Josh and Violet share their male vs. female perspective reviews of Fantastic Four, directed by Josh Trank, and starring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Toby Kebbell!
Josh’s Movie Review of Fantastic Four:
So, Fox’s Fantastic Four released over the weekend. This movie has been marred with controversy, basically since it was announced a few years ago. Many people didn’t think it was something that should be made given the lackluster previous movies. Then there were the on set rumors of Josh Trank causing problems. Top that all off with the odd lack of critical reviews for a movie that should be trying to get as much good buzz going before it officially released. The movie currently sits at a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, and according to various sites, only brought in an estimated $26 million opening weekend, despite being projected at between $40 and $50 million. And for the icing on the cake, the director, Josh Trank tweeted out stating this movie is not the movie he had planned to make. As you might imagine, none of this is good news, and sadly, after personally trying to remain optimistic for this movie, found this to be one of the worst comic book movies made in a long time.
The film starred Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm, and Toby Kebbell as Victor Von Doom. Despite having a pretty good cast, the chemistry and relationship between characters was not conveyed well at all. Kate and Michael were to play adopted brother and sister, but I did not get the emotional attachment that they should have for each other from the movie at all. Reed Richards did not give off the hero vibe in the film. Grimm was probably the most likable character but even then, the CGI for his character didn’t feel like it was done well. I guess one redeeming quality was what Victor Von Doom wasn’t simply a blogger, but his look in the movie was horrendous. That is one thing that the original film did a lot better—at least Doom looked menacing in it. In this film, the Doom costume looked like a bad Halloween get-up that was cringe-worthy at best.
I would like to say that there were some redeeming qualities for the film, but unfortunately there really weren’t. The story for the film was so awful, that there were plot points brought up in the film that never get answered. Reed Richards at one point flees the government after he has gotten his new powers, and only returns after the government tracks him down. It really portrayed Reed Richards as a selfish coward who had no intention of trying to help his friends. Pacing as a whole in the film was just weird. Scenes lingered on, jokes that were supposed to be funny weren’t.
Everything that gave the impression this might be a good film from the trailer weren’t even used in the final movie. When you see the trailer for Fantastic Four, you get an idea of how this movie will play out, then when you see the film, it goes a completely differently direction. It really felt like watching a Transformers movie, but without the good CGI that at least tries to take your attention away from how terrible everything else is.
It is disappointing to see how far this movie has fallen. Fox had just begun to recover from the terribleness that is X-3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine with X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past. Fantastic Four feels like a big step backwards for the studio, and really puts a little bit of worry in me regarding both Deadpool and the Gambit movie that is about to enter production. Both of these films sound and look like they will be great, but so did Fantastic Four. Thankfully, I am not too worried about X-Men: Apocalypse with Bryan Singer directing. I think Singer has a good enough handle on the X-Men to keep that under control.
Overall, I would give Fantastic Four a 2 out of 10, and I think that is generous. I am almost mad about how terrible this movie is. I actually enjoyed the first Fantastic Four more than I did this one, and that is difficult to say. It is really hard to say who is at fault for the reason why this turned out so bad, but I would say it lands in both Josh Trank and Fox, as they both had the biggest hand in how the movie turned out. I would also say Simon Kinberg, who wrote the film, might have had some hand in why this turned out the way it did, but given how much work he has done in the X-Men franchise, I am less inclined to put blame on him.
In the end, do not waste your time with this film. It is a big disappointment. You’re much better off seeing Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, where you won’t regret spending the $10. One final note is that Fox continues to plan to move forward with a sequel, although it had been bumped from original sequel date in 2017, in favor of Deadpool 2. That’s good news for Deadpool at least.
Violet’s Movie Review of Fantastic Four:
Despite the previously most recent Fantastic Four film having been released just 8 years ago in 2007, 20th Century Fox decided it was time for a reboot, and so we have this new version of Fantastic Four with a new director and cast. Josh Trank (Chronicle) is the director of this Fantastic Four reboot, which stars Miles Teller (Whiplash) as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle) as Johnny Storm/Human Torch, Kate Mara (House of Cards) as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Jamie Bell (Jumper) as Ben Grimm/The Thing, and Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Victor Von Doom/Dr. Doom.
