Fox's latest Fantastic Four reboot has been completely destroyed at the box office thanks to incredibly awful reviews. I thought it would be interesting to compile some of the best of the worst reviews, particularly if you're someone who likes to see the world burn... flame on.
The art of the bad review is something that should be marvelled. It requires an incredible understanding of the english language. Craftily constructed sentences that draw on hyperbolic imagery, and the cold hard bluntness that feels like a knock out punch at a championship boxing match. Adam Sandler and M. Night Shyamalan would be two people wholly familiar with that routine - Adam Sandler's latest Pixel being heartlessly torn apart as a waste of cinema space.
I am a die-hard Marvel movie fan. But even the previous attempts at Fantastic Four did not resonant with me. And then the early trailer of this incarnation failed to get me interested, so I was going to need something pretty big to avoid the pre-judgement I already had built. So its not surprise I have purposely not found the time to go see it yet. But then the reviews arrived and it just became that much more difficult to part with my money to go see it on the big screen.
Rumours from behind the scenes on the film's quality started to come out, particularly after Josh Trank lost the Star Wars spin off gig. It was not sounding great for Fox. And then Trank tweeted, confirming even he thought the movie sucked. The tweet was deleted, but thats probably the worst summation for a film to get, its own director turning his back on it.
While looking for some positives in all negatives, here's a selection of my favourite worst reviews of Fantastic Four.
Fantastic Four's death wasn't humane. This was no quick knife between the eyes. Rather, it felt like there had been an open attempt to make the movie stink. Bad acting, bad writing, and bad direction combined to create an unmitigated garbage fire.
(Alex Abad-Santos, Vox.com)
The image of a burning garbage fire with the Human Torch standing on top did come to my mind.
A lousy script, unfocused direction, incoherent editing, shockingly terrible special effects — and, probably, panicked studio executives — have left its four talented stars muddling through a dull superhero origin story with zero payoff.
(Lou Lumenick, New York Post)
Considering Tranks' tweets, it does sound likely the studio interfered in his auteur process. But going from low budget indie-feature to big budget studio picture in two films cannot leave any room for auteur like behaviour, can it? Perhaps Trank didn't get the memo.
The latest reboot of the Fantastic Four — the cinematic equivalent of malware — is worse than worthless. It not only scrapes the bottom of the Marvel-movie barrel; it knocks out the floor and sucks audiences into a black hole of soul-crushing, coma-inducing dullness.
(Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
Cinematic equivalent of malware... wow, thats brilliant.
Trank is unable to put together any convincing action scenes; it's like somebody turned the lights on and revealed all the smoke and mirrors involved in the making of such films. One doesn't want to lay the blame entirely on the director, however, especially if the reports of extended reshoots and last-minute recutting are to be believed. Who knows how much of the film is actually "his" at this point? But it's hard to see how anything effective might have emerged out of this disaster at any point. The rot runs deep, and nobody is immune.
(Bilge Ebiri, Vulture)
Steve Persall, Times Movie Critic give perhaps my personal favourite line of all the reviews I have read.
Fantastic Four is so mediocre that its title seems like a violation of truth in advertising laws. And if anyone walks away completely satisfied, it's truly a Marvel.
(Steve Persall, Times Movie Critic)
Brillant. oh... sorry I mean, fantastic!
Daniel Sanguineti is a Australian Film Producer and Writer, who tutors film and media at the University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology. He is on twitter @DanSanguineti.