August 10, 2015

Movie Review: Fantastic Four (2015)

Well, the opening weekend of the Fantastic Four debacle is now in the rear view mirror. After a little (very little) reflection, I decided I should probably put down a few words before the screening gets too far into the past. Now, I did not like the movie, but I also do not completely hate it. That is to say it is not the worst movie I have seen this year (The Upper Footage), nor is it the worst I have seen theatrically this year (The Gallows). It strikes me as a movie that suffers from studio interference and seriously troubled production. Honestly, when I first saw the teaser I felt some hope. Oh well.

The movie was directed by Josh Trank, who made a bit of a splash with the found footage superhero movie Chronicle. Now that was a pretty good movie. When he was selected, I was intrigued, similar to how I felt when Marc Webb was chosen to direct The Amazing Spider-Man. Unfortunately, it appears that Fox got hands on and that led to conflicts, rushes, and a seeming bad experience for many involved.

The first third of the movie is pretty good. We get solid character introductions and some decent world building. The problems begin as we get through the getting of the powers and things begin to start going off the rails. I always looked at the Fantastic Four as a bit more of a family friendly title, something that they got with the did the prior two films (not saying they were great, but they had decent grasp). This one starts off with that family aspect, but it doesn't last. I never really felt the chemistry between the four and everything just looked and felt drab. Whatever happened to color?

This Fantastic Four had some interesting ideas, like how to deal with the powers initially, as well as the government's attempt to weaponize them and their attempt to find a way to use the interdimensional travel as a way to create powered soldiers. I even like the idea of how Victor became Doom. Unfortunately, the whole thing never gelled, was boring, and just never gets a rhythm.

Yes, this is not terrible, but it also isn't really worth it. I am amused by the idea that we could infer how poorly the studio thought of it by the lack of merchandising. How often does a superhero movie get made without some toys and stuff? See it, don't see it, nothing I say should really influence your decision. It has its moments, it also has a lot of other, bad, moments. I like the Michael B. Jordan casting, probably the best of the piece.

This is just a case of another superhero origin story that fell prey to a studio that fancied itself a creative team and insinuated itself upon a young director. All of this resulting in a mish mash film that is not nearly what it could and should have been.

Not Recommended.

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