Before its official release, Fantastic Four wasn’t something that gave hope to anyone who wanted to see the franchise make its way back into movie theaters. There was virtually no buzz, there was allegedly an enormous amount of drama going on behind the scenes and not even the actors had seen the actual film yet. If that’s any indication of how it would turn out once it hit the big screen, then it looks like everyone should just stay home.
Nevertheless, I’m sure many of you will still be hopeful that this could be turned into something worthwhile. After all, it stars a group of actors with credible experience during their young careers and is based on a recognizable comic book series. Plus, they have a chance to rebuild things from scratch since it’s an origins story.
From the start, we get a look at how the characters find themselves in the positions that would see them turn into a quartet of heroes determined to protect the world. While that’s to be expected, no one would have thought that this period of their story would actually be the majority of the film. You would think that there would be more going on, but there’s honestly not much else.
Sure, there’s some superhero stuff in the latter parts of the movie, but once we finally get there, it looks cheap, it’s boring and just as useless as everything else that we had already watched before we got to the finish line. Because of this, Fantastic Four doesn’t feel like much of anything. In fact, the entire movie has a tone that leads you to believe that its sole purpose is to be here just because it can be. I can’t say why that is, but it is, and that’s never a good thing.
In order for a film or any kind of entertainment to be successful, there has to be some kind of purpose behind it. Even if that purpose is just meaningless fun, there needs to be a reason for someone to want to watch, listen or play what you’re asking them to pay for. If there’s none of that, what’s the point of even putting it out there? For the creators, it’s obviously money, but what about the rest of us?
I seriously hope that this Fantastic Four thingy doesn’t hurt the careers of the actors that decided to sign on to do it because under normal circumstances, this is the kind of movie that can leave a career six feet under dirt and story upon story of concrete resting comfortably on top of it. Then again, Kate Mara’s career appears to be pretty indestructible. It did somehow survive the horrendous Transcendence. If a career can survive that, anything is possible.
Another funny thing about this is that none of the characters ever feel like they’re in a leading role either. It’s strange because that’s usually established early on in films regardless of whether they feature a great cast or not. I guess this goes back to my point of Fantastic Four not really establishing anything. It shows up and it stays for a little while before it swiftly fades away leaving no one with a chance to care about it barring an enormous miracle of fantastic proportions.
This reminds me of those superhero movies from the early parts of the 2000’s. You didn’t usually get a ton of great quality or substance from those movies, but that was a time when people didn’t believe that movies based on comics to contain much in terms of depth. Back then, something like this may have gotten a pass, because we got to see action that was once restricted to paper actually come to life due to some of our favorite actors taking on the roles of some of our favorite superheroes. Thanks to films like 2008’s The Dark Knight, stuff like that is now considered unacceptable.
Fantastic Four is not unwatchable the first time around, but I do think it would be nearly impossible to sit through it again. What helped me make it through the first time was the fact that I didn’t know what to expect. As I was watching, I kept waiting for something that never had any interest in showing up. I’ve never had this happen to me before, but I’m guessing it would kind of be like waiting for a date to arrive but she never does. When you go through it, it may not seem like you were waiting for hours, but if you knew she was never going to show, those hours may feel like days.
Director: Josh Trank
Michael B. Jordan
Reg E. Cathey
Tim Blake Nelson
Film Length: 106 minutes
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Distributor: 20th Century Fox