We all know about drama behind the production of this movie. Whatever and whoever is to blame, we can only discuss the merit of what was shown to us here and now. It isn’t pretty. Nothing in this damn movie functions properly. Things start off innocently enough with some light, if dull, exposition about Reed Richards and his friendship with Ben Grimm. Then there’s some more exposition about the characters and plot elements tying together into some parallel dimension mumbo-jumbo with discussions of potential thematic components that never go anywhere. Haphazard editing renders any attempt at trying to conceive of a coherent picture out of this is folly for audiences everywhere.
The Four: The fantastic team of super scientists actually have good actors behind their weak characterizations which are brutally underutilized. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Bell, Kate Mara, and Toby Kebbell are all fine. But there’s nothing for them to do beyond a discussion of potential narrative exposition that never occurs in this film. The baseline characterizations of the four are in line with vague iterations of their comic-book counterparts with a darker twist, and while new interpretations of classic characters are welcome so long as the central idea of the titular characters is present, it’s odd that the first two acts of Trank’s film are at least attempting a move in a new direction, albeit one that seems at war with itself. Then the final act plunges into what may be the most disastrous climax in superhero movie history.
Fant-Four-Suck: Seeing as how the Fant-Four-Stick haven’t had a good movie in the history of ever, I’m almost tempted to grade this movie on a curve. I won’t, but even if I did this would still somehow be worse than the others. Nothing in this damn movie works. Maybe there’s a secretly good cut of the movie locked away in a vault somewhere before reshoots had their way. It’s a damn nightmare to behold, and one of the worst superhero movies ever, and adds another layer of blight to the supposed tsunami of comic-book movies. Beyond the realm of possibility and logical thought, the unreleased Roger Corman movie might be the best version of the superhero team onscreen.
Overall: Creating a movie requires collaboration of the utmost degree. There are thousands of moving pieces working in tandem to form a mosaic of this magnitude, so apologies to everyone involved in this disaster. You all deserved better than this.