Being a movie reviewer is a solemn responsibility. At the best of times, you go in wide eyed hoping to see a cinematic masterpiece so you can discuss it with everyone. Then there are times when you give something a shot in the hopes that you can find the diamond in the rough and encourage other people to check it out. Then there are times you just go see something that looks terrible for the fun of seeing just how bad a movie can be (And some of these even turn out to be OK). Sometimes though, you go see a movie to protect your audience. Sometimes the reviewer is all that stands between an audience and movie so bad they will not only regret spending money on it, but that precious commodity known as time as well. Fantastic Four is one of those movies. Just to be on the safe side I purchased my ticket for Ant-Man so Marvel would get paid. There were three of us in the theater that fateful day. Me, down front, and a young couple looking for somewhere private to fool around. We would all leave feeling emptier and unsatisfied.
It’s been well documented that this film was rushed so that Fox wouldn’t lose the FF rights back to Marvel but it seemed like they were making good moves. They hired Josh Trank to helm. Chronicle was a pretty badass movie about a group of teenagers with superpowers so this seemed a good fit. Jeremy Slater doesn’t have much experience, but they matched him with Simon Kinberg, who has a ton. He’s done a bunch of good movies (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes) including a few Marvel ones (X-Men 3 and Days Of Future Past). Then they started bringing in good actors. Jamie Bell is relatively unknown but Kate Mara (Shooter) has been in a ton of stuff. Miles Teller, fresh off his success in Whiplash, came on as Reed Richards. He was reunited with his co-star from That Awkward Moment Michael B. Jordan, who also worked with Trank on Chronicle and is coming off his critical acclaim from Fruitvale Station. Although there’s a lot of talent there, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were right for the parts. Something about a chubby Reed Richards bothered me. There’s also the fact that they’re supposed to be playing eighteen year olds and the youngest of the four is twenty-eight… and they all look their ages. There was also the controversy when they made the blonde blue-eyed Human Torch African-American but personally I was OK with it. #BlackLivesMatter
“Somebody throw me at a cop, quick!”
I was originally going to see this film on Friday. I woke up that afternoon and began vomiting uncontrollably… I’m still not sure if I actually got up and saw it or not. If I did though, I wish that I had been lucky to have it erased from my memory again. I knew I was in trouble the moment the ticket taker told me I was going to theater four… *sigh* Ok, here we go. The movie opens with a young Reed and Ben Grimm. Reed is a child prodigy and working on a teleporter. Ben is a kid from Queens whose parents own a junkyard. Best friends forever. Sue was adopted by Franklin Storm and is the sister of Johnny. Nothing about their childhood is shown. For people that are crying blasphemy, this movie was based off Marvel’s Ultimate Fantastic Four which takes place in an alternate reality so that’s why things are different.
An adult Reed is able to create his teleporter and receives a scholarship to the Baxter Foundation, a shadowy (Possibly government controlled)… business? Or college? It’s never explained what this is.How do you receive a scholarship to not take classes? Anyway, in order to complete the quantum gate, Franklin Storm wants to bring back his wayward protege’ Victor Von Doom. Von Doom, upset at the applications his invention would be used for, burned all the data and left. In one of the most horribly campy scenes I’ve ever witnessed, Franklin confronts Von Doom in the Warlock’s command post from Die Hard 4. Intrigued by Reed’s design, and presumably in love with Sue, Victor agrees to return.
Working together, they’re able to finish the gate to the Negative Zone… only they don’t call it the Negative Zone. They call it Planet Zero. *sigh* So they finish it and send a CGI monkey through proving that they can safely transport organic matter. Then the board of trustees comes in, congratulates them, and announces plans to bring in NASA. In a fit of jealousy, Von Doom, Reed, and Johnny get drunk and decide to go through the teleporter themselves. I am not making this up. Reed calls Ben to come down too. Once arriving on Planet Zero, they plant a flag and begin taking measurements. They also track some kind of green lava back to it’s source. The green lava begins erupting, naturally, and Reed, Ben, and Johnny are forced to leave Victor behind. I’m pretty sure this is the same plot of that new Matt Damon/Ridley Scott movie.
