FANT4STIC FOUR REVIEW
(Yes, I actually took the time to see this movie in a theater).
What I Liked:
The first half of the movie was solid. I could really see Josh Trank’s vision for FF front and center (Cronenberg, horror elements).
Reed Richards’ motivations for building the intergalactic teleportation device are clear.
Most of the special effects were well done, especially with The Thing and Johnny Storm.
Doom’s return to Earth was an interesting sequence (surprisingly violent) to introduce Von Doom’s alter ego. Alas, it was probably the end of Trank’s input into the film.
What I Didn’t Like:
Half-baked character development, specifically with Victor Von Doom and the Storm family. The Storm family didn’t feel like much of one when the three of them interacted with each other. I didn’t believe their relationship, which caused me to have no real attachment to any of the characters and their respective conflicts.
No apparent chemistry with the cast. It seems that a lot of the character interactions were left on the cutting room floor. It seems that at after the first half of the movie (45 minutes in or so), the actors and filmmakers lost interest. I responded in kind by turning off my brain for the rest of the movie.
There were no real action set pieces; This is coming from the studio that developed the X-Men movie franchise, which are arguably some of the best comic book movies in the industry. The coolest sequence in the trailers (The Thing dropping from a fighter jet) was not in the movie. I also understand that 3 key sequences were cut from the movie just days before the film started production. In the best case scenarios, filmmakers are given at least a few weeks or so notice of this due to budget constraints or other factors.
Victor Von Doom is a shell of himself. Gone is the regal and the pretentious heir apparent of Latveria. In his place is a bitter and love-sick tech genius spewing some anarchistic trappings about humanity destroying Earth and the need for us to be removed from it. His desire for a relationship with Sue Storm is never clearly fleshed out, save for one scene when he looks on with jealousy when Sue and Reed are apparently bonding over some random thing (I don’t remember what).
Doom’s overall look was not very menacing. I can understand the practicality of how his body/armor came to fruition, but I thought the filmmakers would give more credence into the fact that Doom was inspired by Death. In the current run of the comics, Doom has fashioned himself into a god, referring to himself as ‘God Emperor Doom’. Doom has never had a penchant for the total annihilation of Earth, just his desire to conquer it. Doctor Doom, if done correctly can be a villain on par with Loki, in terms of his intellect and mastery of the dark arts, but the filmmakers dropped the ball on this interpretation. Marvel’s best villain to date is Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk/Kingpin on the Netflix/Marvel show Daredevil. A common criticism of most Marvel films , whether or not they are a part of Disney, is that the villains are a bit underwhelming (Obadiah Stane, Whiplash, Aldrich Killian, Malekith, Silver Samurai, Ronan the Destroyer to name a few).
The ‘Green Lantern’ effect. This is in reference to the 2011 film Green Lantern.There was no emotional buildup in the film when Hal Jordan returns to Earth to fight Parallax. The same problem severely mars FF. We never see how the characters cope with their new found abilities. There is no sense of doom as we know that the Fantastic Four will win the day and survive.
This is a worser film than the previous incarnations starring Ioan Gruffold, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon. Even though the films were cheesy, there was action, story and humor in the films. None of these elements existed in this movie. The jokes that they attempted to showcased fell flat and the dialogue was forced, sometimes very trite.
FINAL VERDICT: D-
Despite a promising opening, Fantastic Four falls flat and fails to tell an intriguing, memorable and entertaining story. Half-baked character development, boring action set-pieces and feigned chemistry between the actors is prevalent throughout this movie, causing me (and many moviegoers) to disconnect myself from the story. Do not make the same mistake I did and waste your money on going to see this in the theaters; Redbox would be more appropriate, if you’re feeling dangerous.