Fantastic Four is another example of a movie that's not great but not atrocious either. The reviews have been brutal and in my opinion completely unwarranted. They did the same thing to the new Terminator. Now I don't think anyone should expect these films to be life affirming masterpieces, but at the very least they are fun and entertaining. And really, aren't those two of the main reasons we go to the movies in the first place? I've never been a die hard fan of the Fantastic Four but I am a fan of superhero movies. As far as this one goes, it's not nearly as bad as X-Men: The Last Stand or either of the Ghost Riders. Wait, maybe that isn't saying a whole lot. Let us not forget how bad reviews were for Scott Pilgrim, which is a, dare I say it, fantastic film.
Now don't get me wrong, Fantastic Four isn't a great movie. Nor is it a good movie. But terrible, atrocious, and unforgivable? It's not those things either. The major disappointment in F4 isn't the cgi chimp, rushed finale, or the radioactive crash test dummy that is Dr. Doom. F4's downfall is the fact that it had the potential to be a great movie but something went wrong along the way.
The first hour of the film is pretty good. Sure, they could've dove a bit deeper into Reed and Ben's friendship, but overall, the first act was pretty entertaining. Perhaps it was when the cg ape appeared where things really started to fall apart. You're immediately jolted out of the movie due to how insanely unrealistic that goddamned dirty ape looked. If the movie turned out to be a good one, we probably could've forgiven the poor attention to that scared little primate. Unfortunately, it didn't get better. It got worse.
I personally thought the shots of Planet Zero looked decent enough. Being a sci fi nerd, neon green liquid gets me excited. More often than not, it signifies that some weird shit is about to go down. I remember reading about Josh Trank's influences once the first trailer came out. Name dropping David Cronenberg as inspiration gave me a glimmer of hope. We get the Cronenbergian goose chills twice. First when Reed witnesses his best friend emerge from his orange rock cocoon in a state of disbelief and horror and of course when Doom goes all Scanners on the brains of all the government funded soldiers foolish enough to cross his path. Unfortunately, these may be the only two scenes that really struck a chord with me. Being a sucker for good prevailing over evil, I have to say I really dug the way The Thing socks Dr. Doom in his stupid tin foil face after he delivers the only line he's ever been remembered for saying.
Another qualm I have with this film is the complete disregard for Toby Kebbell's acting abilities. When I first heard of his casting, I was very excited. I've been a fan of Kebbells for a while now and I knew he could pull off a villainous role with ease. Unfortunately, we don't get to see his skills put to work in this movie. One of the reasons being, half of his screen time, he is 144% unrecognizable I recommend watching the Black Mirror episode, The Entire History of You and the movie Dead Man's Shoes to really get a feel for this amazing actor's talent.
In conclusion, I feel sorry for the mess that is Fantastic Four. I can't help but wonder what could have been. However, anyone that says this movie is worse than the following films, is an insane person.
Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, X-Men: The Last Stand, Elektra, Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, or Blade: Trinity.
Let's face it everyone, those movies are way, way worse than this recent outing. we are now at the point where we can only hope that Marvel buys the rights back, does their thing and gives us the Fantastic Four movie we've always deserved.