Tuesday 4 August 2015

Review: Fantastic Four

World of Blackout Film Review

Fantastic Four Poster

Fantastic Four
Cert: 12A / 100 mins / Dir. Josh Trank / Trailer
WoB Rating: 2/7

Y'know, when the poster proudly trumpets "From the studio that brought you X-Men, Days Of Future Past", what you have to remember is that they're also the studio that brought you Fantastic Four. Although if anything, that should only raise audience expectations, right? After all, a period of contrite reflection and furious storyboarding did Sony alright, didn't it?

Well, I can tell you now that Fantastic Four isn't the worst Fantastic Four movie any more. Fantastic Four is*1. The plot of Josh Trank's reboot sees five young actors step into an under-tested machine, who are then hurled into the atmosphere-free void of Simon Kinberg's screenplay, a barren, desolate landscape bereft of drama, charm or wit. Or interest.

How have they done this? How have a real, grown-up studio with a (patchy, admittedly) record of super-hero movies managed to take one of Marvel's best-loved properties and managed to make a film so utterly boring? The script is a perfect example of Perfunctory™, full of stilted clichés and half-arsed exposition and delivered by the poorly-chosen cast as if they'd actually filmed their shared scenes in different rooms, such is the absolute lack of spark between them. The eponymous quartet neither look, sound nor act like any previous iteration of The Fantastic Four (and not in a cool, groundbreaking sort of a way), and are essentially just four kids who have the same super-powers as the adult versions in those other films you're not meant to think about.

And Doctor Doom looks like he's been drawn in by a five-year old.

The film is monumentally dull, not even trying to be anything more than a hastily scribbled note on the cinematic fridge-door that reads "…if we didn't make this now we'd have lost the film rights, sorry!". Given Marvel's heritage and the source-material Fox had to work with, this is inexcusable.

Credit where it's due, Doctor Doom's murderous rampage in the laboratory is quite darkly handled, and at least The Thing looks a bit better this time around (doesn't sound or act it), but is walking around without any pants on! I suppose that at least answers answers Brody's question

When the vast majority of the audience at an exclusive advance screening leaves during the preliminary bout of end-credits of a Marvel flick, that tells you how much they enjoyed the previous hour and a half. Although the few of us who sat to the end needn't have bothered…

The business-end:

• Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
• Is there a mid-credits scene? No.
• Is there a post-credits scene? No.
• Is there a Stan Lee cameo? No… No.

You don't have to stay through the closing credits. Although in all fairness, you don't have to stay through the opening credits, either.

And that's right, true believer! 20th Century Fox have managed to make a mainstream Marvel movie so unremittingly bad that even Stan Lee didn't want a cameo…

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
It's not. It's not worth paying to see. The end.

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
Don't not-watch it for money, wait until it's on ITV2 and don't watch it then.

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
In no way, shape or form.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
…make me pine for a movie where Chris Evans (not that one) snowboards down a mountainside to the backing of Sum41 like some awful Pepsi Max commercial but with a clunkier script?

It kinda does, yes

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Fantastic Four stars Toby Kebbell, who provided voice-work for the Star Wars: The Old Republic game.
('Additional Voices': it still counts. You'd have it on your CV as having worked in Star Wars, so it still counts)

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 That joke © Michael Legge, 2014*2.
*2 Although the joke that is 'Fantastic Four' is © 20th Century Fox, 2015. May God have mercy upon their franchise agreement.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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