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Fantastic Four

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    Posted: Nov-04-2015 at 1:26pm
Fantastic Four (2015) Rated PG-13
Starring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Josh Trank
Reviewed by Dave Felts
Rating: (.5/5)

It's interesting to discover the impressions you've had on your kids; even more so to usually learn such impressions are often unintentional.

I found out about a lasting impression I made a couple of years ago when I was presented with a superhero shirt and told by my daughter, "I got it because you always take me to see all the superhero movies."

She came of age in a good time to see superhero movies, and I've been towing her along ever since X-Men, when at age 6, I deemed her ready. Oh, we haven't been to all of them, but we've been to most, especially the mainstream ones. My son began accompanying us in the mid-2000s.

So I've got that legacy going for me. Cool, huh?

But....

We didn't go to see Fantastic Four. Honestly, the first two failed to meet expectations (we saw both of them), so I was excited about the reboot. But I'd heard (read) about all the problems with production and how it was being universally panned. Superhero movies being panned by critics is no big deal, and even the best superhero movies have some die-hard fans who are always less that pleased. But when ALL the nerds I know -- in real life and online -- complain that the movie sucked... well, I figured it probably did.

So we didn't see it in the theaters when it was released.

I did, however, watch it last weekend at home. And the consensus was right. It's a HORRIBLE movie.

Horrible.

I didn't think they could do worse than the first two efforts, but boy was I wrong.

Oddly enough, there's a dichotomy here. To begin with, at 100 minutes (including the never-ending end credits), the movie is short. It followed the predictable routine of starting with an origin story and then introducing the first villain. The origin story part lasted about 90 minutes, and then the villain showed up and there was a lame fight and then the credits rolled. Talk about shoddy pacing.

There's almost a demarcation near the middle of the movie, where you can sense the studio decided to head in a different direction then originally intended. It's pretty telling that before the film was even released, Josh Trank, the director, tweeted that he had made "a fantastic version" of the film that audiences would "probably never see."

Huh.

So the film....

As I mentioned, the majority is dedicated to origin, and it's been updated from the "cosmic ray mutation" of the original team. Reed Richards is a super-genius, and in his effort to develop a teleportation device, he inadvertently manages to create a way to transfer things to another dimension. He, along with is buddy Ben Grimm, demonstrate the device at a high school science fair. This garners the notice of some character who's name I can't remember, and Richards ends up at some sort of university for smart guys, where he's introduced to (adopted) Sue Storm, her brother Johnny, and Victor Von Doom, another super-genius who was unable to get the dimensional transport working.

The four of them get it working, to the point where a live test with a monkey goes just fine. So fine, in fact, the government baddies show up and announce that the whole she-bang is theirs now, thanks for the hard work.

Loathe to lose control over their invention, Richards, Johnny, Victor and Grimm (awakened just for the purpose) decide to test the transporter on themselves. Sue works the controls. Guess they aren't so smart after all.

Transport engaged! Alternate dimension revealed! Unforeseen events! Inexplicable energy! Ahhhh! Device malfunction and explosion!

And wham bam, the the Storms, Richards and Grimm gain their powers. And Victor, apparently, is dead.

Follow up with a predictable training montage and some other trope stuff, and now we're 10 minutes from the end. A new transporter is built, year long enmity resolved, teamwork establish, a villain introduced and battled, and the credits roll. And the climactic scene lasted about as long as it took you to read this paragraph.

Horrible, muddled, uneven, unconvincing, droll, dull, and just plain stupid at times, it's a shame to see such a superhero legacy treated so shabbily. What a travesty of wasted talent and potential, and -- on the studio's part -- around 200 million dollars.


Edited by SFReader - Nov-05-2015 at 5:56am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ghostposts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov-05-2015 at 4:57am
good review. I like the part about the legacy.
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