The film is an origin story of the Fantastic Four superheroes, which begins back during Reed Richards’s childhood, showing us his aptitude for science, and how he became friends with Ben Grimm. Fast forward to several years later, where they are demonstrating their teleporter at their high school science fair, which impresses Dr. Storm, who offers Reed a scholarship to the Baxter Foundation. There, Reed meets and works with Sue and Johnny Storm, as well as troublemaker Victor Von Doom, on a large scale teleporter which can send things to and bring things back from a world in another dimension. Once it’s finished, the guys decide to teleport themselves, and Reed invites Ben to join. However, while there, something goes wrong, and they each end up with special powers. The government takes them into custody to study their transformations as they develop their powers, then uses them to help out the military. They soon find they’ll have to work together as a team in order to defeat a villain, who also has superpowers.
I was actually pretty excited about Fantastic Four when I saw the trailers. It looked like it would be a pretty cool sci-fi origin story, with just a hint of humor sprinkled in. Then as we got closer to the release date, the bad buzz started. I decided to ignore it, as I wanted to go into the movie with an open mind and not let a few other people’s opinions of the film influence mine. I had wanted to re-watch the previous Fantastic Four movies before I saw the new one, for comparison’s sake, since I haven’t seen those movies since they first came out, but I did not get the chance to do so. I also must confess that I’ve never read the Fantastic Four comic books, so I don’t have a basis upon which to judge this film as compared to what it “should” be in reference to the comics. So basically the only reference material I went into the movie with was my vague recollection of the previous two movies, which I remember somewhat liking, but not loving. But other than that, I don’t remember much else. Essentially, you could say that I went into this with pretty much a blank slate. In that regard, I’m judging this more as a movie on its own merit, rather than what it’s “supposed” to be.
I was unaware of the Rotten Tomatoes score until after I saw the movie, and although it was kinda bad, I didn’t think it was nearly bad enough so as to have earned such a low score of 9%. I mean, even Pixels has double that score at 18%! I actually liked the beginning of the movie, when we see Reed and Ben as kids. I thought it had kind of a Super 8 feel to it. Then later on, as the team comes together, and we learn more about the inter-dimensional travel, and they actually make the trip, I enjoyed this part as well. That’s not to say it was perfect, but it was enjoyable. But then, after they gain their powers, and the film skips ahead a year, it’s all downhill from there. From that point on, it all seems very rushed, with no real storyline in mind. One of the team members is on the run, and it seems like more is supposed to come of this escape, but it just comes off as pointless. Then when the villain shows up, the “big fight” seems so quick and anti-climactic that it’s not really all that fun to watch.
Although technically the acting was fine, I didn’t really get much of a sense of camaraderie between the team members. Maybe a little between Reed and Ben, and a bit between Reed and Sue, but other than that, not really. The first part should have done a better job at developing these relationships, but I felt like they were lacking. Then after the year passed, it was like the film didn’t know what to do with the team now that they had powers, so they quickly introduced the villain and wrapped it up.
Some of CGI bugged me as well. The first time it bothered me was when they showed the ape. I thought I remembered the apes looking much more realistic in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but this one looked fake. Then the green screen of the “other world” looked pretty fake as well. So that took me out of it.
But the thing that took me out of it the most? Sue Storm’s hair. Sometimes she would have brown roots, other times she would be wearing a bad wig with a horrible part, plus her hair length would vary. Yes, I am aware that there is a one year gap, but her hair changed so many times both before and after that gap. I’m pretty sure that you can make it into a drinking game to take a shot every time her hair changes, and you would be plastered by the end. This distracted me throughout the entire movie. I was also upset that the girl didn’t get to go on the inter-dimensional trip, only the guys.
Overall, the film started out well enough, but then devolved into a mess.
My rating: 5.5/10