Ever since it went into production Fantastic Four has been the subject of massive controversy from the casting of Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch to the news of director Josh Trank’s bad behaviour on-set – something which allegedly got him fired from his Star Wars too – It’s a film that seems to have been doomed from the very start and well let’s just say that all these problems have manifested themselves in the worst way possible.
I’m not gonna try to explain the plot since well, there isn’t any, so basically this movie follows the story of four ‘outsiders’ as IMDb puts it, played by Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Michael B. Jordan (yes, they become the Fantastic 4) who get teleported into an alternate dimension, get these weird powers, blah, blah, origin story, blah, blah they need to learn how to use these powers, blah, blah, there’s a friend who’s turned into their enemy. This is usually the plot-line for every first super-hero movie in a franchise and I usually don’t mind it. But you see, Fantastic Four isn’t like every other superhero movie.
Fantastic Four feels is the prime example of a studio meddling too much with a film, up to a point where even the studio doesn’t know exactly what they’ve ended up with.
For the first two acts Fantastic Four is not a bad movie. There is decent exposition, the backstories are good, the character development is well-varied and the movie feels like it’s building towards something promising. Even the controversial new story which offers a far more science fiction based approach to the origin story seemed like a fresh and promising idea. I was even starting to buy the actors as younger versions of the Fantastic Four. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Toby Kebbell and even Jamie Bell felt particularly well-cast in their respective roles
And then it all went horribly wrong.
Now as I already mentioned, there is nothing particularly bad about Fantastic Four in the first two acts but right around the hour mark things began to take a turn for the worse and suddenly it did not feel as if I was watching the same movie anymore. It’s amazing how quickly this movie goes off the rails and within twenty minutes a number of major plot-elements are thrown out that never mesh together properly, the story makes absolutely no sense and suddenly all the characters in the film turn into unengaging cardboard boxes. When we are finally introduced to the Doctor Doom, not only does he look like the product of C-3P0 having sex with a crash dummy but there is absolutely no reason or explanation for him to be the way he is and he has barely any motivation at all for being evil in the first place. Doctor Doom is such a poor villain that he makes Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze look amazing by comparison. And don’t even get me started on the terrible f–king CGI. It assure you, it will make you cringe
The film’s climactic battle, which by-the-way is supposed to be the film’s center-piece lasts for barely fifteen minutes and feels both forced and incredibly dull, not to mention the events that occur have almost no bearing on the story or the world it is set in. The final act of this film is atrocious in every sense of the word, so bad that it derails all the promise the film builds on earlier, and you know what? I don’t completely blame Josh Trank either, sure the movie lacks ambition and creativity but the most glaring flaw of the film is that it feels like someone took a pair of scissors and cut out entire chunks of the movie only to replace it with meaningless garbage.
Fantastic Four is a superhero movie that never happens, it’s an hour of build-up combined with fifty minutes of nonsensical garbage that makes little sense. And quite honestly I don’t blame the people who are calling it to be a worse movie than Batman & Robin, at least Batman & Robin knows that it’s campy and cheesy, this movie tries to be serious and solemn and falls flat on its face. Avoid it at all costs.