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