Fantastic Four (2015) Review
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Dear 20th Century Fox,

Drop dead.

(Nah. That’s too subtle. You won’t remember Ben Grimm writing the same letter to the Yancy Street Gang.)

This is the fourth Fantastic Four movie and the fourth disaster.

20th Century Fox, you think you know the Fantastic Four better than the fans. You think the fame of the material will make non-fans naturally like the movie. But you’re wrong. Please stop rewriting things to fit your movie template—because back story that contradicts what fans know is stupid.

It takes more than an hour for the characters to get powers. Sure, it took a long time for Tony Stark to get his armor, but something happened in the meantime. And we got invested with Tony Stark.

In your latest Fantastic Four movie, Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) and Reed Richards (Miles Teller) are boyhood pals instead of meeting on their first day at college. Reed is a boy genius who joins the Baxter Project. They know Sue (Kate Mara) and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) because they learn from Professor Storm (Reg E. Cathey). And all four know Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who’s also in the project.

When they go into another dimension to exploit it, things go wrong. They get super powers, but Doom is presumed dead. They’re put in a lab for observation. They get out of a lab. Doom comes back, and there’s a big fight. There isn’t much more to the thin plot—and even the relationships don’t help.

The Fantastic Four were once family. Reed and Sue were romantically involved. Johnny was Sue’s brother. Reed and Ben were firm friends. Ben and Johnny would throw things at each other (fireballs, furniture) and then go out on the town together as if nothing happened. These characters are supposed to know each other, but they rarely talk to each other, don’t move in synch, and make almost no references to things they know about each other. Their dialogue is rote and lacks nuance or subtlety. If they’re not going to be friends—if they’re not going to play off each other—why does it matter that they knew each other at all?

And Doom wants to destroy the Earth. But why? There’s so little to the character that we don’t know. In the comics, Doom wants to rule the world. In the movie, he’s only there to create the unimpressive, tacked-on fight scene at the end. Like the others, he has no real character development.

The special effects are mundane, the movie’s color scheme is dull, and it looks like a green screen movie. The continuity is shot with changes in lighting, shading, and even Sue’s hair color. Perhaps it seems as though I’m just reacting as a fan of the comics, but someone who doesn’t know these characters probably won’t take much home with them, either.

So, 20th Century Fox, please give the Fantastic Four back to Marvel. Stick with Deadpool, who plays to your strengths.

D. Jason Cooper

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