Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.Written by
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So when I saw that they're "rebooting" Fantastic Four, I thought, "this could actually be really good. This has the chance to start things over and be something great." The trailers showed potential - they featured a new premise with some great new concepts. Also, take note that I'm not a superhero/comic book fan. I am a filmmaker, though.
Josh Trank is the director of this film. He also directed the film Chronicle, and I think that's a great movie, with several characteristics that are actually similar to this film.
I think the first major clue for me that this movie was doomed was, surprisingly, its tagline. "Change is coming". As a filmmaker, I know that a big concept movies want to have nowadays is "everything changes" - the idea that everything is started over or some big event is going to happen. One of The Amazing Spider-Man 2's taglines was "everything changes". Transformers 4 had the tagline of "the rules have changed" and "everything will change". This film's taglines are "change is coming", and "when you change the world, prepare to defend it". Movie taglines dealing with "change" are typically weak and overused methods of making movies seem like they're creating a "clean slate", or for lack of a better word, a reboot. If your movie tagline deals with change - at least make the film somewhat memorable. These three movies weren't memorable.
Another major clue for me that this movie was doomed was its running time of 100 minutes. Why? Because when you have a film like this - a reboot, where it has to introduce various new characters, set them up and a new premise/universe, the movie isn't going to be an hour and a half long. It's going to be two hours. Those extra twenty- thirty minutes can make a difference. For the record, the first two Fantastic Four movies had around the same running time. The original film was only six minutes longer. But that movie wasn't the best one, either.
I reminded myself of X-Men. X-Men was a great movie. It had a similar running time, but not the same task, as it wasn't a reboot. Yet as the first installment in a franchise, it did a fantastic job at setting things up. There isn't much that's fantastic about Fantastic Four.
Now to tell you what's wrong with this movie. First off, the pacing. The running time really is a problem. This film is rushed beyond belief and its plot is nonsensical. The characters' introductions are decent enough, particularly the Fantastic Four, but their roles throughout the rest of the film are disconcerted. It gets very boring when things are meant to be exciting. Exposition can be tiring, but after the exposition ended and the action was supposed to pick up - it didn't. Second, the plot. As I said above, the film's plot seemed interesting. It had potential and it looked like it could go somewhere, especially considering how superhero movies nowadays have managed to flesh out their stories and make them very enjoyable. There are even hints at awesome things to come at certain points. But the film's in shambles. You hope and feel it will go somewhere, but in its hour and a half running time, it feels so empty. One of the reasons for that is the third thing, the writing. The writing isn't good - the film's climactic conflict feels backed up into the end of the movie, because there wasn't enough time to set it up. The writing caused the pacing to be terrible - transitions between scenes weren't good and some scenes either went on for too long or were far too short. This movie shouldn't have been afraid to be longer (or the studio should've let it be that way) - it could have done that and been so much better. I also don't know why the Torch was played by a black actor. Again, I'm not a comic-book fan, and I'm certainly not racist, but I know enough to know that the Torch is white. I don't understand why they couldn't keep him that way. The acting of the Fantastic Four as a whole was "okay". But they just didn't feel like a team - there was no bond between them, and that's what should certainly be established in a movie like this. That's a big thing that killed this film, was the lack of teamwork. Seeing them together in the movie just felt so bland because there was no real interaction between them. There are so many big, obvious things wrong with this movie. Speaking of "things", The Thing is entirely CGI. No make-up, costume or anything - just a giant, naked rock monster. Yes, he's naked, too. Not even any shorts. Huh.
Reboots, remakes, prequels and sequels are pouring in nowadays, and many of them are constantly bombing. Fantastic Four is, unfortunately, one of them. But I'm still very surprised over just how bad it turned out. This film is currently a box office catastrophe.. Very few superhero movies within the last decade have a rating as low as this one does. It currently has a 3.9 rating on here, an incredibly low 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, and perhaps the lowest Metascore I've seen for a modern superhero movie - 27/100. Putting the critics aside, which is what should typically be done - this movie is a boring, weak, irrational attempt to reboot the Fantastic Four series.
By the way, a sequel is set to come out in June 2017. Good thing they announced that before the film came out ... a few months ago, of course. If you know what happened to The Amazing Spider-Man series, you may know what could very well happen here. Ultimately, while I wasn't pleased with the film, I do hope you enjoy it more than I did.
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