Fantastic Four full movie review - A "Fantastic" Chore to Watch
Twentieth Century Fox has managed to create yet another fantastic fail with the newest remake of "Fantastic Four".
Movie-goers expecting the usual energetic, action-packed, captivating Marvel adventure should reconsider their decision to purchase a ticket. This movie, originally aiming to be an intrepid take on the story, has unfortunately become an embarrassing addition to the Marvel family complete with a lack of action, an incoherent plot, undeveloped characters, and cliché dialogue.
The story involves Reed Richards, a brilliant young scientist, who teams up with three other intellectuals, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm, and Victor von Doom, to create a portal to an alternate universe, Planet Zero. In an unplanned trip through the portal, three of the scientists as well as Reed's friend, Ben Grimm, gain superhuman powers from a mysterious substance that permanently alter their physical form. While teleporting back to Earth, the group loses Victor on the other side of the portal, and when Victor is rescued, his feelings towards Earth have changed, for the worse. The Fantastic Four (Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben) must band together and harness their superpowers to stop Doctor Doom from destroying the Earth.
This plot had the potential to be as engaging as all the other Marvel films until "Fantastic Four" writer-director Josh Trank decided to compress the action scenes into the last ten minutes of the movie. During the only battle scene, Victor wants to kill everybody; the individual members could not stop Victor until they decided to work together; the team pulls through. How original. In the end, bringing Victor's downfall seemed less challenging than watching the entirety of the movie. Presented with the option to choose any of the thrilling Fantastic Four adventures in the comics, Trank chose to make a movie with an hour and a half of exposition and a misshapen thing that Trank believes is an ending.
The movie also features so many plot holes that I was surprised not to view Adam Sandler in the cast list. After the disjointed exposition, the male members of the team resolve to travel to the alternate universe while intoxicated since the multi-million dollar teleporter is conveniently left unsupervised in a vacant building at night. Unfortunately, Susan Storm, the only female scientist involved in the project, is left out of the adventure, instead ditched for Ben who was not even part of the project and apparently has no problem traveling to other planets at midnight with no short notice. Even more disappointing is that after the scientists had invested millions of dollars and worked on the project for more than half of the movie, the whole contamination ordeal occurred only because the inter-dimensional teleporter was made with single pane glass, and it broke (unexpectedly).
The most appalling plot hole appeared, however, once the One- Year-Later title card flashed onto the screen. Why does Susan Storm have powers even though she never touches the green substance on Planet Zero? What happens to Reed after he decided to run from the facility where he was imprisoned after returning to Earth? How do the rest of main characters adjust to their superpowers and face the challenges presented with mastering their powers? Apparently, Trank never wants the audience to know.
It is unfortunate when the Wikipedia page offers more substantial character information than the actual movie does. Within the long, winding exposition, the relationships between characters are developed awkwardly so that one scene the characters are introduced, and not even five minutes later, they are the closest of friends. Additionally, most of Victor von Doom's character history and relationships can be described in one word, vague. Doctor Doom vaguely has feelings for Susan Storm. Unlike the diabolical Doctor Doom in the comic series, this Doom only has a vague hatred of the government. Doctor Doom has a vague reason to destroy the Earth and kill everyone in the climax. By not providing any background on the character and disregarding the comic, Trank manages to create one long, unexplained mystery of a film, understandably displeasing both Marvel and non-Marvel fans alike.
The movie also consisted of an assortment of clichéd lines from what seemed to be Twilight. With lines like "I'm an adult, old enough to make my own decisions," and "We can't change the past, but we can change the future", it is a wonder the movie received any views at all. Supplementing the trite dialogue was a series of mistakes in design and lighting. Susan Storm's hair color and length changes at least once every other scene, and the lighting was too dark for more than half the film, making all the dull scenes depressing as well.
Unfortunately, I had to search for commendable qualities of this film, but a few respectable features were present. The background information of Reed's childhood was decent as it described his budding friendship with Ben and his early interest in the project. If only all the other characters had been given the same amount of time for background details, the movie might have been more engaging. Unfortunately, introduce-and-move-on is not an accepted plot structure, Josh Trank.
Overall, the outcome and disorganized feel of "Fantastic Four" is deeply disappointing to many Marvel fans (including myself) especially since the quality of this movie could have been easily improved by adding more action scenes and focusing in on the history of each character. I certainly hope that Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox will not make the disastrous decision to produce another version in the foreseeable future. You've had enough chances.