Sue realizes what they’re doing and rushes to the lab. The quantum gate is malfunctioning so Sue has to manually override it. The device comes back and shoots some kind of weird energy into her. That’s right, she doesn’t even go to Planet Zero and still somehow gets powers. They all awaken in a top secret military installation called Area 57 (Like Area 51… but six degrees cooler!). No one can control their powers. Despite this, Reed is able to somehow escape. Seriously. He can’t walk because his legs are rubber so he crawls through the ventilation shaft like John McClain in Die Hard and then somehow when he gets out he’s able to dash off through the jungle. Then he goes on the run… for a year… and is able to dodge the mother fucking CIA like he’s Ethan Hunt.
The head of the foundation (Completely ignorant as to what Ben can do) tells him that if he’ll help the government they’ll try and find a cure for his condition. This offer is extended to Johnny and Sue as well. Cause that’s a good plan, we’ll exploit your abilities while simultaneously trying to find a way to get rid of them. Whatever. Bitter at being abandoned by his best friend and turned into a giant rock, Ben accepts.
I would like to take this time to point out that at this point we’re about an hour and twenty minutes in to this SUPER HERO movie and there has been no action. There is a small Fast And Furious style car chase to introduce Johnny and then the aforementioned green lava scene which I’m not even sure counts. No action. But at least we’re going to get to see some scenes of The Thing razzling some terrorists, right?
Wrong. They briefly show snippets on monitors but that’s all you see. One of them even shows a body count. The ever loving blue eyed Thing has been killing people! This is almost as bad as Superman breaking Zod’s neck. Anyway, Reed is hiding in Central America where he is using his powers to make himself appear as a Hispanic. There’s only one problem… REED RICHARDS CAN’T FUCKING DO THAT!!! His powers are elasticity, not shape shifting like Mystique. Don’t get me wrong, he should be able to make his nose longer or something like that, but not change the pigment of his skin. Kind of a shame though, as a migrant worker could pick a shit load of fruit with those super stretchy arms.
Anyway, Sue helps them track down Reed and they capture him. Reed is strangely OK with this which further begs the question, why would he go on the run for twelve months attempting to build a quantum gate on his own when he could have just continued helping the people he built it with the first time. They finish the gate and for some reason send a bunch of guys through instead of the three people there that have already been on the other side. They get to the other side and find Victor, who appears to be wounded, and bring him back. At this point, the head of the Foundation asks Victor about what it’s like on Planet Zero. Victor makes a pretty convincing argument as to how we’ve completely fucked our planet up and he doesn’t want it to happen to Planet Zero. At this point in the film, Johnny is a dick. Reed is a dick. Sue is just kind of cold and detached and the Thing, one of the most lovable characters in comic history, is a murderous dick. I began to wonder… is Dr. Doom the good guy in this movie?
I was pretty distracted at this point as I was casting most of my mental energy out into the world attempting to summon someone to my location to continue this new trend of theater shootings (Don’t get your panties in a wad. I was the only person in there. The couple that came in to fool around actually got up halfway through and went to another movie. Can’t really blame them. I don’t think I could have kept it up during that either). Thankfully, Doom starts exploding people from inside out and now, one hour and forty minutes in, we finally have a superhero movie.
Doom sets up the portal to destroy Earth so that Planet Zero can live on the the Fantastic Foursome follow him to the other side where they have to overcome overwhelming odds and work together as a team to win. There is a line of dialogue here so bad that it genuinely caused me to gag (In a style different than the gagging of the couple who walked out). They basically kill Dr. Doom and then go back to Earth and force the government to bankroll them. Credits.
“If I can just reach the camera… to turn it off…”
This is a new level of bad. Not even in the, “I’m a comic nerd and they changed things” way either. Just shitty bad. This movie is so terrible that Stan Lee doesn’t even have a cameo in it. It has possibly replaced Ang Lee’s Hulk as the worst Marvel movie. The best part of this movie was the Deadpool trailer. At least that gave me some hope. The director has already apologized for it via Twitter. There may be nothing redeemable in it. The acting is OK at times but it’s such a vanilla script that there’s not really much to work with. The action is non-existent and not good when it occurs (Reed actually does the Dhalsim double stretchy punch from Street Fighter II at one point). The visual effects are alright at one moment and bad the next. I cannot express this enough… do not see this movie. Don’t watch it thinking it will be so bad that’s fun. Don’t check it out because you’re curious whether or not it’s really as bad as people say. I would spare you this pain. F-
T-Bagz understands the Thing’s pain when people call him a disgusting creature