So… Today I went to the superhero film that everyone thought was going to be bad… And it was. At least some things remain consistent. It is no secret that August is a desolate waste land when it comes to movies. Like the barren ‘Post Oscar Season’ that is January, August is that month where the Summer Blockbusters that were not going to be any good go to die. One of the main reasons that I am reserving judgment on The Suicide Squad, but that is a story for this time next year. Back to the topic at hand. I knew, going into The Fantastic Four that it was going to be bad, I think everyone knew that this movie was going to be bad, it had all the warning signs of a poorly created Hollywood reboot and retooling. It featured dark tones, seemed needlessly realistic, and was just an all around poor film. I can tear this piece of shit apart for days… And I think I shall. Let’s tear into the terribly grim movie that is The Fantastic Four.
Even as a young kid, Reed Richards (Miles Teller) had a fascination with transporting matter through time and space. An interesting path to say the least. After being scolded by his teacher as a young kid and even as a teenager in a science fair when he and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) prove that they built a matter transfer device out of scrap parts from a fucking junkyard, Reed is recruited on a project by Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) to build the device on a grand scale. Dr. Storm also recruits his two kids, Sue Storm (Kate Mara) who is a nerdy quirky girl from Kosovo though she speaks with a perfect American accent and his son Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) who is a delinquent… But he is good with working with cars so I guess he can jump on this little project too.
Dr. Storm pitches his idea to a board that includes Dr. Harvey Nelson (Tim Blake Nelson), a scientist for the government who scoffs at the plan. He is even more irritated when he finds out that Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) is supposed to be on the project too. A man who has had a very shaky past with the organization. But of course Dr. Storm just loves those gosh darn kids so much, he wants to give him a second chance.
The group works on the project and is successfully able to create a gateway to another dimension. However, once it is successfully tested, Dr. Nelson says that they are going to get astronauts to go through the gateway, instead of them. This displeases the kids who wanted to go to the new planet. They completely forget that they may be too important to go to this new planet and more qualified people to travel to a strange, possibly life threatening planet would be preferrable to four of the smartest mother fuckers who just claimed the Nobel Prize in Science for the next 18 years. So they decide to get drunk off of a single flask of Alcohol X and decide to travel to the new dimension. This of course, backfires, and in the process they each gain super powers.
They are then taken to Area 57 where the Government intends to use them as weapons… Because of course they fucking do and after that, it is a rushed pile of stuff on top of one another as these people have to cope with their powers and eventually go back to other realm to find our villain, Dr. Doom alive, well, and really pissed off.
What I will say about this, at least the effects look decent. The look of the characters, the costumes, and the special effects were pretty spot on. With the exception of the damn CGI monkey that doesn’t look like a fucking monkey, never will look like a fucking monkey, and didn’t work in the fucking Planet of the Apes to look like a convincing monkey, so stop fucking using it. I am sure the thing isn’t supposed to be a monkey, but fuck you, I don’t care, and it still looks fake.
Besides that though, I can’t really fault the special effects for doing their job. Well done.
Poorly Paced, Written, and Acted
Oh boy, let’s just get them all out-of-the-way right fucking now! This is pretty shitty film across the board. Please, allow me to count the ways. This movie’s pacing is all over the fucking place. Unlike Ricki & The Flash that was disjointed, but still kept a consistent tone, this movies pacing goes from ole fashion Americana, to working in a lab on a project, to a fucking grim and dark Area 57 where they are being experimented on by the government, and then finally Victor Doom shows up and starts whole sale slaughtering everyone he comes across. These feel like three completely different movies slapped next to each other and then stitched together to make some sort of strange Frankenstein of a film. Not to mention, the film seems to be in the hurry to get to something. I am not really sure what, but there are rarely scenes that allows moments to happen. This movie seems to be on a fucking rocket sled of disjointed pacing!
