Fantastic Four (2015)

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Fantastic Four (2015)
Fantastic Four (2015) Poster.jpg
This movie is anything BUT fantastic
Genre: Action
Adventure
Directed By: Josh Trank
Written By: Jeremy Slater
Starring: Miles Teller
Michael B. Jordan
Kate Mara
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Runtime: 100 minutes
Country: United States

Fantastic Four (stylized as FANT4STIC) is a 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name.

Plot

Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), get teleported into another universe which alters them and gives them superpowers. They must use their new abilities to stop Dr. Victor von Doom (Toby Kebell), a former friend turned enemy.

Why It Sucks

  1. The only reason the movie was made was so that 20th Century Fox could hold onto the Fantastic Four film franchise and not lose the rights to Marvel Studios/DisneyGMW, and it shows.
    • Ironically, the 20th Century Fox acquisition resulted in Marvel regaining the rights to the Fantastic Four anyways as well as being bought out by Disney, which also owns Marvel.
  2. The troubled production history set this movie's reputation in stone (see Reception).
  3. The movie seems as if it's ashamed of its source material, and just to drive the point home, the name "Fantastic Four" is NEVER mentioned on screen at all.
  4. The character design for The Thing is horrible. The Thing doesn't even wear pants like in his previous incarnations. It could reasonably be argued that even the Roger Corman film's version of The Thing looks better than this one.
    • Doctor Doom on the other hand looks like some sort of melted plastic toy that was put in a microwave rather than a scientist wearing a metallic suit. He's also nothing short of a complete, total and utter monster, contrasting his tragic villain characterisation from the comics gravely.
      • Multiple reviewers have noted that Doctor Doom looks like a crash test dummy.
  5. And while we're on this subject, Doom's presence as the main villain happens VERY late in the movie.
  6. The movie also takes itself far too seriously, and is very dark, which is a far cry from the comics and even from the previous movies. It aspires to become, to quote Trank himself, a "David Cronenberg superhero" movie. It does feature body horror akin to The Fly and stars super-powered people, but fails miserably in combining them due to the horror film theme not fitting well with the Fantastic Four characters.
  7. Much of the film is just boring conversations in rooms with the lights turned off.
  8. Similar to Man of Steel, this movie uses a rather dull and washed-out colour palette, which heavily goes against that of the original comics.
  9. There's an error in one scene where Reed's file on Ben lists his birth date as 1986. However, the beginning of the film, which shows both Reed and Ben at around 10 years old, is set in 2007, meaning would’ve been over 20.
  10. The movie climax is the cookie-cutter "beam into the sky to make a portal" fight.
  11. Choppy CGI and special effects, especially on the Human Torch.
  12. Weak editing, with shots ether going slow, or cutting out and moving to the next shot.
  13. Horrible and uninterested acting, even from actors such as Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell. It also has no real direction.
  14. The cast have no chemistry whatsoever, even though this is a film about a family of superheroes. In one scene, when Sue and Johnny Storm do talk to each other, it's just relatively brief. Another example is in a scene when Reed and Sue (who are a married couple in the comics) sit down and talk, and it's not even convincing. The only moment where there is any real chemistry between the four is in the Chinese lunch scene. However, even then they're not talking to each other.
    • Speaking of Reed and Sue, they are more like rivals than love interests, coming off as Sue pushing the guilt trip enough for Reed turn anti-hero rather than a hero.
  15. In the comics, Doom’s disfiguration had nothing to do with the experiment.
  16. Terrible casting choices. Jamie Bell was miscast as The Thing/Ben Grimm. Michael B. Jordan's casting as Johnny Storm led to some criticism, particularly since his sister Sue Storm was still played by a white actress.
  17. Out of place and shameless product placement, such as Dr. Pepper, Dell and Samsung.
  18. Terrible attempts to make the film dark and mature which only makes it dull and completely soulless.
  19. No character development whatsoever. For example:
    • They seemed like selective test subjects than chosen geniuses.
    • Behaving like military machines and only wanting to form a team because Reed returns.
  20. This movie has only ONE action scene, where the Fantastic Four face off against Doctor Doom near the end of the movie, which is absolutely inexcusable for any superhero or action movie.
    • To make matters worse, three more action scenes were reportedly planned for the movie, but were cut out days before production began.
  21. The characters are unlikable and dumb; the only reason they go into the teleportation machine that mutates them is because they wanted the fame. Reed Richards even outright says his only motivation is fame.
  22. The story-line suffers from unbelievably bad pacing, lots of padding, and certain scenes that drag on The main characters receive their powers within the first forty minutes and the first act progresses so slowly overall, (taking up a huge chunk of the movie’s running time, of which there are 100 minutes) that the second and third acts end up moving at an incredibly fast pace.
  23. False advertising: Many of the posters show the Fantastic Four in a heavily-ravaged and devastated city, implying some kind of action scene. However, such a scene does not happen at all in the actual movie.
  24. Filler story. For example, there are several subplots in the first and second acts (like Ben Grimm's rivalry with his older brother, Johnny's connection to being a street racer, the Fantastic Four gripping and dealing with their new found super powers, etc.) being forgotten as soon as they are brought up.
  25. No cameo from the late, great Stan Lee, unlike other Marvel movies. He declined to make a cameo in this film.
  26. Scenes that clearly show studio-mandated re-shoots, be it for trying to clear up/hasten the plot or appearance, most notably (i.e. Kate Mara's hair having a different colour due to using a wig, as well as Miles Teller having facial hair in some scenes).
  27. Due to the large amount of meddling and production issues, many scenes that were included in the trailers were deleted in the final cut of the movie.
  28. Horrible and unfinished ending, which was nothing more than an attempt to set up a planned sequel that was quickly and quietly cancelled after the movie's failure.
  29. The opening credits fade from the 20th Century Fox logo, flashing the letter "F" as a similar homage to the X-Men films where they flash the letter "X". Maybe if it was part of the X-Men universe it would have made sense, but since it isn't, it just makes it pretty pointless.
  30. It was released at a bad timing, where another Marvel movie (that being Ant-ManGMW) was popular at the time, being released in a gap less than a month.
  31. It also led to 20th Century Fox’s downfall, as stated below.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Good soundtrack.
  2. As horrible as his character design is, The Thing's size is at least accurate to the comics, even more so than in the previous movies.
  3. The scene where The Thing headbutts Reed is somewhat unintentionally hilarious.

