I could easily just jump right in here, but let’s talk about the history of the Fantastic Four movies. In the ’80s and ’90s, a cash-strapped Marvel Comics started selling off their properties to film companies. 20th Century Fox acquired X-Men in 1994 and Daredevil in 1997, Universal got Iron Man in 1990 and Hulk in 1992, and the Fanastic Four was acquired by Constantin Film before later being bought out by Fox. The first Fantastic Four movie, released in 1994, was a low-budget fiasco, but a charming one at that. The more commonly known 2005 version doesn’t get quite the same goodwill, and its 2007 follow-up Rise of the Silver Surfer was a slight improvement, but far from a good movie. Just two years before Marvel would regain the character rights, Fox has hurriedly come out with another reboot, and oh boy. This movie is bad.
Since we’re 150 words in and I’m just now getting to the movie, I’ll keep things brief. There’s no conflict or antagonist for the first two thirds of the movie. I guess they want recognition for their invention, but when they get that recognition they’re still upset for some reason. Norman from The Wire tells the Human Torch at one point that the government wants to do something to him, but we don’t know what it is, so we just kind of have to take his word for it, I guess. And ultimately, the government just kind of lets them do whatever they want. So basically, the only real conflict comes when we see Doctor Doom in the last thirty minutes.
English actor Toby Kebbell’s performance as Doctor Doom is the worst I’ve seen in a long time. He’s supposed to have a nondescript Eastern European accent (he’s from the mythical Latveria), and Human Torch even calls him Borat at one point, but it really just sounds like he’s struggling to do an American accent. Really, the only good performance in this movie was Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch. Miles Teller was a dick, Jamie Bell clearly didn’t want to be there, and Kate Mara wasn’t given any personality to work with.
With a $120 million budget, I was blown away by how terrible the special effects were. And while you might think things get a little better when they get their powers and start being heroes about an hour into the movie, the only tolerable part was the first half hour or so, when we were getting a feel for the characters and the world they lived in. This part wasn’t great either, since no one’s dialogue or reactions to anything were believable, but it was at least passable.
I give Fantastic Four a D-. It’s a horrendous piece of shit, and I loved every minute of it. If you’ve got a good sense of humor, I highly recommend you watch it. Be on the lookout for reviews of Shaun the Sheep, Man from UNCLE, and Straight Outta Compton real quick, as well as some other articles probably I don’t know.