The writing is just plain awful! Not only do they insert groaning scenes in which the characters reference the names of the characters with lines like ‘Ugh, stop being such a Doctor Doom’ and other crappy lines like that. But there are several moments that just don’t make any fucking sense or are just plain stupid. First off, I am so sick and tired of the government always trying to turn things into weapons. I understand that we, as a country, are a little crazy about the military and creating new weapons. But believe it or not, the military does not sit around looking at a toaster and wondering how it can be feasibly turned into a mobile nuclear weapon that can bite people to infect them with cancer. In the same way that they would not jump right on board with weaponizing these groups of teenagers, just give me a little creativity where they are taking care of them and have no intention of turning them into a weapon. Then you can have a strong conflict with The Thing and The Human Torch wanting to be weapons for the military and Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman trying to stop them! Instead we get the same ‘evil military wants to turn teenagers into weapons’.
There are entire scenes that don’t make sense. Apparently security just isn’t a thing in these sorts of facilities as these people can just walk in and turn on this project without anyone even attempting to stop them. They apparently get drunk off of a single flask of alcohol, but somehow show up completely sober during the actual mission. For reasons I will never understand, they spend a good thirty minutes of the movie looking for Reed Richards who escaped the facility and ran off to Panama. Why they had him runaway is nobody’s guess as the relationship between him, Ben, Sue, and Johnny is patched up really fucking quick. You could have just had him stick around and show the turmoil of Reed Richards helping the military. But no, instead we have to waste thirty minutes of the movie and burn a lot of character building that we could have had if it wasn’t for the fact that Reed Richards was in Panama.
Than we have Victor Doom’s only reason for fucking up the world is because ‘fuck humans, ruin humanity’. He also comes complete with a cape that has no reason to exist in this world since his suit and clothes were fused to him and since he lived on a lifeless rock for over a year with the only explanation that ‘Planet Zero’ allowed me to fucking live. In the comics, Dr. Doom had motivation, and did not want to hate fuck the entire world. In fact, he was the fucking dictator of Latveria for the longest time. He wanted to take over the world, yeah. But he definitely didn’t destroy it! Latveria also makes a brief appearance on a sheet of paper, but of course Victor has non accented American accent like Sue Storm. Because fuck it, I’m sure these actors weren’t paid enough to give a fuck about an accent.
Speaking of the actors, the acting is also absolutely terrible. Miles Teller is putting on his best Jon Cusack impression, Kate Mara is coming across as the teenage equivalent of Zoey Deschanel, and Johnny Storm is as wooden as Groot, a much better movie that you should watch before you watch The Fantastic Four.
You want to make a young adult movie? Fine, that is cool. Go right ahead! They typically aren’t for me, but I did like The Fault in Our Stars and I can at least give a pass to Divergent as being something that is just not for me. But you know what is not a ‘young adult’ premise… The Fantastic Four! I am cool with a different adaptation from the source material, I am not saying that you have to stick to the source material to the T. But The Fantastic Four is not a young adult premise, that isn’t its function. You can take a different take on Batman, but you still need to maintain that Bruce Wayne had parents who died which spurned him to become Batman.
The Fantastic Four is the story of a dysfunctional family. It is meant to be a group of family members who do not get along, quarrel with one another, but at the end of the day still love each other, and care for each other. By making this a young adult film of a bunch of kids who worked on a project and, for the most part, still get along with each other really well, you take away the substance that makes them The Fantastic Four.
This movie doesn’t feel like a Fantastic Four movie, it feels like 20th Century Fox wanted to make a young adult movie to compete with Divergent and The Hunger Games and used the Fantastic Four story to attempt to achieve their goals and hold onto those precious copyrights that Marvel Studios and Disney desperately want back.
The Tone Is All Wrong and is Surprisingly Brutal
Another thing that makes The Fantastic Four great is that it is a Marvel Comic. With that, it means that it is intended to be a rather light-hearted, quirky, and all around bright style of movie. It is supposed to be, for lack of a better term, comic book like in appearance.