Reception

Fantastic Four was universally panned by both critics and audiences, who criticized its screenplay, directing, lack of humor, inconsistent tone, obvious reshoots, visuals, slow pace, lack of dynamics between the main characters and unfaithfulness to the source material. Trank himself has also voiced his displeasure with the final film, blaming studio interference and has since disowned the film, and has been called "a good candidate for the worst movie of 2015". On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 9% based on 257 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 3.46/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Dull and downbeat, this Fantastic Four proves a woefully misguided attempt to translate a classic comic series without the humor, joy, or colorful thrills that made it great.". It even became one of two winners (the other being Fifty Shades of Grey) of the 2015 Razzie Award for Worst Pictures of the Year. It has the worst Cinemascore rating of any superhero movie ever made and is the worst-rated Marvel movie, even managing to score lower than Howard the Duck, which is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time.

The movie suffered from numerous production issues, ranging from director Josh Trank (of Chronicle fame)'s unprofessional and bizarre behavior on the set (which also got him fired from directing the planned Boba Fett standalone Star Wars film for Disney) to Fox taking over the movie from Trank in an attempt to salvage it via re-shoots. Also, many of the people who worked on the movie, including Trank, have since disowned it. In a deleted Twitter post (written just before the movie’s release), Trank said that "[he] had a fantastic version of [this movie] that would've received great reviews. You‘ll probably never see it though".

The failure of this film would ultimately lead to 20th Century Fox's downfall, as two years later, all the Fox studios and the entire Fox library were purchased by Disney for $52.4 billion (later upped to $71.3 billion after a bidding war with Comcast). The deal was finalized on March 20, 2019, ending Fox’s 83-year run as a major movie studio and reducing it to a Disney label. It was later rebranded as 20th Century Studios the following year. Executive Tom Rothman, who had green-lit this film as his final act before his 2012 exit, also took a huge slice of the blame for the studio’s demise.

Trivia

  • Michael B. Jordan later portrayed N'Jadaka/Killmonger in another Marvel movie, Black Panther, which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlike this film, both Black Panther and his performance as Killmonger received critical acclaim, with many considering him one of the best comic-book movie villains ever while even winning an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain.
  • The relentlessly low quality of Fantastic Four movies has to do with Marvel making a licensing deal with German company Constantin in 1986 for any film adaptations of Fantastic Four and the rights to a number of associated characters (such as Doctor Doom, the Silver Surfer and Galactus). This deal had no expiry date. However, the contract does require movies to actually be made. This is why the 1992 Roger Corman Fantastic 4 film was created (apparently the contract does not specify that films have to be released), and why Fox made any films using the licence at all. Disney acquired the license when it purchased Fox, however, and now intends to incorporate the group into the MCU. The same deal also dealt with Marvel's long-running inability to use the X-Men characters in movies, as the rights to make X-Men films were also owned by Fox.
  • Writer Jeremy Slater would later write the equally reviled Netflix Death Note.
  • After the film got panned by critics and viewers, Josh Trank tweeted and said that he never wants to direct a superhero movie ever again.
  • Tommy Wiseau wanted to direct the sequel if it became a reality.

Videos

Comments


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TheMediaLover

7 months ago
Score 4
I believe this has the right to be called one of the worst movies of the 2010's. And I am very ashamed of 20th Century Fox for ever letting a movie like this get even green-lit, produced and released in this condition.
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EnnardTrap1987

2 months ago
Score 2
This movie is Tr4sh.
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Robertoiglesias271

29 days ago
Score 0
Can I add a redeeming quality: Miles Teller's and Michael B Jordan's performances are decent?
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Theblazemaster4

29 days ago
Score 0
No, we've said they gave abysmal performances.
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Theblazemaster4

15 days ago
Score 0
I was very smart to avoid this film when I was young. I'm watching it on Netflix right now. It's very boring.
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Thedoomaster215

4 days ago
Score 0
Jeremy Slater may be bad at writing movies but he's good at writing shows. Like the umbrella academy and the exorcist show. I'm excited for Moon Knight on disney+.

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