Friday, 7 August 2015

Review - Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four 2015 poster.jpgI've been looking forward to this Fantastic Four film since its announced and even with the overwhelming negative response from critics, i still walked into this film optimistic that i would love it. Unfortunately i didn't, but it is nowhere near as bad as the critics are saying it is.

This reboot of the Fantastic Four is directed by Josh Trank, written by Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg and Trank and stars; Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey and Tim Blake Nelson.

The story revolves around a group of scientists researching inter-dimensional travel, after an accident, the group gains supernatural abilities that they need to learn how to harness when a greater threat presents itself.

I'm not going to delve into the various problems there were with the film during production, i'm just going to review the film as i saw it. My main problem with the film is the third act, it feels incredibly rushed and messy, Dr. Doom doesn't appear until the last 20 minutes of the film, they make him do some bad things to show he is 'evil' and then let the Fantastic Four fight and defeat him, all in the last 20 minutes, the strange thing is the story is very slow throughout the film and i didn't mind that, but the third act is so out of place with the rest of the film, I would've had Dr. Doom appear earlier, give him a good motivation for being evil and show how fearsome he truly is, in the comic books Dr. Doom is one of the biggest and most popular villains in the Marvel universe and he is an afterthought in this film, not to keep on with the Dr. Doom hate but his outfit was terrible, his mask was really badly designed and actually looked comical instead of intimidating. Its a real shame because Toby Kebbell, the actor playing Victor Von Doom/ Dr. Doom is a fantastic (no pun intended) actor and he is truly wasted in this role.

Toby Kebbell as Dr. Doom in Fantastic Four
In a group film like this you would hope the team is together for a lot of the film bonding, becoming a team and understanding each others power's but no, the film has some of them together for part of the film but they don't come together until the last 10-15 minutes which is very disappointing, also there is no character development for any of the characters, they all start and end in the same place and do not learn anything from their hardships in the film, which is incredibly disappointing, they set up several character arcs that are never fulfilled and are left hanging.

There isn't much of a story to the film except for the team gets powers and then defeat Doom, in the interviews before the film came out, Trank was saying how he was inspired by John Carpenter and that the team would be scared of their powers, which i thought could be a really interesting story, to see how the characters deal with their new found power, but they pretty much skip that period which is a waste of something we have never really seen in a superhero film.
Jamie Bell as The Thing in Fantastic Four
I don't want to fully hate on the film because there were some things i liked about it, most importantly the cast, the main four, Teller, Jordan, Mara and Bell were all really good in their roles, as was Kebbell as the villain, they fitted their characters and understood who they were, you could see the friendship between Bell and Teller thanks to the chemistry between the two and the sibling friction between Mara and Jordan.
But my favourite performance of the film was Reg E. Cathey, who played Franklin Storm, Sue and Johnny's father, he was the central emotional piece in the film, what brought all of the characters together and who really got through the theme of family, which is very important to the Fantastic Four.
The Sci-Fi theme was also very strong in the film and felt more like a Sci-Fi film than a comic book film, which is a nice change for a comic book film and makes it stand out in the horde of generic superhero films.
Like i said above with the John Carpenter theme, there was one scene when they first get their powers which is scary and anxious, it was a brilliant scene, my favourite in the film, if the rest of the film was at this level it could've been amazing,

The Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four is a very disappointing film, it had a ton of potential, the director of Chronicle, one of the best found footage films ever made, a great cast of young actors exploding with potential and a brilliant writer in Simon Kinberg who penned the script for X-Men:Days of Future Past, one of my favourite superhero films, but somehow it just fizzled. it seems to be a lot of studio involvement in the film, you can tell that they had to re-shoot some scenes after some fan backlash and it suffers from a terrible third act that really disappoints after the build-up from the rest of the film.
This is definitely the best Fantastic Four film of the bunch, which isn't hard, but i would recommend that you watch it and have an opinion for yourself and don't listen to the barrage of negative critics out there, the film is a mess but has some redeeming qualities.

What did you think of Fantastic Four?
Comment and let me know!

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