Fantastic Four Screen 10 articles

Fantastic Four

2015

Fantastic Four Poster
  • The film was allegedly rushed into production by Fox to keep the property’s rights from reverting back to Marvel, and the finished product bears all the hallmarks of hasty meddling and reshoots... But plenty of better movies have been made for dumber reasons, and studios futz all the time with these things. (Remember World War Z?) This thing, one suspects, went off the rails early, and hard.

  • My notebook usually remains near my lap, but at this movie, it made involuntary trips over my mouth to cover all of my gasping. The entire experience is shameful — for us, for the filmmakers, for whoever at the studio had the job of creating the ads, in which the cast appear to be starring in hostage posters.

  • The film takes 50 minutes – exactly half of its total running time – to grant its heroes these powers, and a further 40 before it finally allows them to use them for good... The film is almost all build-up, though any mounting sense of excitement is dispelled by the monotonously downbeat tone and the cast’s conspicuous lack of chemistry. Nobody looks like they’re having fun, and the gloom is infectious.

  • So appallingly dull that even a third-act parade of exploding heads can't rouse interest, Fantastic Four may be the most minor Marvel Comics film yet. And at this dispiritingly late date, that's saying something indeed. It also adds more grist for the mill to the notion that studios don't hit the big red "reboot" button in any other state than a panic.

  • The tone and structure of "The Fantastic Four" should be studied in film schools as an example of what not to do. It's as if somebody took two pretty-decent feature length movies, broke them into pieces, and re-edited them into one film, but without any discernible plan beyond "get this down to 90 minutes." I'm not convinced that the movie's problems could have been solved with more scenes. Better scenes, definitely. And better characters. And better dialogue.

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    Sight & Sound: Kim Newman
    September 07, 2015 | October 2015 Issue (p. 81)

    There are many jarring lapses: the exclusion of Susan from the pioneering trip to another dimension; the depiction of Ben as a bullying victim who learns his war cry ("It's clobbering time") from an abusive brother; character arcs that stop dead when superpowers manifest; the deliberate exclusion of humour and charm from the mix (not even a Stan Lee cameo)...

  • Fantastic Four won’t stand up to critical scrutiny. Those who attacked Jurassic World for Bryce Dallas Howard’s high heels will surely attack this one for Mara’s thankless role. “Are you helping on this [mission]?” Reed asks Sue with unintended condescension; “Yes, I’m building the environment suits,” she replies, designing clothes being obviously the appropriate job for a woman.

  • All four principals—Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell—are well cast, and their gee-whiz idealism is just right for the wide-eyed perspective of director Josh Trank. His film turns into yet another special effects showcase once the quartet gain superpowers, but at least the effects look good.

  • It has small, meaningful character touches. It covers a spectrum of emotions in a way that is subtle rather than cloying. The characters make decisions which may appear to lack credibility, but the writing works hard to show you why these people are doing what they are doing – and it’s not just haphazard patching work, but believable reasons which build on the themes of the movie.

  • ...Up to [a] point, the movie is methodically constructed like a Rube Goldberg device; it's vaguely reminiscent of the work of Steven Soderbergh, with an emphasis on process and behind-the-scenes relations. But some of the most overtly dramatic elements of the plot... seem clumsily stuck onto the movie, like public-service announcements interrupting the film's drifty, droll, subtly ominous flow to declare the presence of drama.

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