Movie Review: The Fantastic Flop…I Mean Four.
Undoubtedly, superhero movies are the new rave.
With franchises (X Men, Avengers) raking in billions, it is pretty understandably that whoever has the money to get on the bus would be eager to do so. But sometimes, it’s best to step back and view, tame the greed and actually try to tell a story – rather than jumping in with both feet.
Case in point; the disaster movie that is Fantastic Four.
Considering the fact that this is Marvel’s First Family – in that they hold the distinction of being the first superhero team the house that Stan Lee built created, it isn’t too far fetched to expect stellar treatment/performance from whatever studio is handling the rights.
Alas, no such luck. And that hurts a fanboy like me.
Considering also; that the movie – the 2015 incarnation is the fourth attempt at moving these guys to the screen, is it too much to expect something much better? After all, third time’s the charm – and this 2015 version is the fourth attempt.
The first Fantastic Four movie was never officially released for some reason – it’s still alive and well on youtube however. The second and third versions that had Chris Evans and Jessica Alba playing siblings Sue and Johnny Storm respectively collectively grossed a total of $619 million on a budget of $230 million – even though it was a flop as far as critics and fanboys were concerned. This time, an underdeveloped plot, poor dialogue and almost not-there action serves to make minced meat of this effort.
Someone should have told Fox – this is 2015. After three Iron Man movies, two Avengers and five Spider Man cuts, we know to expect more because we deserve it – and it can be done.
This reboot seems to have been doomed from the start. Despite director Josh Trank’s (Chronicle) fighting for Teller to be cast as Mr. Fantastic, there was; reportedly a huge argument between them – they almost came to blows. Trank also didn’t want Kate Mara (House of Cards’ Zoe Barnes) as Sue Storm – but she was forced on him so he reportedly picked on her throughout the shoot. It also did not help that Fox took over production after Trank was done, ordering reshoots and corrections,
This made Trank unwisely take to Twitter to trash the movie he’d helped make – a day before its release.
Whoa. So many words and I still haven’t said what the matter with the movie is.
Starting; as typically all first parts of superhero movies start – with an origin story that takes too long to tell (almost an hour into the movie and we’re still waiting for something to happen), the origin is retconned by having the team (somehow always including Victor Van Doom) travel between dimensions to get their inexplicable powers. Doom somehow gets stuck in Planet Zero for a year – and becomes an altogether all too powerful being – though what exactly ‘all too powerful’ means isn’t clear.
More on that later.
The movie is as disjoint as its characters are – uncompelling and bland. We don’t get to see how they react to their powers – at least emotionally; we don’t get to see them talk or even bond as a team. One Year Later is all we get (something one expects of Nollywood, not its more original Big Brother) – and by then, they all seem to have grown into their boots.
After taking so long to establish origin, the movie then goes into overdrive – as though having passed that hurdle, the film can end now – effectively leaving the viewers dissatisfied with super throwdown that isn’t one.
The portrayal of Doctor Doom with super powers has always been something of a puzzle to me. As far as comics go, this is one bad guy who has an amazing intellect – but is still human. This movie in particular has him throwing around some kind of telekinesis – or whatever that is supposed to be – and it’s not intriguing. Besides, Doom wants to rule this world not destroy it.
It would seem personal if I spend any more time explaining just how bad this movie is – so I would just say; I recommend that FOX return this particular merchandize to the original owners – because so far Marvel Studios have been getting it right. But that doesn’t seem very likely – with a Fantastic Sequel already slated for 2017.
Still.. Maybe there’s hope. Miracles do exist, no?
But if there’s anything for FOX to learn from this, it should be put together in a Powerpoint presentation titled: ‘This Is How Not To Do A Superhero Movie”.
Fantastic Four is showing at Ozone Cinemas; Yaba:
Fri-Thur: 11:20am, 1:15pm, 2:50pm, 4:40pm, 6:40pm, 8:30pm, 9:20pm