I was warned, I'll give you that. Everywhere I went, there were people telling me that Fantastic Four was a terrible movie. I refused for some odd reason to believe them. Perhaps it was an aversion to the mainstream bandwagon. Perhaps it was a misguided faith that a Fantastic Four film could work. Perhaps I just am an idiot (You don't have to comment about that statement). Whatever the case was, I was hit with something I should've seen coming: a film full of bad dialogue and wasted potential.
What I liked.
I hope to keep this review short, and more conversational, because not much should be said about this film. Let's start with what I did like. I absolutely loved the concept of the film. Much like Wolverine, this was a superhero film where the "superhero" element was lacking for much of the film. The idea of inter-dimensional travel was awesome, and that being the result of the Four gaining their powers actually worked pretty well for me. The visuals were impressive, and, I'm going to be quite honest, I thought that the powers of both Doom and the Four were finally portrayed well. I have never liked Reed Richards, mostly because his powers seemed so dumb. However, Fantastic Four actually made him cool for me. The effect of the Human Torch was so much fun to watch, and the Thing was pretty epic. And even though I disliked Doom's backstory and look, they made him extremely powerful, and at least explained his appearance in reasonable terms.
Something that probably won't be mentioned much is the acting. I felt that Miles Teller (Reed Richards) did an outstanding job of turning extremely awkward dialogue (we'll get there, trust me) into lovable awkward. His lines for some reason actually made sense. Michael B. Jordan wasn't as dynamic as Chris Evans was in the role of the Human Torch, but he was good. Kate Mara and Jamie Bell were solid in their respective roles, but beyond that, not much good can be said about the acting.
What I didn't like.
Okay, now that I've basically said that Mr. Fantastic actually has decent powers...here's what stunk. Let's talk about dialogue, shall we? In one word: It was awkward. The dialogue in this film was more choppy, and awkward than any conversation I've ever been in. My mind still can't wrap around the sadness that was the script of Fantastic Four. Not only did you have the extremely awkward lines, you had the extremely predictable lines. If I can determine what the conversation will be minutes in advance to the conversation, there is a problem. The cliches, the cheap attempts to be subtle in introducing character names (Doctor Doom for instance) and thoughts just fell right through.
Sadly, the plot wasn't any better than the dialogue. The world has to be saved. "But from what?" You may ask. And, you may ask, because apart from a vague "running out of resources" answer, you don't get anything of substance. Then there is Dr. Storm's entire "you must learn from my generation's mistakes...I put all my faith in college freshmen...yada yada yada." It was rough. And instead of showing us the details, it was all depicted through exposition. To quote that classic musical Urinetown, "You can kill a show real good with too much exposition." The plot was choppy, with massive holes that left me confused multiple times. In short, the pace was terrible. Fast when it needed to be slow, slow when it should have picked up, but never at the right speed to give us a solid origins story. For crying out loud, the team doesn't even fight until the final fifteen minutes.
Maybe there's a good reason why Stan Lee never showed up in this film. It's just that awful. But, what bothers me more than the fact that I blew eleven bucks on a ticket is that there was so much wasted potential. The acting was decent, the visuals were good, and the manifestation of the powers was amazing. But, when your dialogue and plot are collectively worse than Lone Ranger and Batman: Forever combined, then things aren't looking too good. Should the MCU get the Fantastic Four? I don't think so. I think that Fox will realize their mistake, and either not create more films for the Four, or will add Hugh Jackman in order to make it better. In all seriousness, the one thing that sums this film up (as I put in my title) is "wasted potential". Will we ever see a good Four film? Who knows? All I know is that this was certainly worth nothing but the brain cells I lost trying to watch it.