Sunday, 9 August 2015

Fantastic Four

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. 

Fantastic Four is the 20th Century Fox reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise (2005-2007) that many would agree was not that good - but so horribly fun. This is ironically the fourth Fantastic Four movie and the second (technically third) stab at Fantastic Four, which comes just eight years after the first try and its sequel. Which didn't really set the bar inordinately high. Based on the oldest Marvel comic titles, this inherited property feels less like a blockbuster in this age of comics-oriented productions. This film isn't an embarrassment but a wrong experiment. Although, disappointingly this new adaptation isn't that much better than the previous one. They barely drew from a different source to reimagine the quartet's origins, without even improving them. Moreover, the cast is significantly younger. The heart and soul of the original comics were part of the interaction between each character. From Ben's depression at having become a "monster" to the budding relationship between Reed and Sue, to Johnny and Ben's squabbling. Those things didn't even slightly emerged. 

Central characters are mostly gazing intently into computer screen throughout the major part of the movie. There's no clear development to Victor's drastic transformation into the powerful villain. It felt that Victor was a better character before he becomes Dr.Doom. Technically, the look has slightly improved. Starting with the Thing who picks up computer-generated size, muscle and menace which might have lacked in the former incarnation. As for the costumes, they are built for utility only. Film goers are treated with a lot of science, that, I'm not complaining about, I always liked good theories. CGI is not convincing at all though. Even the green screens are laughable. Not one of the extraterrestrial scenes are believable, like this world might exists somewhere. 

Nothing really happen, it's long and boring. This movie displays a bunch of people trying to make something and then they get powers, but don't really use them so nothing's happening still. Alas, it takes a long time before anyone gets around to smash much of anything. And because it's hardly a mystery the heroes will end up facing off with Doom, there's a sense of killing time in the early going that's not adequately compensated for by the action sequences and especially the "big" finale. Where many recent superhero movies have risked overstaying their welcome, Fantastic Four, at 100 minutes has a slow initial pace, climax probably should have come at least half an hour sooner and the end feels a little bit rushed. Don't expect a lot of action as the film takes most of its time with exposition and development from the very beginning. In fact, this film is one giant exposition. There isn't one single memorably cool moment in the movie that people would talk about.

Director Josh Trank sharing script credit with producer Simon Keborg (veteran of the X-Men franchise) and Jeremy Slater go way back into the group's past this time around. Plus, the script made major changes to the origin story which immediately distinguishes itself from the previous adaptations, with a seriousness of tone and a near-absence of humour, horrid dialogues and predictable moments, all accumulated have ruined the potential this film had. The final third and the last scene are so suddenly cheesy, I cringed. The collaboration of Marco Beltrami and Philip Glass also yields some intriguing riffs in what ultimately sounds like a pretty conventional score. Finally, they made a movie to set up another movie. Producers no longer intend to make good movies on their own. I genuinely never thought to this day to see a superhero movie that is that bad. There's no post-credit scene as it's probably not tied to the MCU.   

Overall, I really wanted so bad to love this movie but the entire run time is exposition. This movie feels like a teaser for a more exciting follow up that might never happen. The cast is all very talented and do their best to make this believable. What the heck happened?

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