*Originally written August 6th, 2015*
I wanted to like, even enjoy this film, but sadly this is impossible. Fox's 2015 reboot of Marvel's first family is a failure on every level. This is not even a film, it's a random selection of scenes thrown into a blender and condensed into a criminally short run-time. It is very rare that you complain that a film is too short these days, the last time I can think I criticised for being too short was 2013's Kick-Ass 2.
There really is nothing of merit to discuss in this film. Even the special effects are poor, which made me wonder what the hell the $130 million budget went on? One scene which involved Reed using his stretch powers to manipulate his face looks like something from the 90's, even Terminator 2 looked better than this and that film came out in 1992.
I cannot believe that such a talented cast agreed to do this film. Miles Teller was just in the Oscar nominated Whiplash (Which is amazing), Kate Mara had a short stint in Netflix's House of Cards, Michael B Jordan was in the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station and Jamie Bell had a brief, but memorable appearance in the British indie masterpiece Filth. It astounded me that director Josh Trank managed to do absolutely nothing with these established actors.
Not a single character in the film is memorable. As bad as the 2005 film was, at least the characters actually had character and felt like a dysfunctional superhero family, here they do nothing with any of them. None of them have any sort of emotional bond or reason to like them. For a film about four people coming to terms with their powers, barely any time was spent with them learning to use their powers, there's even a jarring "One year later" after they receive the incident that gives them the powers.
After the year, The Thing has been turned into a government killing machine while Reed goes into hiding and Sue and Johnny Storm do nothing. It is such a strange choice to do this with the characters, the worst part is that they don't even show any of the action The Thing does with the military apart from some brief fleeting footage of surveillance videos. Which is another huge problem Fantastic Four has, for a superhero film, there is pretty much no action, apart from the final fight which was abysmal at best.
I don't want to hyperbole here, but Fantastic Four might have the worst comic-book film villain ever. Toby Kebbell's Victor Von Doom is terrible. I have never seen a bad guy this underdeveloped, it doesn't help that he doesn't show up till the last 20 minutes of the film, a moment in which the film turned from a film that was tonally messy as it was to a film where suddenly the villain is making innocent peoples heads blow up (With surprisingly violent blood splatter, really edgy for a PG-13/12A). He also decides he wants to destroy the world using black hole technology with no explanation of how he made it. On top of that, the Fantastic Four know exactly what is happening and what to do as soon as they see it, it makes no sense at all.
Fantastic Four is yet another severely unsuccessful attempt at launching this seemingly unfilmable series thanks to its stupidity, poor writing, painful special effects, underdeveloped story, script and characters. There is a sequel planned for 2017, there is no way that film will or should happen, please just give the franchise rights to Disney, at least they'll make a watchable film out of it.
Fantastic Four is out now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:
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