Film Review – Fantastic Four (2015)

Fantastic Four - post

Title – Fantastic Four (2015)

Director – Josh Trank (Chronicle)

Cast – Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson

Plot – A group of young scientists and social outcasts led the brilliant yet emotionally floored minds of Reed Richards (Teller) and Victor Von Doom (Kebbell) are transformed into super-human’s after a teleportation to another dimension goes horribly wrong.

“With every new discovery, there is risk, there is sacrifice… and there are consequences”

Review by Eddie on 29/04/2016

It’s highly likely that we’ll never understand fully just what happened behind the scenes of Fantastic Four to make it the film it is today.

It’s a film that even the most pessimistic of comic book haters, popcorn disliking, nerd despising, anti-movie fiends couldn’t have predicted the amount of hate thrown its way and the ill will that Josh Trank’s second feature film received upon release.

Box Office receipts were dire, critics tore shreds of a film they labelled “boring” or “to dark” and many including audiences were bemused at how this supposed comic book film floated by for near on an hour of running time to then descend into a chaotic final act of atrocious CGI and one of modern movie history’s most poorly constructed and underdeveloped villains.

The mystery surrounding Fantastic Four’s failure flows from studio interference, including the studio butchering a rushed re-edit of the film before release, director Josh Trank’s bizarre on set behaviours and mismanagement of actors and all manner of script writers for hire coming in and having a go at trying to make something of Trank’s clearly going for bleak re-telling of an already previously mismanaged franchise (Silver Surfer anyone?). Considering all the hatred and lacklustre talk surrounding this film, upon reflection on home release, Fantastic Four isn’t actually “that” bad.

It’s certainly not a good film, actually it’s very far from it but in 2015 there were a lot of seriously bad movies and at least for lack of a better word, Fantastic Four tried. It’s not the usual action set piece after action set piece comic book film we’ve grown to know and love and then grow tired of and Trank and his team clearly had some decent ideas.

Bursting onto the scene with his found footage Sci-Fi Chronicle, the once bright career of Trank seems destined to be clouded in controversy after his efforts here but there are moments of genuine cinematic quality. The way in which our fantastic team of unsuspecting super powered humans discover their abilities is effective and the casting seems mainly on point.

We all know the talents of Whiplash’s Miles Teller, Fruitvale Station’s and Creed’s Michael B. Jordan and the likes of Jamie Bell, Kate Mara and Toby Kebbell are no slouches but whoever in the end edited, constructed and wrote this film killed Fantastic Four’s chances to fly with some of the most poorly designed editing, character development and plot advancements in recent memory and not once do we feel any real connection with these people or believe that they share any form of chemistry whatsoever and the films aforementioned final act is bewilderingly bad, the only excuse it would have would be the studio’s so called interference.

It’s somewhat of a shame we will never get to know just what ruined this glum and often more dramatically natured Fantastic Four outing that at the end of the day has nothing even remotely memorable about it other than the fact it’s so downright lacking in energy, humour/lightness and a seemingly lack of effort.

The cast was there and no doubt willing but due to a raft of seemingly powerful situations this film ended up being a real non-event, certainly not as unwatchable in its terribleness that many would’ve had us believe, but certainly a messy, sporadically entertaining attempt at finally making the Fantastic Four a viable big screen staple.

2 gum chewing head honchos out of 5

42 responses to “Film Review – Fantastic Four (2015)

    • I don’t know, I found it pretty much unwatchable, but perhaps I shouldn’t have seen it in the cinema.

      One problem was in the departure from the standard FF, which presented confused relationships that needed more development (perhaps better upon second viewing?). Still, of the new FF, my favourite character was Johnny ‘Storm’ (a change that won me over), and I thought Sue may possibly have been better with better writing (read: boring, uninspired, and underdeveloped as is). However, I just could not accept the Reed Richards in this version, and Ben Grimm seemed completely out of place (after all, everyone else is an uber engineer/physicist and he’s a junk yard worker). And that’s not even touching on Doom’s character which, apparently, was forgotten about re:development shortly after he was introduced.

      After the character flaws, you get to the poor writing and bad plot development. The most glaring of this was the building up of Sue’s scientific talent, only to completely ignore it when it was needed to find Reed. Second to that was the abysmal finish to the climactic battle (and I’m ignoring the eco-theme here), followed by the hurried explanation of how the FF got their name and the Baxter Building. Then, there’s also the highly cliched smart kid story for Reed.

      Maybe this is a case of it coming across better with a second viewing, but my recollection of this movie is easily one of the worst of the year (hey, I even liked Pixels better than this mess).

  1. I’d wondered whether this was as horrible as everyone said it was. With such a great cast and a up and coming director I didn’t think it could be that horrible. I’ll give it a chance at some point.

  2. I’ll be honest, I still haven’t seen it.
    When it first came out I was teetering on the edge of Super-Hero Burn Out (was that way right up until the Deadpool Movie and the Suicide Squad trailers) and I figured if I saw one more bad or uninspired (Looking at you Age Of Ultron, Thor:Dark Wolrd, etc, etc) Cape Film I’d never touch a comic book again.

  3. That was the biggest flap of the year. They should gave me the money instead of doing the remake. I did not see it. I did not want to. Nice review.

  4. Yeh, it’s really hard to know what exactly went on behind the scenes for this, because there is the germ of an idea what Trank was trying to accomplish within the first half of the film.
    Add to that all the missing footage that was in the early trailers and you know there were reshoots and changes that took place.
    I didn’t think it was too bad (try holding it up to the first Fantastic Four movie, you can find that on YouTube) and I liked the whole sic-fi Journey into Mystery vibe that was going on.
    My review is here, if you’re interested:-

  5. Okay, okay. Not bad at all. I definitely see where you’re coming from. Certainly could’ve (should’ve) been a good film, but clearly so much got in the way, and it didn’t help that so much negative news coverage added to all the negativity surrounding this film.

  6. Haven’t been blog reading anywhere close to I used to, but wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten about you guys. Surprised you avoided this blunder for so long.

  7. Hey,

    One of my co-workers saw this movie and said it was the worst movie he’d seen in many years. I’ll most likely watch it later on, and see for myself; but yes, the general consensus is that it sucked.
    On a different note, I see you changed the look of your website. I like it.

    — M

    • Cheers M we did give it a bit of a re work a few months back, glad you like it.
      Fantastic 4 isn’t the worst film ive seen but gee wiz it gets pretty messy sadly.

  8. I finally got around to seeing this movie on an airplane a couple weeks back and I have to say it wasn’t even worth the time spent in an inescapable metal tube thousands of feet in the air. So boring. So bland. So clearly reshot. They took unlimited potential and flushed it down a low budget, meandering, absolutely silly toilet.

    However, I did love how Reed and Ben were somehow performing interdimensional travel at a kids science fair despite being approximately 25 years old.

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