Movie Review: Fantastic Four (2015)

Running time: 106 minutes

Director: Josh Trank

F42015They say, once you hit rock bottom, there is nowhere to go but up. It was difficult to make a film worse than Fantastic Four (2005) and they managed to do it with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. So one would think that in the middle of the Golden Age of comic book movies and with the extraordinary cast Fox had assembled for the reboot, things would be at least a bit better this time around. Given one of his tweets (that he later deleted) it seems not even director Josh Trank believes that.

Young prodigy, Reed Richards (Miles Teller) joins Sue (Kate Mara) and Johnny Storm (Michael B Jordan) to complete a Quantum Gate at Baxter Laboratory. The experiment succeeds and they teleport to an alternate universe called Planet Zero where their physical form is altered giving them shocking abilities. Reed can stretch like rubber, Sue can become invisible, Johnny can set himself on fire and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) is made of rock. Back in earth they will have to learn how to use their new powers and work as a team to defeat a former colleague, Doom.

fftvspot-142157-640x320.pngThe movie starts on a solid note with 11-year-old Reed Richards breaking into the house of Ben Grimm to steal some materials he needs to make his teleporter work. After this, they develop a close friendship and they keep working together in the project. In present day, at the science fair, their prototype attracts the attention of doctor Storm, who recruits Richards into working for him at Baxter Laboratory with his two children, Sue and Johnny, and Storm’s protegé, Victor von Doom to complete a Quantum Gate that will allow teleportation.

Amongst its many flaws, the one that stands out the most is the flatness of the characters. The first part of the movie tries to flesh them out a bit but does quite a poor job. We already know they are going to become a team, so the key part to keep the audience’s interest would be how they will achieve that and building up the relationships. Just as Joss Whedon masterfully did in the first Avengers. Here, despite the great actors involved, there’s nothing they can do with what they are given. Their performances are bland, there’s no chemistry between them and therefore, no interest in what happens to them. They even waste the opportunity to explore Sue and Johnny’s relationship, which could have added a great dynamic with her being adopted.

human-torch-and-invisible-woman-flying-in-fantastic-four-internationalActually, this movie wastes opportunity after opportunity. The scene where they discover their powers after coming back from Planet Zero worked really well and was quite horrific, which is the tone they were going for, but then they skip a whole year without an apparent reason. When we meet them again, they are already training and working for the government. We miss all the conflict and how the characters react and get used to having powers, making Fantastic Four an origin story without the origin part. We don’t even know what it was for Ben to wake up and have become a rock monster. It’s from this point going on that the movie becomes an absolute mess.

The editing is horrendous. Doom, one of the most iconic villains in comic books doesn’t appear until the last twenty minutes and is easily defeated. A great way to, not just waste a great villain, but ruin it. Also, usually in this kind of movies you can always say that even though the story had flaws, the special effects and the action were cool enough to make it entertaining to watch, but the fight sequence is just bad and boring and you can tell from a mile away that it was shot in front of a green screen.

F4Doom2And the problem is not that they were going for a darker tone. That actually quite worked. The problem is that it wasn’t fun. They lost the direction, the characters and in the end, nothing really happens. As hard as it may be to imagine, it only gets worse and worse as the movie progresses. That whole final scene in the new facility was so reminiscent of the ending of Age of Ultron where Cap was cut in mid sentence saying Avengers… assemble, but badly done. The way they come up with the name of the team is simply painful to watch. The dialogue is so cheesy, you actually feel bad for the actors.

It is hard to know who is to blame for this, given that months previous to the release of the film a lot of re-shoots were done (which you can tell because they didn’t even try to match Sue’s wig with Kate Mara’s previous hair color) and Josh Trank wasn’t involved in them. Some would say that it is good that the movie was short but there are a lot of moments missing from the movie that could have been there to be two hours long and might have benefited the film. A lot of cool sequences from the trailers weren’t even in the final product which makes obvious that a big portion of this movie was left in the cutting room floor.

4/10

This Week’s Movie News (1-5 Dec)

Casting News! Doctor Strange! Suicide Squad! Deadpool!

‘Suicide Squad’ Cast Announced

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Many of the actors have been rumoured for weeks though we didn’t know for sure which characters they were playing in David Ayer’s film. Now we know the complete Suicide Squad will be formed by Will Smith as Deadshot, Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Jai Courtney as Boomerang and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress.

Variety reported that Warner Bros. is still looking for Amanda Waller and they might be considering Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey for the role. There were also rumours that Jesse Eisenberg could be coming back to reprise his role of Lex Luthor from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Benedict Cumberbatch is officially Doctor Strange

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This role has been a real rollercoaster but Marvel has finally confirmed this week that their choice to play the Sorcerer Supreme is the long-time rumoured Benedict Cumberbatch.

“Stephen Strange’s story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity… In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character,” Kevin Feige said in the Marvel statement.

“Doctor Strange follows the story of neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions.”

‘Bond 24’ Title, Synopsis and Cast

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At a live-stream press conference this week, Sam Mendes revealed a lot of information about the next Bond film, which will be titled Spectre. The name stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.

The synopsis for the film is the following:

“A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.”

The new cast members were also introduced. Christoph Waltz as Oberhauser, Andrew Scott as Denbigh, David Bautista as Mr. Hinx, Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra and Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann. Some of this actors had already been speculated to be involved in the film. They will join Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinneear and Ben Whishaw.

It was also revealed the new Aston Martin DB10.

Ryan Reynolds Confirmed to return as Deadpool

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It seems Ryan Reynolds has a second chance at portraying the superhero Deadpool after the awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine. His involvement in the film had already been speculated for a while after some animated footage of the movie leaked where the actor was voicing Deadpool. The movie will be directed by Tim Miller with a script that have been long in the making.

‘Fantastic Four’ Official Synopsis

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THE 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.

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‘Terminator: Genisys’ Trailer #1

Movie News of the Week

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Rebel Warriors Posters.

This new set of posters features the characters of Gale (Liam Hemsworth) Katniss’ best friend; Cressida (Natalie Dormer), a propaganda filmmaker working with Katniss; Messalla (Evan Ross), her assistant; the brothers Castor (Wes Chatham) and Pollux (Elden Henson), her cameramen; and Boggs (Mahershala Ali) Katniss’ protector.

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I personally love the look of Natalie Dormer as Cressida with half of her head shaved and tattooed. Also, it’s very interesting that once again there is no Katniss. We have only seen a bit of her in the teaser trailer.

First look at Doctor Doom.

Some leaked images from the set of the reboot of Fantastic Four reveal Toby Kebbell as Doctor Doom.

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I loved Toby Kebbell as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but I don’t know how I feel about this costume. That cape/scarf makes no sense at all.

Jeremy Renner teases Hawkeye’s possible appearance in Cap 3

In an interview with Collider, Renner said that “there are rumblings” of Hawkeye joining Captain America 3. Right now the confirmed cast is Chris Evans (Captain America), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Frank Grillo (Crossbones) and Emily VanCamp (Agent 13).

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This is quite an important announcement since a lot of people were already speculating about the possibility of Hawkeye dying in Age of Ultron. Since Hawkeye hasn’t had an important role in the MCU outside The Avengers, this would be a great opportunity to discover his back story (a solo film for him seems very unlikely). Let’s not forget that Hawkeye nearly made it into the Winter Soldier movie, though they decided to go with the script that featured only Black Widow.

Talking of Cap 3, the Russo brothers, the directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier has said this week that the title for the third Captain America film might be revealed next month.