Fantastic Four is a drawn-out pilot for a doomed franchise.
To be fair it looks promising. It has a talented ensemble. It has an origin story revolving around another dimension with an interesting alien landscape. The trailer promises a grounded remake.
Unfortunately, something happened along the way. Whatever’s on paper didn’t translate well to the screen (whether that’s because of shitty source material or studio interference is unclear).
First off, the origins story is nowhere to be found. Instead of exploring the source of the Four’s powers, the movie spends more time on negligible details – Reed’s inconsequential back story and construction of the teleportation device.
The supposed blockbuster flick morphs into a mumblecore movie about teenagers working on a classified project. This would have been forgivable if there was an interesting character interplay to develop the group’s dynamic.
Unfortunately, the talented cast has nothing to work with beyond shallow characterization – the nerd and his loyal sidekick, the designated Mary Sue, the rebel, the douchey genius, and the life coach/Morgan Freeman stand-in.
The caricature villain dilutes Dr. Doom’s transformation with vague motivations stemming from unrequited love. Later on, the movie reveals a new look that’s completely silly.
In the second half, you can see the studio’s influence as the movie becomes a predictable action flick with cheap-looking CGI.
A showdown is tacked on in an attempt to inject life into what has been an uneventful story, resulting in a rushed climax. As evidenced by Mara’s bad wig and Teller’s deadpan delivery of expository lines, this was a studio-ordered reshoot that no one wanted.
In the end, the movie sets-up a happy ending for a potential sequel. The main question, sparked by Josh Trank’s reported deleted tweet, is who’s to blame for the abysmal Fantastic Four reboot?
There’s no point in debating about who’s to blame because it’s clear that no producer with common sense is going to take the risk after this.
Fantastic Four (2015)
Fantastic Four is a botched reboot with a neglected origins story, shallow characterization, zero chemistry, and cheap-looking CGI.