Fantastic Four, or proof that things can always get worse…

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the movie theater to watch Pixels and I thought that it would have been the worst movie I would ever see this year. I thought that no one could push the acting bar lower than the performance by Adam Sandler. I thought it would be the bottom rung of my movie ranking scale. Little did I know how far from the truth I was. Warning: spoilers ahead, though I cannot honestly recommend watching this movie before reading this post…

I was always a bit skeptical of the “Fantastic Four” remake. The original movies were not all that bad but were definitely more light hearted and goofier than the current batch of marvel things and could have used a little bit more seriousness in their plots. The reboot was meant to fix that with a grittier, edgier, more “Man of Steel” movie, with colors ranging from grey to blue-ish grey and brown. While I had no qualms about the new younger and more diverse cast, something in the trailers really bugged me. There were no hints about the actual plot of the movie. Obviously, a trailer can ruin a movie if too much is revealed and a more subtle one can improve a movie, but the trailer for this movie felt too shallow. Sure there was interesting visuals and hints of some actions scenes, but that was it. It felt like an empty promise. That should have been the first red flag.

Now, a good sign of how successful a movie will is the attendance of the opening night. When I went to see Avengers 2, I got there an hour early and the room was already half full, and ended packed. When I went to see Ant Man, I got there half an hour early, one guy was already waiting for the room to be ready and about half the room was full for the movie. This is what happened last night for Fantastic Four:


That was fifteen minutes before the start of the movie. I was the only guy there, and maybe a dozen people showed up five minutes before show time. That when I started to suspect something was up, the second red flag.

Nothing could have prepare me for what I was going to watch. There are so many thing that are mind-bogglingly wrong with this film I am not even sure where to start.

I guess they succeeded in making the movie grimmer and edgier. So edgy, fact that there were no bright color. Everything was tinted blue and grey. No reds, no greens, no yellows… Only cold colors. Even the characters where cold. Not a single one of the ever show anything remotely close to a personality or an emotion. Every single actor simply spatted their lines, as if reading from a teleprompter. Only occasionally gracing us some form of intonations. Even Adam Sandler, who I harshly criticized in my review of “Pixels”, had more character and acting skill than the entire cast of this movie! This movie made “Pixels” look like “Guardian of the Galaxy” good!

Let’s talk about the plot for moment, or rather the lack there of. Any properly written story has multiple phase to it,or acts, that guides it. The set up, the tipping point, the adventure, the final confrontation, and finally the resolution. For example, let take “Captain America, The First Avenger”. The set up: Red skull and Steve Rogers are introduced. The tipping point: Steve is injected with the super serum and Hydra kills the scientist who made it. The adventure: Steve is now Captain America, going around destroying hydra bases in Europe. The final confrontation: the assault on The red’s skulls base and on the flying airship. The resolution: Cap is frozen in the ice and presumed dead only to be defrosted by shield in the present time. Simple right?

“Fantastic Four”‘s plot doesn’t follow that structure. It has a really drown out set up, building that teleportation machine, and the heroes don’t get their power until more than an hour in. Even then, there’s a least 30 some minutes of filler where nothing important happens until the bad guy, Doctor DOOM, resurfaces. We are now an hour and a half into the movie and it’s time to put things into high gear! Who cares about adventure and character building? Let’s jump directly to the final fight! There is only one really action sequence in the whole film and it’s at the very end. Even then it’s a fairly quick in and out fight, and then boom, quick resolution and end.

It felt like this should have been a much longer film. It’s almost like there was an entire second act that was cut out and the ending was shortened so that the movie could be only two hours long. Even the trailer is almost criminally ripe full of scenes that are nowhere to be found in the movie.

This is the perfect example of what I was talking about in my post about watching bad movies. After watching “Fantastic Four” I realized that “pixels wasn’t as bad as I first thought. Sure it had flaws, but nowhere as many as “Fantastic Four” had. It gave me a proper reference point for what a truly terrible movie can be. You don’t have to take my word for it, just go on Rotten tomatoes or IMDB and see for yourself, “Pixels” has better scores.

I can only hope that Marvel get the rights back from 20th century Fox soon and do justice to these iconic characters. I think this a movie not worth watching and it seems like it is already well on its way to complete failure.


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