The Not So Fantastic Four: A Review of Fantastic Four (2015)
By Matthew Rembold
Wow….. That just happened everyone. We just stumbled upon the first major super hero movie failure since the era of The Avengers began. Had to happen eventually I suppose. Super hero films have had a good run though. Since The Avengers back in 2012 I haven’t seen any bad super hero movies be released in theaters. I’ve enjoyed just about every romp into the super hero world there’s been in recent years. Sadly though that golden age of super hero films, has come to an end, or at least stumbled quite a bit.
Fantastic Four is another attempt by 20th Century Fox to bring the iconic super hero family to life on the big screen. Sadly though it has once again failed… miserably. While the first attempt by the studio back in 2005 could be seen as a campy dumb fun kind of movie, neither the unreleased film before it, or any sequel or reboot to come after it has had much more success than that. There are as many attempts of making a movie about these characters as there are members of this team now. One of these movies is so bad, some people don’t even know it exists. Clearly this has been a very hard comic book to adapt to the big screen. The fourth attempt has fared even worse than some of the previous attempts in some regards. It’s really that bad. Maybe on later rematches it might not seem as horrible, but as of now, it’s truly not a good film. While some bad super hero movies like Batman and Robin (which is probably the worst super hero movie of all time) can be watched from the perspective of “its so bad it’s funny”, this one is just bad. Now I wouldn’t say it’s as bad as such movies as Batman and Robin or even Superman 4,but still for the standard that has been set for these kinds of movies in recent years, it’s pretty awful.
The story is the classic origin story of the Fantastic Four, but with a few twists. Two scientists, an engineer, a junkyard owner, and a brilliant, but maniacal blogger are on the verge of cracking inter dimensional travel. If any part of this this concept sounds odd, confusing, or just downright illogical, don’t worry, you aren’t alone in thinking this. In all actuality, the blogger came up with an idea but couldn’t figure out how to make it work, and one of the scientist finds a way to make it work. Once this scientist comes along, the blogger and second scientist join him in creating a machine to make inter dimensional travel a reality. The engineer comes on board because they apparently require him to help them build it and he had no choice but to help. The junk yard owner is only there because he’s friends with one of the scientists. And all of that is only the beginning of this movie’s major issues. If you’re already reeling in horror over how bad this is sounding so far, bear with me.
After the group creates a device to make their goal a reality, a terrible accident occurs and all of them are granted extraordinary powers. That is basically the plot of this movie. There is really not much else to it. One of these kids eventually becomes the bad guy, and the other four must stop him and inevitably form the iconic team we all know and love. In the end though this just isn’t that team.
In all fairness there are glimmers of hope in this movie. Some of the concepts are actually pretty cool, but they just are not executed in a good way, or are never explored at all. The beginning of this movie is pretty interesting at points, but not completely. There is one cool scene just after the accident has taken place where some of the heroes are discovering what has just happened to them. These scenes are reminiscent of classic science fiction transformation horror scenes out of movies like The Fly. And they picked a good cast. That my friends is about all the good there is in this movie.
I’m all for a more story driven super hero movie instead of one that’s just filled to the brim with action, but when that story driven movie is so boring that I’m not even remotely interested in what’s going on or am praying for something to just happen, it’s never a good sign. To be perfectly honest, the main climax of the movie really doesn’t happen until there are only 20 or so minutes left in the movie. The most exciting parts of his movie take forever to come on screen, or you are set up to believe that something really big is coming, and are left with nothing at all. This movie feels like it’s just building up to something that never comes to light, at least not in this installment. The script is just too bad, it really is. Some of the dialogue in this movie is awful, some of the worst I’ve heard in a long time.
Aside from the way this movie is paced and written, the acting in this just amazingly bad. Everyone in this movie is a very talented actor or actress. I’ve seen every single actor give a far better performance than this movie. Miles Teller of Whiplash fame gives one of the worst performances of his career and many of the other actors don’t help either. The fact of the matter is they aren’t given enough to do in this movie. There are scenes were they are genuinely trying their hardest to elevate the script or do better than what they are being directed to do. I don’t think it’s their fault that there wasn’t much to work with or the way they were being told to perfume was just not good. This movie is by no way a career ended for any of these young talents, but it’s definitely not one they want to brag about. I’m hoping that they all get the chance to show that they are more suited for these roles in the upcoming sequel for this movie. Yes a sequel is already being planned.
I can’t say much about the action scenes because there’s really only one. And it’s at the very end of the film. It’s not even very good. The visual effects in this movie are also awful to look at. In this day and age we should not have CGI that looks as bad as this. Even in the areas where it was clear that they spent the majority of their visual effects budget on, it looks bad. This movie is simply just a mess of problems that constantly bring it down.
Overall, there are a few hints of greatness in an alright opening act. These hints either never come to light, or are just executed in a very poor way. The actors try their very best to elevate this movie, but even these young talents can’t help. I’m genuinely hoping they get another shot because they all have acting talent. The script and dialogue are just awful and cringe worthy at some points. The visual effects are as ugly as can be, and the story takes forever to get started, and when it does it’s far too late. I was really hoping this would be a good one, I had hopes for it, but in the end it disappointed in more ways than I can count. I do not recommend seeing this one, but if you must, do not by any means see it in theaters.