The Fantastic Four is not Batman. It doesn’t fit into that mold. It just doesn’t work. Batman can be dark, brutal, and brooding. That is the point of Batman. Same goes for other DC friendly stories. They can get a little dark and dreary. The Fantastic Four is not a dark, dreary, and broody affair. It is meant to be loud, pretty, bombastic, and great! Instead we have four teenagers brooding like they are Bruce fucking Wayne and it just doesn’t make any fucking sense. It is absolutely terrible!
Not to mention, the last thing I was expecting were scenes where Victor Doom, because once again he isn’t a fucking doctor in this movie, starts offing people one by one by making their fucking heads explode! It gets surprisingly fucking gruesome after that as the death count sky rockets. I get it, he is a villain but even Doctor Doom wasn’t that bad in the comic books. This just doesn’t make any fucking sense on why this movie is needlessly dark and gruesome.
You know, what all of this boils down to is that 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. just do not understand how to make a superhero movie. They just do not understand it, they cannot wrap their head around the formula. For anyone who thinks that all superhero movies are the same, they really aren’t. They don’t even follow the same formula. Marvel Studios tends to, yes, but each of these companies has a different formula they roll with. The thing is, Marvel Studios finally figured out how to make a proper superhero movie and that is to keep the characters and the story true to the source material.
When you watch The Avengers or Ant-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, you are watching a comic book come to life. You are seeing the movie representation of Captain America, Star-Lord, Iron Man. Marvel Studios makes it work because they essentially take the comic book and transform it into a movie. 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. do not do that. Both companies are under the impression that you need to take the source material, these comic book movies, and create a new story that fits with a Hollywood movie. The characters tend to act different from the comic book counter parts. The Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds at the helm is a lot less of a brash but confident young Hal Jordan and a lot more of Ryan Reynolds playing Van Wilder playing Hal Jordan. Spider-Man at first worked because Tobey Maguire had that nerdy, scrawny kid mentality. But as the movies went on he went further and further off the rails. The reason Batman worked in Batman Begins and so forth is because they got him away from that Schumacher cartoony bat-nipples Batman and back into his broody form. However, that does not work for every character. It is the reason why Man of Steel was also shit. It is because they felt the need to change what it means to be Superman in order to give him more of a Hollywood friendly arc. The same thing goes for The Fantastic Four here.
That isn’t to say 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., and others haven’t been successful with various superhero movies. But the fact of the matter is that people will remember Iron Man, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers way before we remember the X-Men movies, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Green Lantern, The Fantastic Four and so forth. It is a very simple concept, bring the comic books to life. Marvel gives us Tony Stark, a charismatic and eccentric wise ass. They give us Captain America, a prudish, but good-hearted World War II vet who is now living in present day. They give us The Incredible Hulk, a caring introvert whose temper can become destructive. Do the same thing with the superheroes that you have the copyright to. You can make them into good movies if you just stop trying to repackage them into the package you want and give them to us in the package that they already came in. The Fantastic Four is no exception! Give us the quirky, dysfunctional, but still loving family, don’t give us a live action cartoon or a young adult remake that makes nods to the source material. Do that and you can finally stop living in Marvel Studios shadow.
I could write you a novel on why this movie is shit. It is absolutely terrible on every possible level. It is a bad reboot, it is a bad adaptation, the film making is bad, the pacing is bad, the writing is bad, the actors are terrible, most of them are miscast, and it is just a terrible young adult film that used The Fantastic Four rights in order to make it.
Due to the fact that the movie, AT LEAST, looks okay on a special effects level saves it from the 0/5 range, but only just by a margin. This movie is not worth your time and you need to stay as far away from it as possible, I don’t even recommend it as a movie that you cut up with your friends, it is just a forgettable, and terrible superhero movie that deserves its spot in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart.
Final Score 0.5/5
Thank you for reading. Now that I am done, I am going to go take a shower to wash the filth out of my eyes. Please like and subscribe for more from me.