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 proteg√©, 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 (15-19 sep)

 

Interstellar Posters

This week has been released not one but two official posters for the upcoming Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar.

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I personally like much better the first one which was released earlier this week and shows Matthew McConaughey on a frozen world. The second one just doesn’t have the same impact and generates too many questions. Is this a whole different planet full of water or are they back on Earth in the future and the planet is flooded? Also, we’ve already had three posters for this movie, is it starting to be too much as they don’t give any information away?

Interstellar hits theaters on November 7th.

Tom Hiddleston cast in King Kong prequel

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Legendary Pictures have announced that Tom Hiddleston has land the lead role in Skull Island. The film will explore the home of King Kong and his origins with Jordan Vogt-Roberts as the director.

I’m so excited about this news. Tom Hiddleston is a great actor and has shown it in various supporting roles but has yet to be the lead in a big film, so this is an amazing opportunity for him.

Skull Island will be released in theaters November 4, 2016

New Poster for Into the Woods

The first movie poster for Disney’s Into the Woods is finally here and features three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep as the terrifying Witch.

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Directed by Rob Marshall, Into the Woods hits theaters this year on Christmas day.

Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell cast in Ben Hur remake

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There was some speculation at the beginning of the month that Tom Hiddleston was in negotiations to play the role of Ben Hur in the remake of the movie but this week has been confirmed that the role has in the end gone to Jack Huston.

Later this week has also been announced that Toby Kebbell will play Messala. With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the upcoming Fantastic Four it seems he has taken a fancy for villainous roles.

This two actors will join Morgan Freeman who was already cast as Ildarin. The remake is set to be release on February 26, 2016

Deadpool movie announced with Kevin Feige producing

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After the hype that the Deadpool “leaked” footage provoked amongst the fans of the superhero genre, Fox has finally confirmed the movie, which will come out on February 12, 2016. It’s yet to be announced if Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which wasn’t a big success.

The movie will be directed by Tim Miller but the most curious thing about this news is that Kevin Feige from Marvel will be producing it. As you might know, Fox has the rights to the character of Deadpool and not Marvel/Disney so, why is Kevin Feige the producer? With the Marvel Cinematic Universe already consolidated maybe Kevin Feige wants to make sure that other superhero films are also a success so audiences will keep interest in the genre, which would also affect his property.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Stills

With the third Hunger Games movie coming out on November 19 it’s rare the week we don’t get something new about it. This time is the promotional stills.

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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.