Hello interweb, Nate here. So I actually expected this review to have been up by Monday but I got bombarded with homework this week so I never got it finished until today. With that said, I did say during my review of Avengers: Age of Ultron that you guys would have to wait until the movie came on DVD til you get to see my thoughts on it so this review is technically early. Your welcome. Anyways, here’s my review of Fant4stic (and yes I’ll be spelling it like that because 1. I’m lazy and 2. because I find it funny to pronounce it fant-four-stick in my head). Oh and btw, SPOILER ALERT. I’m not holding back on spoilers so if you don’t want to be spoiled than read this later.
Movie Title: Fantastic Four (Stylized as Fant4stic)
Produced by: Marvel Comics
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Writers: Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg, and Josh Trank
Director: Josh Trank
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn, Hutch Parker, Robert Kullzer, and Gregory Goodman
Running time: 1 hr 40 min
Fant4stic was bad but to be 100% honest with you it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, I was never a huge fan of the Fantastic Four to begin with and so they could’ve gave them all pink costumes and bows and I wouldn’t be nearly as ticked off as genuine fans of the team would be. If you are a huge Fantastic Four fan than be aware that I will not be very harsh to character changes even if the changes ruin the core of the character because ultimately I don’t care about the original team and so an adaptation of the comic is just popcorn fun to me.
Fant4stic is an adaptation of the Ultimate Fantastic Four origins so the characters are a bit younger than we’re used to and instead of cosmic rays they get their powers from an alternate dimension. The basics of the story is that Dr. Franklin Storm assigns Reed Richards with the task of helping the Baxter corporation create a portal into an alternate dimension with help from his son Johnny Storm, his step daughter Sue Storm, and their “friend” Victor Von Doom. When this portal is made, Reed encourages Victor, Johnny, and his long-time friend Ben Grimm (for some reason) to go through the portal behind Dr. Storms back (which seems like something Johnny would do since he’s suppose to be the reckless one. After an accident with the portal, they all get their DNA altered so Reed Richards can stretch his body, Johnny Storm can set himself ablaze and fly, Sue Storm can turn herself invisible and create force fields, and Ben Grimm is a rock monster with super strength. The military forces them to practice their powers for combat and in the end they have to face Victor Von Doom (who got lost in the alternate dimension) who has some type of super powerful telekinetic powers.
The story itself is paced pretty slow so if you’re used to modern superhero flicks where half of it is action than you’re going to be pretty bored. I actually never really cared and, despite the slow pacing, I never felt bored throughout the entire film. The biggest problem I find with the story is the tone. Now this may sound contradicting to what I said earlier, but the Fantastic Four is suppose to be fun and this film just didn’t even try to go for that fun tone and wanted this movie to be darker and more realistic. Which I personally was fine with because I do like realistic (“realistic”) superhero movies like The Dark Knight but the difference between The Dark Knight and Fant4stic is that Batman is suppose to be dark (well he can be campy, but still…) while the Fantastic Four is supposed to be “fun” so the tone doesn’t really match the tone a Fantastic Four film should go for but I am fine with it.
The CGI in this film was terrible. Not Sharkboy and Lavagirl terrible or Spy Kids terrible (hopefully you guys know what I’m talking about here) but none of it looked realistic. When the Thing moves it never looks right, the Human Torch’s flames looks even worse than the Thing’s rocks, and the alternate dimension looks like a green screen effect. So overall the CGI is crap but it couls look worse.
Now let’s get to the characters starting with the villain! In this movie they turn Victor Von Doom – who in the comics grew up with gypsies, mastered magic, mastered science, became a dictator by overthrowing a ruler, and became who many fans conciser Marvels greatest villain ever created – into a whiny character with a thing for sue who’s basically a loser before he get’s lost in the second dimension and gain telekinetic powers. Now I understand why people hate this Dr. Doom and he is a terrible adaptation but I think that his post-accident self is pretty cool. His motives don’t make any sense and changing him into a loser is a horrible change from the comics and should never have been done, but I did think that he looked cool after the portal (even though he looks nothing like Dr. Doom) and his telekinetic powers did seem pretty powerful. Unfortunately the story relied on giving the main characters some plot armor (plot armor is when a character is able to survive an experience simply for the sake of plot) in order to actually survive the final battle. So to sum up my feelings on this character: it is crap compared to the comic book version and I would probably be throwing a fit right now if I liked Dr. Doom but because the character never really appealed to me as much as other Marvel villains (like Ultron, Venom, Apocalypse, Magneto, etc.) than I personally find his design cool and his powers were pretty awesome.
Reed Richards in this was horribly miscast and the Reed in the comics had a bit more energy than this guy but I have no big thoughts on this character really. He’s a science genius and, despite being the most boring character in the movie, he is the main character so he does play a huge part in it. It does make sense that everyone would be mad at him after he abandoned them but they forgive him way to easily in my opinion.
This Sue Storm I actually think is an improvement from the comic book version from the 60’s but I don’t know much about modern Sue so… The actress actually did a good job with this character and she was genuinely better than I thought she was going to be as a lot of time bad films often sex-up any female leads (prime example: Megan Fox in Transformers) so the fact that they actually did Sue Storm well in this is a huge plus. The romance between her and Reed didn’t really go anywhere beyond light flirting but it will probably build up more in the sequel(s).
Ben Grimm was pretty bad in this. The Thing is my personal favorite of the Fantastic Four so I’d like to have him at least be portrayed well and he wasn’t. The Thing has a heart of still and the will to boot and he’s suppose to have a budding relationship with Human Torch but that’s never shown. In fact, Thing probably only interacts with Reed and says one line to Human Torch. That’s it! Johnny calls him “The thing that nobody ever wanted” and he just get’s irritated with him. What else can I say, the Thing is pretty underwhelming and the CGI on him was bad.
Johnny Storm gained some controversy as he’s white in the comics but he’s played here by Michael B Jordan whose Black. I really didn’t care either way but Jordan did I decent job in the role. I do wish he was a bit more of that devil-may-care rebel that we’re used to seeing but as it stands his character was about as boring as the Thing’s. Although I do have to say that the CGI on his flames were worse than the rocks on the Thing. Never once in the entire film did I believe he was on fire.
Overall the film is a mediocre flick in it’s own merits but is a horrible Fantastic Four adaption. The tone doesn’t match the Fantastic Four, the Characters aren’t the characters from the Fantastic Four, and the villain went from being one that many fans considers to be Marvel’s #1 villain and turned him into a loser who gains powers in the end and has little to no motives given for his actions. Overall I give the film a 2.5/5 as it kinda balances between being bad and being mediocre but it is a terrible Fantastic Four movie.
I’ve kinda been getting lazy on my end polls as I haven’t really been doing them so I’m gonna do one now. Halloween is right around the corner so I’m curious on what you guys want to see! Do you want me to do a Top 10 Best Gothic Superhero Costumes (IDK if “Gothic” is the right way to describe it but basically a costume that is mostly black with maybe some blue, purple, or white. an example may include Spider-man’s black costume) or should I do a a Comixplanation on death in the comic book universes? Vote in the poll below and it will be posted on Oct 31st! (Cause that’s Halloween!)