Lacking heart, a decent script and any innovative direction, Fantastic Four is yet another blockbuster that proves once more that no reviews before release means disappointment is never too far behind. Rebooting the franchise, a re-imagined origins story unites Reed Richards and the gang as they acquire their powers and take on the bad guy, Dr Doom. With most productions, there is a fine balance between story and direction. In most cases, you can separate one from the other. A fine story for instance can be poorly filmed as much as a bad story can be beautifully imagined. With Fantastic Four however, we are treated to both piss poor direction rooted in a lifeless story that never quite engages with its audience.
Back in 2012, Josh Trank jumped onto the scene with his hit film, Chronicle. With his previous effort showing off some impressive skills with both the camera and a well told story, its a shame that a man with so much potential has delivered a clichéd mess. The story itself lacks any kind of depth, deciding instead to drag the audience from one boring scene to the next without hope of anything interesting on the horizon. Deciding to ignore character development, layered story or even pacing, its somewhat shocking that this even made it past the drawing board. Further complimented by a wooden and somewhat uninspiring script, we are left with something that even M.Night Shyamalan would walk away from.
Considering how inventive Chronicle was, its hard to believe that this is from the same director. The film itself had potential to be beautiful. With planets and powers, this film could have looked great. Instead, its dull, dreary shots make the film fall frighteningly flat. My biggest annoyance though was with the camera work itself. Lacking any creativity, most shots looked like carbon copies of films done in the past. Its brilliant to be inspired by other films, but its a slap in the face when some of the frames look like they have been lifted off the reel of another. There is a reason Nolan’s Batman and Whedon’s Avengers look so good, so its emulation is just insulting.
Rounding off what is arguably one of the most disappointing films of the summer is the cast. When first announced there was an uproar and one the fans were now right to shout about. With little to no chemistry, not one member gives a memorable performance. Miles Teller plays a good Reed Richard, but a terrible superhero, and if i’m honest, the others aren’t even worth mentioning. Whether its the obvious script issues or 4 actors that don’t give a flying fuck, even Adam Sandler would have done a better job committing to the moment.
Although mixed, I am a fan of the 2005 version. Its corny and laughable but its good fun all the way. Now, in 2015 we have been given a reboot that fails for so many other reasons I find myself pondering what’s worse, a basic film that’s still fun to watch, or a superhero films that tries to be something it’s not. A disappointing 2 out of 5 stars.