The Fantastic Let Down!!!

19568464839_ee7895411bWow! This was a giant excrementitiously mounted adventure. From the jump it was obvious, the problems this flick was going to have to overcome. First among a series of issues this franchise deals with is the completion of a believable “Thing”. The character, Ben Grimm a.k.a. The Thing constantly presents difficulty in two forms. He is the best friend of Reed Richards and himself not essential to any mission or scientific procedure. Thus how do we logically and organically work Ben Grimm into the origin story. He’s a bruiser, not a scientist. Also, does it really make sense that he travels with Reed to space in order to prevent an Alien “Ass whipping”. (No. Stay home Ben, save yourself.) The next problem is technical in that the actual representation of The Thing is a precarious predicament. This iteration of the franchise brings a version of The Thing sans pants and emotion. He was lumbering and generally uninteresting as he was given so little to do.

Speaking of little to do… this 120 million dollar movie had virtually two locations. Our heroes were either in the lab or on the mystery plant. (That’s…about…it) At least the Jessica Alba version made New York a character in the film, which has never decreased the value of a flick. Further, within these two locations we see only one fight. This lack of pugilism might be acceptable if the dialogue and drama was not so “daytime-soapish”. It got so bad that I had not realized until one hour and twenty minutes in, that two of the Fantastic Four never actually share dialogue. That’s Right!! These aren’t side characters that no one cares about this is Sue Storm and Ben Grimm. I know I spent a paragraph trashing Ben yet I am not a member of the team, so I’m allowed to not talk to The Thing.  Moreover, all the complaints about the 2005 Fantastic Four pale in comparison especially since they repeat a few. The most notable was the handling of Dr. DOOM. They once again take perhaps the most intelligent and diabolical villain in their universe and make him a mutant. His power is and should be his damaged humanity. Scared and deformed as well as having suffered severe personal losses, he hides behind armor and fights to control his own fate. Now he remains an emotionless, expressionless, mass of malformed metallic parts that glow green.

Beyond the lack of excitement and general ruining of characters the flick suffers other defeats as well. It was rushed, the cast lacked spunk, and it was a reboot no one asked for.Director Josh Trank deserves partial but not substantial blame. He’s the guy that brought us Chronicle, which in itself was a successful version of this movie. He used effects properly, casted well and told a story we enjoyed in between punches. Yet, he failed in all three of those points here. The cast of children focusing around Whiplashes Miles Teller was doomed to fail given the boys mediocre range. Follow that with an uninteresting story in which all the main characters don’t even shall screen-time and you will get a flop.

In terms of rushing, franchises like Spiderman, Fantastic, and X-Men are forced to produce material within a certain time frame lest they lose their rights to the product. Essentially, it feels like someone called Trank and said, “Speed it up”. This explains the ramshackle design of this motion picture. This hypothesis is also supported by a tweet issued by Trank stating “there was a fantastic version of this movie, too bad you will never see it”. Hmm, could that comment mean the studio tainted this flick for expedient purposes? Wouldn’t be the first time.

So attack the film all you want but lay off Josh Trank. Sometimes “The man” gets you down. To close this was a horrendous version of a superb comic-book and the action-figure friendly 2005 addition was superior in every way.

Stay Glued to the Screen

Neil Carroll

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