The superhero genre has taken over the box office, and plenty of wonderful films are being given to us every year. Unfortunately, Fantastic Four is not one of those films. Josh Trank, the director, told us in January that the reboot would be taking a "hard Sci-Fi" approach and wouldn't be a superhero movie becuase he "grew on genre films before superhero was a genre." If you look at the movie from a science fiction stand point, then Fantastic Four is a decent film, but in no way, shape, or form is it a good superhero film. Many things worked well in the movie, but even more didn't work at all and left the audience disappointed. I've always been taught that if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. However, if I did that this review would be very, very short.
Let's start with the things the film actually did right. Although there's not much here, the good things were all great things that made the film much better.
The human torch was easily one of the best things about the film. His Human Torch form looked exactly as it does in the Ultimate Comics, which is the Marve Universe much of the film takes inspiration. Micheal B. Jordan brought a lot of much needed charisma, some witty remarks, and life to the other wise lifeless lot of characters. Johnny Storm is one of the few characters that the audience actually cared about and wanted to see more of.
His introduction. Johnny is introduced in a cool race scene that showcases his cockiness and then subsequently his relationship with his father.
The special effects through out the film were visually stunning. The way the human torch looked, Sue Storm's invisibly and force fields, the life likeness of the Thing, and the beautiful landscape of Planet Zero are all great examples of how well the special effects team did.
The final (and only) battle. This scene showcases everything that the special effects team did right. The way they transformed formed the dimensional portal was amazing, it looked beautiful and as if pulled directly from the pages of the comic books. Sue's shield and her force field were showcased, as well as the Human Torch, the Thing, and Mr. Fantastic. Doom's powers and the way they were shown visually are another plus for the film.
Unlike the earlier Fantastic Four films, Doom is finally a powerful being capable of destroying entire planets. He was also finally showcased as a super genius with fantastic inventions, as seen in his introduction.
Leaving Planet Zero. After Doom is rescued from Planet Zero he goes on a rampage and easily takes down hundreds of enemies, which finally showed just how awesome Doom should be.
What Didn't Work
Unfortunately, Fantastic Four has a lot more wrong with it than it has things that went right.
That's right, Doom made both lists. His character didn't have a lot of motivation, he didn't look good at all as he deviated from both his Ultimate look and his classical look and the look that ended up in the film was horrible. Unfortunately, Doom was also overpowered, he easily took down the fantastic four and destroyed an entire military base but then was defeated through sheer will (and poor writing.)
Where did the cape come from? When we first see Doom after the "One Year Later" somehow he found a cape on a planet with no other life. Where did this cape come from? Why does he have it? What purpose does it serve?
Miles Teller's role was absolutely horrendous. Nothing was likable about his character, and Teller constantly sounded like he was just reading cue cards. Mr. Fantastic didn't really do much, made every scene he was in harder to watch, and served absolutely no purpose. It would appear as if the writers just took the name and then never touched the character again as he is utterly lacking personality or character.
Every single scene he was in. Specifically one of the worst scenes in the movie was when Reed was on the plane with the Thing and kinda just sat there, not really caring that his best friend turned into a monster.
There were so many scenes that were just painful to watch because of how poorly the dialogue was written. The forced emotion the writers tried to instill in the scene was lost when the actors attempted to act.
"Are you adopted?" A rather too lengthy exchange between Reed and Sue was one of the hardest parts of the film to sit through because it was just so awkward and uncomfortable, especially considering the two characters are supposed to have some chemistry. Unfortunately, Miles Teller and Kate Mara had absolutely no connection and made ever scene that might have been heart warming utterly unwatchable.
The worst part about the film was the pacing. It was basically all one long piece of exposition with no climax and no payoff. The movie spent way too much time on certain aspects, such as building the machine, and not enough time on others, such as the final battle. Nothing about the way the story was told made it interesting or engaging, it seemed as if it was just building up to another movie and by the end you didn't really feel like you watched a complete film.
Mr. Fantastic crawling through the air vents. The movie spent about 8 minutes on the final battle because apparently that's not very interesting. What it felt was interesting was a naked Miles Teller moaning as he struggles to climb through the air vents for over 10 minutes. The movie wasted so much time doing this that put most of the audience to sleep and not enough time and anything else.
Overall, the movie was decent. If you like science fiction I would suggest at least giving it a go once it reaches Red Box or Netflix. If you want to see a good superhero film, this is not the one for you. Ultimately, the movie boiled down to being horribly paced with no character or personality.