So I watched Fantastic Four…
I love watching movies. The cinema is hallowed ground for me – it’s my happy place. Watching movies, bad or good, makes me happy; so I find it extremely hurtful when a movie takes that joy away from me. I didn’t walk into this movie with high expectations – the trailers hadn’t excited me but, even though the internet was going crazy with scathing reviews, I still walked in with an open mind. Trailers can be misleading, the internet can be quick to judge and every movie deserves a chance. The only ‘fantastic’ thing about this movie was how much joy it managed to steal from me.
Okay, basic plot: Reed Richards (MIles Teller) is a wunderkind who is obsessed with building a machine that can teleport matter. Reed’s work garners interest from Franklin Storm, director of The Baxter Foundation – a research institute for talented prodigies. With the help of Storm’s daughter, Susan, and Victor Von Doom, Reed manages to build a machine capable of inter-dimensional travel. Reed and his team travel to an alternate dimension that alters their body chemistry, giving them strange and wonderful abilities. They must now use these powers to save the world from impending Doom.
Let me start with what I liked about this movie: The Thing looked much better than I thought he would. I was a little bit concerned about the filmmakers choosing to create him using entirely CGI but he actually looked better than I expected. Another thing that I liked was…um…oh yeah, that’s right, NOTHING. This movie has no other redeeming qualities. Writing this review is painful because I now have to re-live it in order to review it.
Let’s start with the “acting”. I really like Miles Teller, I think he’s a young actor with a lot of potential which he’s shown in movies like Whiplash and 21 & over. He has a bright future ahead of him and I wish him all the best, which makes the half-ass, poorly constructed acting he does in this movie such a pain. All the actors in this movie (with the exception of Reg E. Cathey) are terrible. The acting is stale, cliched, lacking drive, rhythm and any sense of purpose. Michael B. Jordon who’s playing the arrogant, charasmatic Johnny Storm; has the charm and charisma of a dead turtle. His line delivery is flat and he doesn’t bring anything to the character. But then again, none of these actors bring anything to their characters. Kate Mara looks like she’s disinterested in the movie from start to finish and Jamie Bell…well Jamie Bell spends the majority of his time as a CGI rock monster so I can’t really comment on his acting.
This movie wastes Toby Kebbell and it’s such a shame. Kebbell showed that he can play a likeable, complex villain in Dawn of The Planet of The Apes; he showed he can play a brooding shell of a man in Rock N Rolla and I think these were all qualities this movie’s version of Doctor Doom was supposed to have but Kebbell doesn’t incorporate any of this into his portrayal. I know Marvel has a track record of poor villains but this version of Doctor Doom is horrible, even by their standards. He’s literally evil because his last name is Doom. There’s zero character development. Another problem I had with this movie’s version of Doctor Doom was the way he looked. He reminded me a lot of Edward Cullen from Twilight – sparkly and not intimidating at all.
Which brings me to my next problem with this movie – the writing is atrocious. You know what’s better than telling me that people are friends? Showing me that people are friends. Write lines and scenes that convey the rapport that friends would have. Not only does this movie have no character development it also offers no insight into any of the characters. I feel like I don’t have a sense of who or what any of the characters are. I grew up watching Fantastic Four cartoons and I actually liked the first two movies – sure they were a bit childish but they managed to get the spirit of the characters right. The thing that distinguishes The Fantastic Four from other superhero teams is that they’re a family. They all have a bond outside of their powers and superhero identities. This bond was completely missing from this movie. Reed and Ben Grimm who are supposed to be best friends feel like strangers. The entire group feels disjointed and there’s no sense of family at all.
Director, Josh Trank completely misses the tone and style that were necessary in this film – it doesn’t feel like a superhero movie. It’s overly dark and there’s just no fun in this movie. I remember halfway into this movie thinking, “when’s this movie going to begin?”. It takes ages for them to get their powers and when they do get them, it takes another age for them to use them. This movie takes itself too seriously and doesn’t embrace its true nature. Because the family element is completely missing in this movie, it doesn’t feel like the characters care about each other and, therefore, you don’t care about them either.
Overall, this movie is garbage. The acting is poor, the writing lazy and the pacing completely out of rhythm. There’s no fun to be had in this movie and it’s shame because of the quality of the cast. I wouldn’t recommend seeing it now or ever. 2/10
But if you do insist on seeing it, there aren’t any credits scene so you can leave as soon as the movie ends or your patience runs out.