Fantastic Four, directed by Josh Trank (and let’s be honest a slew of Fox higher ups) is a fascinatingly bad film. Not for a very long time have I seen such a poorly managed project, make its way to the big screen. This is a film that presents an interesting idea, and then makes a B-line for stupidity and confusion. This is a situation where it’s actually really interesting to watch the visual representation of a film be scene by scene destroyed, by the too many cooks in the kitchen metaphor.
So I think Fantastic Four is supposed to be the origin story of how Reid Richards (Miles Teller), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) and The Thing (Jamie Bell) become the aforementioned super group. After some poorly connected scenes they fight Victor Von Doom (Tony Kebbell) and from all of this a film is supposedly emerges (spoiler, it doesn’t).
Something crazy happened during the first act and a half of Fantastic Four, I was actually enjoying it. Despite some clunky and rushed editing, there is an okay film in the beginning. This didn’t last though, as there is a point in the film where the direction it seemed to be taking is flipped upside down and Fantastic Four begins what it technically a different film. It was kind of interesting to watch, never have I seen something so blatantly torn away from its creative lead and handed to someone (or some people) in such an obvious way. When the final scenes where playing (scenes that come from nowhere) my jaw had literally fallen open and I was looking around to see if this was really happening, “Surely this isn’t real, this must be an elaborate joke by the studio”. This is something I had to think to think to myself.
The most frustrating thing about all of this is that there were glimpses of a good film in Fantastic Four. Hints of what director Josh Trank’s vision for this film seep through every so often, and I liked what I saw. This is no more the case than when we watch the scenes in which the heroes are discovering their new body altering new abilities. These moments almost made me feel like I was watching a Cronenberg-esque film (the Fly being a perfect example). The psychological trauma, the fear in their voices, the inability to control who they once were, Fantastic Four had me completely on board for watching a film like this. It would be something completely different from what we had seen before. Sadly the very next scene is where logic is thrown out and the reshoots and idiocy kick in. It becomes a nonsensical mess filled with unwarranted action, a complete void of character development or interaction, and the whole thing takes a nose dive into insulting the audience’s observational abilities their intelligence.
Who I feel really bad for in all this is the actors that signed onto do this film. Fantastic Four boasts a very talented and capable cast. Each actor has proven their abilities in many other projects and would have had no trouble headlining a psychological superhero adventure. Instead each actor is wasted, not one is given a moment to show how god they are. Not only does the film insult the audience, it insults its actors.
What I think to be the worst aspect of Fantastic Four is that the studio (Fox) felt they could get away with releasing this film to the public. What this film is and how it was handled and subsequently how it was delivered is a shameful and gross act on the part of anyone involved at Fox. Believing that they could get away with this film perhaps highlights the idiocy on their part, and this film will hopefully be a wakeup call for them.
I’m not recommending fantastic Four, you knew that already. I more saw this film because I was interested in seeing just how much of a calamity it was. I saw it so you don’t have too. Do something more productive or fun with your day; see almost any other film, please.
Do you have any comments on Fantastic Four? Let me know down below. Follow me on Twitter for more of my Ramblings, @GavinsTurtle. Enjoy the rest of your day.