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Fantastic Four - Movie Review

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Fantastic Four - Movie Review

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1 star

Kevin Feige, where are you? With all your work getting Spider-Man back under the Marvel Studios umbrella, I’m afraid you might have missed some important meetings or emails from Twentieth Century Fox concerning what they are doing with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four. Please don’t tell me that you’ve given up on Marvel’s longest running comic book team?! Because the fans – even after four awful movies – haven’t given up for a chance to cheer on some of the best comic book storylines in the last 54 years.

For the team’s 2015 reboot, director Josh Trank takes the indie approach to the world of CGI superheroes, massive world destruction, and ends up wasting a talented cast with an elongated origin story that ends right where the damn movie should have started. Oy vey, is this ever a doomed voyage. Starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell, Trank’s take on Fantastic Four is full of self-consuming drama involving parallel worlds, young lust, and winds up presenting itself to audiences in three parts that never connect to form a cohesive whole.

Trank’s co-writers Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg desperately want the picture to have the feel of a legit Marvel Studios production but they cram their script with a herky-jerky motion that is hard to ignore and forgive. From lighthearted to dark grit, Fantastic Four – involving an insane Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) who wants to make man in his image – is all over the place flexing dramatic muscles it never once earns.

Dark and moody does not make a Marvel Studios movie and, yet, with a vintage throwback feel to some of the events there was, at one time, a simpler tale to be told within this world. I don’t know what happened here. The end result is a flimsy super heroic mess that, once assembled in its power-controlling suit, is a film that could have been directed by anyone. It is, at times, that lifeless. So what happened? Where is the auteur craftsmanship that some expected after Trank’s stunning debut with Chronicle?

Rumors of production nightmares have plagued Fantastic Four for a long time now. Even before all the reshoots were ordered, the internet was on fire about the cast and the fact that the storyline would follow the “Ultimate Fantastic Four” and present Reed Richards, Sue and Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm in a modern and younger form for this reboot. Well, folks, the cast simply isn’t the problem here. By the very end of the picture (and I do mean the very end), you will want to see more of what and who they eventually become; it is the getting there that completely sucks the life out of this picture.

The point is that the reboot – in spite of its strong cast – began its new life with a significant limp and, now that it is out for us to see, it is apparent that it should have been put out of its misery when the words “modern” or “gloomy” were first uttered. To me the film’s nonsensical twists and turns suggests that the big behemoths over at Twentieth Century Fox wanted one product and Trank turned in something else. Everyone knows who wins that battle and it is usually at the cost of the audience’s overall enjoyment.

So here we are with another lackluster attempt to bring The Fantastic Four to life on the big screen. At this point, I think Marvel Studios – who sold a lot of their properties to Sony and Twentieth Century Fox early on (before they were a studio powerhouse) – just needs to cough up the dough and get all of their properties back under one roof so that this insult to Stan Lee’s creation won’t continue to happen.

I mean, seriously, why is a Fantastic Four film this difficult to get right?

Fantastic Four - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and language
Runtime:
100 mins
Director
: Josh Trank
Writer:
Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater
Cast:
Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan
Genre
: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
Beyond darkness... beyond fear... lies the fantastic.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I just want my work to make a difference."
Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site: http://www.fantasticfourmovie.com/
Release Date:
August 7, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

No details available.

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