Sunday, August 09, 2015

JAFFA JURY: The Fantastic 4 Movie Review

"Look at me. I'm not your friend. You turned me into something else."

That quote is symbolic for this film. 

Why? It's the border within Fantastic 4 where everything amazing that preceded these words is swapped out for something goofier than a Disney special. See this movie isn't all that bad - just on this project, Fox has decided to be the world's newest Mickey Mouse outfit.

Now a reboot of Marvel's first family, with a younger, controversial cast and a re-tweaked origin was always going to be hit hard by fan reviews. Having read many of those myself prior, I prepared to have my fav Marvel team shat on in a bazillion ways.

However as I sat in the theatre, my reaction was anything but. Had I walked out when my opening quote was spoken, this review would be a straight 4.5 Jaffa, filled with words like 'amazing', 'inspired' and 'hot'. But I didn't and as a result, doom came.

Opening with the origins of the Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) / Reed Richards (Miles Teller) friendship makes a lot of sense. As Reed's teleportation obsession grows from school science project to actual dimension shatterer, his passion makes for a logical catalyst for the tragic events ahead.

Brought into the brain trust that is the Baxter Foundation, Reed quickly allies himself with pattern decipherer Susan Storm (Kate Mara), political savant Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) and Sue's overlooked hothead brother Johnny Storm (F.Y.I., not only is actor Michael B Jordan perfect as Johnny, his flame covered body out SFX's The Thing - it is incredible)!

Deciding to be the 'Lance Armstrong' not the 'unrecognised scientist' whose dream he made his fame on, the boys decide to stop NASA from stealing their acclaim of being the first humans to step into their discovered dimension, by doing it themselves.

Confident greatness is seconds from his grasp, Reed calls in Ben to be part of the cross-dimensional road trip. Alongside the childhood best mates, Johnny and Victor touch down on the alien terra firma, only for nature to counter their renegade spirits.

Back on earth, Sue sees the chaos unfolding and desperately tries to save her teammates, yanking them back through the dimensional doorway. Only the violent energies of the alternate universe follow suit, exploding through the Baxter Foundation, and turning our heroes into something not of this world, and that status quickly mutates into the government's new favourite lab rats. 

Unable to stand the guilt over his actions, especially as they relate to Ben, now the rock-skinned Thing,, Reed brakes free of his captors to find a cure. While his efforts never really get followed up on, seeing the government dispatch a hostile Thing to bring in Mr Fantastic is a truly sweet moment. And then there's the quote that changes everything.

Suddenly we get an overpowered Dr Doom, no 'Thing bomb' like in the movie's trailer, bizarreness, cheesiness and more.

In short, it gets Elektra / Iron Man 3 level worse. The final meeting of the surviving heroes with their former military captors, their new headquarters, Fox's obvious attempts to establish a S.H.I.E.L.D., the sole (and suddenly remembered) banter between the Torch and the Thing, plus the CRINGEWORTHY creation of the team's name had me trying to keep my stomach and disbelief down until the 'credits' finally rolled.

Now rumours swirl that director Josh Trank was locked out of the editing phase, three of his big action scenes were stripped from the film and the ending was completely different to what the studio had agreed he would create. And that there in shows who is at fault.

Sure Fox coughed up the dinero, but when you've already approved the director's vision, tampering on this scale isn't fair to the talent involved, or to the audiences paying hard earned money to see the results.

The first chunk of this film perfectly responded to the heavy bullying this film suffered prior to its release. Having the biggest bully then be the one that signed the initial cheque, well like The Thing says, that's "something else".

 What did you think? 


  1. I wouldn't say I loved it but Ant-Man turned out to be better then I expected based on the previews. haven't seen FF yet but i'm hearing nothing but bad things about it. that's a real shame given that this movie looked so promising in the trailers not to mention how we were hoping it would erase the bad memories of the previous two like Nolan's Batman did to the garbage from the late 80s and early 90s. it's looking more and more like the FF movie franchise is gonna go the same sad route that Ghost Rider has.

    1. Hey Dave - thanks for that - yeah Ant-Man was a pretty big hit in all the right ways. I'd still go see the Fantastic Four. Just Walk out when Thing and Reed land at the military base. That way you save a lot of heart break.

      I haven't read much into Onyx, though I am not surprised f that is his inspiration. Chris may just be the comic industry's biggest ROM fan - present company excluded of course.

  2. . . . by the way Dan you're something of a fan of stuff from IDW Publishing right? have you heard of the new character from IDW that debuted last month, Onyx? in the first issue Chris Ryall doesn't exactly hide the fact that Onyx is pretty much directly inspired by his love of ROM which he was recently able to secure the publishing rights from Hasbro recently.

  3. This saddens me. When are the studios going to realize that messing about after the fact almost never makes a movie better? My brother went and saw it, and while he said he did like it his commendation was hardly the shout of joy from a man who has loved the FF from the time he was a little boy. And isn't that what we all want? Not just an okay movie that was fun to watch, we have plenty of those. But a triumphant herald of a movie that reaches into our gut and clogs our throat with memories of laying on the bed, eating candy and reading about a Fantastic family that lived, loved, and laughed together despite almost every imaginable threat they faced.

    I'll wait to see this when it comes out on video, as I think that's all it deserves from me.

    1. Thanks Random! Yeah it still fits in my like pile too. Just a shame the battle sequences got the Chop as it really would've been cool to see Johnny cut loose!

    2. Thanks Random! Yeah it still fits in my like pile too. Just a shame the battle sequences got the Chop as it really would've been cool to see Johnny cut loose!

    3. Thanks Random! Yeah it still fits in my like pile too. Just a shame the battle sequences got the Chop as it really would've been cool to see Johnny cut loose!

  4. This film was truly appalling I can't understand how it even got made never mind past the planning stages. It may just have killed off any realistic chance of a true FF film ever been made in the future.