So last night, I decided it was time to watch last year’s Fantastic Four. Immediately from its release, complaints showered over social media. People saying how shite it was, how it was such a let down etc etc. Of course there were the skeptics that took this as confirmation of their predictions. However there were those who were looking forward to it, and then took to twitter to broadcast their disappointment. I thought for quite a while there could be a chance – albeit small – it would be pretty gid. So I was optimistic as I sat down and pressed play; and now here I am, feeling compelled to write a review for a film released months ago.
In case you aren’t aware of the plot, let me run you through it. Basically, scientists have been working on inter-dimensional travel for a while now, but something isn’t right. That’s when they find the key – Reed Richards, the man who knows what to do. However, following a trip to another dimension, shit goes down and five people end up with varying powers. One bad guy, and four ‘fantastic’ heroes.
During its initial marketing, complaints were already pouring in regarding the story. I for one, having known this going in, wasn’t too bothered. I’m always open to new adaptions, but christ what the fuck happened? When said shit goes down, I found myself immediately confused at the events I was seeing. Why were rocks sticking to Ben? Why exactly did Johnny go on Fire? How did Reed end up with stretchy limbs, and Jesus what even happened to Sue? Say what you want about the 2005 Fantastic Four, but I knew exactly what happened when I was watching that.
Before I end up ranting, let’s structure this a bit eh? First of all, how were the cast? Well, it’s a real shame. You’d think a wonderful young cast including Miles Teller, Michael. B Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell would be perfect for a superhero movie? Unfortunately however, they didn’t have the chance to show us their abilities. Is that their fault? Perhaps. The chemistry between the actors could be described as miserable at many points. Teller and Mara just didn’t seem to hit it off, as well as seriously awkward moments between all the cast. The only glimmer of hope came from between Teller and Jordan, who gave me that ‘best buds’ vibe occasionally.
However, it isn’t entirely their fault is it? The script the actors were lumped with is truly one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Clunky, overbearing, often brutally boring dialogue interrupts potential moments where the actors might have been on to something. See in school when you would write a story and the dialogue you’d write for your characters, in reality, would sound stupid – yeah, you get what I mean.
Next up, the tone. Now it is fairly common these days for a superhero movie to go down the dark route. The Dark Knight done it perfectly, and some newer Marvel movies are trying to incorporate it. To me, Fantastic Four never struck me as having potential for a dark, gritty story. But as always, I was optimistic. However, it just didn’t fit. The film feels consistently moody, even in points where there’s action happening. Moments that were perhaps meant to grab a laugh instead were met with a moderate sigh with a slight smile if they were lucky.
There’s one particular point, when Reed finds Ben transforming into ‘The Thing’. I actually found the scene pretty upsetting, which wasn’t something I particularly wanted. It’s all played out with huge despair and I didn’t enjoy any second of it. Dark is one thing, but this ripped the piss.
Finally, the action itself. This is a nice part because there were actually some moments which were pretty cool. For example when Reed fights guys with his stretchy limbs, when Doctor Doom (despite how fucking ridiculous he looks) goes on a rampage and most of all, when The Thing shouts “It’s CLOBBERIN’ TIME!”. What a shame though that’s where it ends. Even scenes with Johnny Storm – which were my favourite in the earlier Fantastic Four‘s – felt vastly underwhelming. A man on fire flying should make you go “Ooh!”, but I remained silent and unimpressed.
The final sequence had so much potential. A massive showdown with so many different powers should be absolutely fantastic (I’m sorry). And I’ll even admit, it got to a point where I started to really enjoy it. AAAAAAND IT’S GONE. I have no idea why it was cut so short. I seriously hoped this would be the big payoff for making it to the end of a shite film; alas, it was not meant to be. Abrupt and anti-climatic – two words you never want to associate with a final battle.
So how do I sum Fantastic Four up? There are a few moments, which admittedly are good to watch. However, these moments are not enough to save this sulky, unmemorable pile of shite. I almost feel disappointed that I let myself get even moderately excited to watch it. All I felt when the credits rolled was an underlying sadness. Come on Fox, give them back to Marvel already.
Rating: ABSOLUTE MINCE!
Check out the trailer below, but I wouldn’t get yourself too excited.
Have you seen Fantastic Four? Let me know what you think in the comments, or tweet @film_swot.
Author: Cameron Frew