With the movie already being out for almost a week it’s hard to go into it without any pre-conceived notions. Most of us are aware of the atrocious review scores that this reboot is getting, so I’m going to give you a number to remember: 9%. That is the current rating of the movie after 169 reviews on the review aggressor Rotten Tomatoes. Now, we here at 4-One Gaming don’t like to go by scores and I’m going to tell you the movie is not that bad, but it has issues and not the good comic book kind. The Fantastic Four has a few merits, but is a messy movie full of problems and ultimately the drama that surrounds it is more interesting than the movie itself.
Before we muddle off into oblivion, let’s talk about the good things that are in this movie. We have an excellent cast in place. Miles Teller is actually a very strong pick for Reed Richards and Michael B. Jordan is a great actor in anything he’s a part of. I definitely think they nailed The Thing and I enjoyed Kate Mara as Sue Storm well enough too. Even Dr. Doom pre-accident is relatively a decent character. The first 30-40 minutes of the film are rather intriguing. You can tell that whatever the initial vision of the film was wasn’t what the final product turned out to be. It’s interesting to see the characters interact before they turn into the heroes that we know them as. Until this point and after the accident the film is relatively coherent and intriguing. Near the 50 minute mark is where things get messy.
Spoilers follow in the paragraphs below:
The reason they travel to another dimension or planet (it’s never clarified what it really is, there are just those two options) is out of a drunken fit of anger and spite. How the only sober one of them agrees to travel with them in this haze is beyond me. I like how they transformed and when they were on the planet/other dimension too. The horror that sets in when their bodies are morphed and the idea of the government trying to control them is an interesting premise. If only they would have shown us more. We see a few video feeds and glimpses of The Thing in action but nothing more than those brief moments. Also Reed Richards just escapes from captivity and is on the run for a year without ever contacting them. When he is brought in he’s welcomed with relatively open arms. What the hell?
Also let it be known that this movie has no second act. It has an incredibly long first act and then a final act and fizzes off at the end with a very concise confrontation with a shoehorned-in Dr. Doom. One of the most foreboding and imposing villains in the entire Marvel catalog is wasted with 10 menial minutes of screen time and also has a dreadful design. I’ll hand it to actor Toby Kebbell who we know as Koba from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He could have been a great Doom and I know he has passion for the character and does the voice well but he and Michael B. Jordan are deprived of screen time and it’s a damn shame because they’re two very talented actors.
I think to round out my series of complaints, the ending was rushed and Doom was dealt with far too fast. He made no impact on the movie and goes on an unmotivated killing spree that’s somewhat gruesome and hilarious. Also some special effects are just wonky, you’d think with a budget of 120 million dollars and little to no action (might I add NOTHING happens in this movie, it’s rather dull) that it would at least look impressive with the visuals. Well the Invisible Woman’s shield is downright laughable sometimes and the Human Torch’s eyes and mouth (while ignited) looks downright weird and unsettling. Reed also has an abstract scene where he appears as a Hispanic man only to shift his face back into the normal Caucasian Miles Teller face with some head scratching CGI. Finally the end gives us the team trying to give themselves a catchy name. It’s likely one of the most cringe-worthy scenes I’ve seen in years of film.
Spoilers are over; enjoy the rest of the review:
If you didn’t read the spoilers (I can’t go in depth to why the movie commits so many acts of film-crime without spoiling it) all I can say is that there’s a good set up in the first quarter of the movie and it’s just wasted. The pacing is dreadful and the tone is all over the place. It’s unfortunate because I see the original vision that the original Director (Josh Trank of Chronicle) had and it looked pretty promising. However, after much controversy including being on set drunk and high, making Kate Mara cry, and having multiple arguments with studio executives, much of the film was pieced together by three or four other directors and screenwriters. The result is a Neapolitan of mediocrity, something that had such promise was completely wasted.
Remember that 9% I had you remember? Well again not that this is a numerical review but for reference it is not a 9% in my book. It’s more along the lines of a 28% because that’s how much I enjoyed of it, 28% of the movie and that’s being nice. I love the cast and there are some moments I really enjoyed and was intrigued, but there’s no consistency and the end is dreadful. It would be best to forget or ignore Fantastic Four, but for the comic fans I actually recommend that if you’re a rebel like me then I would recommend it. Check out this experiment, sometimes it’s so bad it’s good, but it’s worth a look, otherwise I hate to say it but we’ll see this series get another reboot quite soon.