Four young students are gifted with incredible
powers after traveling to another dimension.
Fantastic Four (2015)
Directed by Josh Trank
Written by Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg, Josh Trank
Starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan,
Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson
Reboot of 2005's Fantastic Four
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
I think we all expected this one to fail, but I doubt we thought it would fall so hard or so fast. 2015's remarkably half-assed attempt at rebooting the Fantastic Four will go down in history as one of the worst comic book adaptations of all time, thanks to producer interference and an utter lack of respect for the source material. When your reboot makes the 2005 Fantastic Four film look decent, your film is in dire straits. This film took an impressive cast of up-and-comers and nearly destroyed their careers by throwing them in front of the derailed train that was this film.
A great deal of the blame goes to director Josh Trank, who attempted to make the Fantastic Four that he felt everybody wanted, but I believe he didn't fight hard enough for. In the end, it was the muddled, bleak, producer's cut that was released instead of Trank's so-called "fantastic version" that we will never get to see. In Fox's final version, the four leads have zero chemistry or character development. There is virtually no reason why I should care about any of them. If I wasn't a fan of the comic book already, I doubt I'd even know their names. Once they get their powers, the film flashes forward a year so it can move forward without them having to learn anything. Say what you want about the 2005 film, but at least it did justice to the characters. It respected the source material, which is more than I can say for this shoddy reboot. And of course, as if I expected any less, they completely ruined the character of Doctor Doom for the second time. Only this time, he was in the film for less than ten minutes and I refuse to even call this frustrated blogger turned interdimensional god Doctor Doom. Instead, I'll call him Doctor Gloom, considering that's all he is.
Few films have the power to frustrate me like this, but I am absolutely livid that Fox has opted to do whatever they can to hold on to this failing property so that Marvel can't have it. We all know Marvel would save this franchise and turn it into the exciting film series it deserves to be. The way I see it, this was Fox's third strike and it's time to give another company a turn at bat. Clearly, they either don't know what they're doing or they don't care. Regardless, the fans are the ones left to deal with the fallout and clean up the mess.
After failing to do Marvel's first superhero team justice the first two times, Fox decided to reboot the series for another go. A promising trailer was released and things seemed to be going well, with intentions being to rectify the mistakes of the past. But, then, trouble started brewing. There were reports of director Josh Trank being completely incompetent during the filming; while, at the same time, there were reports blaming massive studio interference. Whoever is to blame here, the real victim is the fans of this franchise. 2015's Fantastic Four is one of the worst comic films ever made, with a cobbled together, mess of a film released to the general public. Strike three and you're out.
I don't mean to beat on a dead horse in regards to everything that doesn't work in this film, but I will. The first thing right out of the bat is the nonsensical story. In a movie that's only ninety minutes long, the group literally don't get their powers until roughly the hour mark. Then, it flash forwards a year later, robbing us of any sort of attachment to these characters once they get their powers. Finally, iconic villain Doctor Doom doesn't show up until fifteen minutes before the end of the film, just to be killed off in ten. And that's the story in a nutshell. Another thing that is completely butchered in this version are the characters. While the actors do what they can, the script does everything in its power to be against them. The Fantastic Four themselves spend barely anytime together and share zero chemistry. Seriously, even if you're a fan of the comics, it's easy to forget who the main characters are. A waste of Marvel's most iconic characters and the actors talent. Now, for the iconic villain himself, Doctor Doom. Not only does he have what amounts to a glorified cameo, but his interpretation is one of the worst I've seen. He looks and acts nothing like the comic character, making what this film does to him a crime against humanity. Finally, the final nail in the coffin, is the film's bleak tone. The comic is known for being one of Marvel's more vibrant and family friendly properties. The movie, on the other hand, goes for a much darker tone that does not fit with these characters. Like my fellow reviewer said, say what you will about the 2005 film, but at least they tried to stay faithful to the source material. If only the same could be said for this travesty.
I'm not only going to put more of the blame on just one of the two parties involved, but instead I'll put an equal amount on both. Trank should have done his job and stood up to the studio, while the studio should have backed off and let him do his job. Because in the end, this is what we ended up with. A movie that is not remotely fantastic, characters barely resemble their comic book counterparts, and the tone way too bleak for this particular group of heroes. At this point, I hope the rumors are true and Fox finally let Marvel have Fantastic Four back. Fox has done enough damage already, showing they either don't care or have no idea what they're doing. I'll pray that one day this family of superheroes is given proper justice.