Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A reviews: Fantastic Four 2015 (may contain spoilers)

There are currently so many reviews circulating the internet that by now everyone must know that the reboot of Fantastic Four was, to put it nicely, a pretty huge letdown. But because I like movies, and because I also like to rant at great length about movies, I decided to share my two cents. I'm sure you all know the premise - super smart geek builds a spaceship, only in the reboot it's an inter-dimensional transportation device. The Fantastic Four suffer a 'space accident' that gives them incredible powers, along with their arch-nemesis, Victor Von Doom (or 'Dr. Doom' as he becomes).

I think the most disappointing thing about Fantastic Four was that it really should have been better. When I first saw the trailer, I'll admit I was nowhere near as enthusiastic about it as I have been to all the other comic book movies and TV shows. With such fantastic offerings like Netflix original Daredevil, or the Avengers, Fantastic Four looked like it wasn't going to meet the bar. But the first half of the movie, while a little slow, is a pretty good set up. We see new aspects to Reed, Ben, and then their relationship. But the great start to their relationship is quickly derailed as soon as they grow up.

Adult Reed quickly abandons his best friend in favor of a scholarship to the Baxter Institute, where he meets a cold and boring Sue who was adopted into the Storm family (why she needed to be adopted is completely unclear - the rest of the Storm family are African-Americans, and it would have made far more sense if Sue was as well. Particularly because they completely ignore any jealousy or other dramas that could have come from the adoption other than one or two hints). Johnny Storm apparently has daddy issues and he is introduced via a Fast and the Furious audition, which completely ignored the fact he's also meant to be an incredibly bright science geek. He quickly moves into a typical side character (without the fantastic and snappy one-liners.) Budding relationships are limited to snapshots of the group sitting around and talking while Victor's strong introduction is quickly reduced to simply watching these moments in an attempt to convey jealousy of Sue and Reeds supposed romance.

Ben reappears, scoring a spot on the transporter when a crucial member of the team is kind of just... left behind (not to worry, though! They will still gain powers for no apparent reason). Speaking of, when they do get their powers, things for a moment start to get interesting when they're taking captive by the government/military. Reed escapes captivity, Ben's trying to deal with his new life while being exploited by the military, and the Storms just keep on filling up the background while providing little worth to the current events. Sue's 'shining' moment of her character is when she helps to track down Reed using her supposed pattern recognition/analyzation skills. Its the type of thing that a) could have been accomplished far more efficiently by a computer, and b) was purely added for plot purposes, further cementing Sue as a pretty-faced prop.

Any sort of rise the movie had created is quickly followed by a huge crash as the movie begins to rush, pulling out a villain in the form of Dr. Doom. Victor was at worst, an ass with a conspiracy and anti 'the man' complex but Dr. Doom is hell-bent on destroying everything. They hint that Victor had issues with the Baxter foundation previously but refuse to follow through, leading to something along the lines of 'he's now a villain because we said so'.

The climax arriving was a complete surprise - the movie had done very little to put the four together as a team. As a result, the final battle was sloppy, poorly put together, and didn't utilize the team's powers. Dr. Doom's abilities were inconsistent and while Reed is originally struggling to use his powers without aid, that's somehow fixed by pure willpower in the space of thirty seconds.

I'm normally opposed to movies being split into parts, but I feel like Fantastic Four would have benefited from a far longer runtime. It could have also been saved by better humor, or more thrilling action scenes, or if they had just continued to build/round out their characters and relationships rather than let them fall flat. At the end of the day, while I didn't hate it, it should have been a lot better than it was and I wouldn't be that interested in watching it again.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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