A Fantastical Flop: Fantastic 4 Film (Review)
Since the new feature film adaption of Marvel’s first family ended up being one of the most disappointing, and polarizing superhero film’s in recent memory, GWW has decided to round up a series of mini reviews for the film from our entertainment contributors compiled below.
During the films lackluster final climax between Mr. Fantastic (Miles Teller) and Dr. Doom (Toby Kebell), Reed Richards say’s: “I Hope this works”, I can’t help but think this is the same thing that Director: Josh Trank and Fox Studios thought when they released this film. Fox and Trank managed to take a property that should be rooted in family and exploration, and instead focused it on body horror and undefined character motivations. Knowing how talented of cast that Trank had on his hands with the likes of Teller, Jordan, and Mara, you can’t help but put a lot of the blame at the directors feet as we watch the fantastically talented cast meander into nothingness and green screen. Rarely do I fully blame a director for a complete flop, but considering that editor turned director: Josh Trank also helped Jermie Slater, and Simon Kindburg write the script it has become clearer that he is bigger threat to the future of the Fantastic 4 than Victor Von Doom could ever hope to be.
Review Score: 2.0 out of 10
Ask anyone who’s already seen the new Fantastic Four film by director Josh Trank, and they’d in all likelihood cringe at the mere utterance of its title. Ever since the initial trailer release, “Fant4stic” has been doomed from the start. (Pun clearly intended.) What’s sad about that is the best part of this film is its extremely talented cast. Saying it was a waste of their abilities for them to be a part of it is an understatement. The problems don’t stop there. It had dated looking CGI, a bland third act, Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom’s respective costumes* and film length.
“Fant4stic” never allowed itself to be what it should be: a superhero film. It felt as if Trank was afraid to play tug-of-war with the likes of Marvel, which he didn’t have to. His take could’ve done what it sets out to do by being a more hyper realistic version of the Fantastic Four. That’s the film’s most intriguing quality. It draws the (empty) audience in when it shows how horrifying it’d actually be to discover having the powers the Four have. And on the opposite side, the now infamous-yet-still-a-money-boon big government story thread. What else is new in the latter? But “Fant4stic” doesn’t have enough character development — poor writing — to feel endeared or to simply empathize with any of the four protagonists including Doom for it work as an overall film.
Is this the worst film ever made? Not by a long-shot. For 2015, and what its comparisons and hopes are? Oh, yes. Unfortunate because it’s not a bad. It’s just slogs it way through whatever plot there is and leaves with no pizzazz** whatsoever.
* Look at any of the film’s posters to see the Fantastic Four themselves. As for Doom…
** Shout out to GWW Games Editor Jeff “The Commish” Gordon. He’ll probably understand this footnote.
Review Score: 6.5 out of 10
There are two major problems with Fantastic Four. First, there is absolutely zero on-screen chemistry between this cast. It almost feels like they are bored with each other when they are on-screen. And maybe that is at least consistent, because I think most of us were bored, too. Michael B. Jordan is the best thing the film has going for it whenever he is on-screen. The scenes with the father are the only ones where I felt there was ever any connection between two characters. Jordan’s scenes with Kate Mara were also pretty good, but not sufficiently explored. There was a window to have something genuine develop between this film’s Reed and Johnny, but the film creators dropped that on the floor as well. A lot of this film is the introduction of a storyline that could have been interesting that then gets dropped on the floor and seemingly forgotten five minutes later.
And that brings us to the second major problem, and ultimately the one that undoes the film. The disjointed screenplay and poorly written script. The worst is Miles Teller’s pitch that they need to come up with a team name at the end of the film, and Jamie Bell’s response. It felt like a scene scripted from Saved by the Bell, and that is probably giving it too much credit. Doom’s motivations after his transformation seem to come out of nowhere. Before then, he cites some minor disagreement with government intervention, but his position is not even so much that I would call it angst. From there, he jumps the shark with wanting to destroy the world and all of humanity?!
The basic premise of FF is fine, even good in my opinion. And the overall plot was ok. I am also ok with the visual presentation. Kudos to the DP and cinematographer. Other than that, this movie is a disjointed blob of several ideas pulling in the wrong direction. It is a clear representation of wildly opposed creative and production differences that were never resolved. It’s unfortunate that Mara and Jordan will have this movie marring their rep. Here’s hoping that Creed pushes Jordan’s cache back to the fore.
Review Score: 5.0 out of 10
Keep an eye out for our spoilercast! Jonathan, Brad, and Agsasicles will be getting together to discuss this film and will be posting it for your listening and commuting pleasure!
Be sure to let us know your thoughts on the film in the comments below!