Saturday, September 12, 2015

There's Nothing Fantastic About the 'Fantastic Four' Reboot

The new Fantastic Four reboot – or, as it logo goes, Fant4stic (I will be referring to the movie as such, since using “Fantastic Four” on it is disrespectful to the comics) – has been around for a while now, and it’s being universally considered as a big pile of steaming crap.  So I initially intended to skip watching this movie.  But I realized that I have to see for myself how big of a disaster this movie is.  So I did.

Well, it’s not the worst comic book movie ever made (2004’s Catwoman will probably hold that title forever). 
Annnnnd that’s the only good thing I can say about the movie.

During the months leading to Fant4stic’s release, a local theater used the trailer of the old 2005 Fantastic Four movie (I even took a video of it) to promote the reboot.  The one in charge of it was either ignorant of the difference or was playing a joke.  It was hilarious.  However, if ever that theater had actually ripped-off its customers by showing the 2005 Fantastic Four movie instead of Fant4stic, that would still actually be a better movie watching experience.  That’s how bad Fant4stic is.

Here are the integral elements needed to make a perfect Fantastic Four movie:
  • Fun! Fun! Fun!
  • Family dynamic.
  • Quirky science fiction adventures.
  • Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm are smart-ass prankers who are constantly ribbing at each other.
  • Reed Richards Susan Storm.
  • Dr. Doom is a complex, badass villain.   
Fant4stic has none of that.  Faulty the original Fantastic Four movies might have been, but at least they made an effort to capture the essence of FF.  That’s why I find some enjoyment in watching those bad movies.

I won’t be giving a synopsis.  It’s not worth it.  Let’s just say that Fant4stic is a shallow, unexciting, waste-of-time origin story.

Virtually everything about the movie is notably godawful.  Instead of a legitimate blockbuster movie of the Fantastic Four, it looks more of an Asylum rip-off of said movie.  The plot is littered with incoherence and stupidity.  The narrative is messy and boring.  The dialogue is dreadful to the letter.  The characters are bastardizations of their comic book counterparts.  The visual effects look appallingly cheap.  The pacing is tiresome.  And the quality of direction is that as if director Josh Trank was stoned while doing his job… uh, wait, that’s exactly what was rumored to had happened on set.

The acting is also noticeably horrendous, which is a real shock since the cast is made up of promising young actors.  They have no chemistry with each other, and their performances indicate that their hearts weren’t on the roles they were playing.

So it’s established that Fant4stic is an awful movie, but can we at least have fun and laugh at how bad it is?  Sadly, no.  We can’t even have the pleasure of making fun of how bad it is.  I originally intended to title this review as “Fantastic Four reboot is a Fantastic Failure” but decided not to since it could be misinterpreted as something “so bad that it’s good.”  It’s not.   It just takes itself too seriously and it’s so lifelessly bland.  It is devoid of thrills, emotion, fun, and humor – even accidental humor.  It’s as if Dementors sucked it dry.  And whenever it pretends to have excitement, depth, thoughtfulness, and heart when, in fact, it has essentially none, I was more infuriated by the pretentiousness rather than be amused of the failures.

Fant4stic simply has no noteworthy redeeming quality.  Terrible movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine might be, there were at least moments that I was like, “This is a trainwreck of a movie, but I like that part.”  I have no such moments with Fant4stic.

The existence of this movie blasphemes the Fantastic Four, Marvel Comics, comic books, comic book movies, films, and nerd culture in general.  It doesn’t even have a cameo of Stan Lee!  What a sacrilege!  (Just kidding.  It’s my lame attempt of an over-the-top nerd rage.)

So, yeah, Fant4stic is an atrocity.  Watching it left a bad taste in my mouth that I just have to rewatch the goofy 2005 Fantastic Four movie to wash it away.

We desperately need Fox to lose its Fantastic Four license.  The only chance we’ll be able to see a great adaptation that the Fantastic Four is deserving of is if the property reverts back to Marvel.

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