I’m not one of the people who were hoping for “Fantastic Four” to be a bad movie, but I’m not surprised it’s a bad movie. FOX has proven to be so embarrassed by Marvel’s original property, that I’m actually surprised “Fantastic Four” isn’t simply called “The Four.” It takes all opportunities to rework the source material, so who’s to say this wasn’t suggested at some point? When you fail to properly adapt source material (that I still say is impossible to adapt in to a good film), you can’t really be surprised when too many cooks feed us “Fantastic Four.” It goes without saying that “Fantastic Four” is a lousy movie. It’s a movie about four people whose worst enemies are themselves, and face off against a foe that looks like HR Giger’s version of OZ’s the Tin Man.
There is no real enemy or villain in “Fantastic Four.” In fact there’s not really much of a narrative. It speeds through a lot of character development and important story points in favor of getting to the action, and lacks a real second act. There’s no real point where we see our characters developing their powers and getting accustomed to it. One minute they’re in an accident, and the next we fast forward to where they’re basically masters of their own abilities, already. It’s almost like watching Professor X meeting Jean Grey and Cyclops and then fast forwarding fifty years to where Jean and Cyclops are now middle aged and powerful. It’s everything in between which would have benefitted the film itself. The sad fact about “Fantastic Four” is that every character is unlikable. Reed Richards is a wooden protagonist, Sue Storm looks like she’s restraining a yawn, Johnny Storm doesn’t even seem to enjoy being alive, and Ben Grimm post and pre rock man is a drag to be around.
There’s no chemistry, which is shocking considering the foursome of actors cast to play the Fantastic Four are pretty stellar. It takes a special kind of disaster to botch a movie starring four of today’s most talented young actors. I just didn’t care about anyone here, thus the drama that unfolds involving their bodily abilities, and their quest to stop Dr. Doom is tedious. Everything before the inevitable rise of Doom is also monotonous and painfully dull. It took everything within me to keep from falling asleep during the first half of the rather incomplete and idiotic narrative. Seriously, Dr. Doom the mad genius uses boulders to fight The Thing! Reed Richard is building a teleportation device because… he can? And rather than hire skilled researchers, the government hires four teenagers to tackle these important operations because… nepotism? Dr. Doom becomes evil because he’s jealous? Angry? Vengeful? Is he controlled by Planet Zero’s elements? What’s the deal?
Why does he want to destroy the world suddenly? Why does he have the power to blow up heads and why doesn’t he ever use them on the fantastic four? Why doesn’t the Thing have a containment suit? Why don’t they ever give Dr. Doom a containment suit? Why doesn’t the government utilize the green ooze to transform other soldiers in to monsters and super beings? What is the green ooze? What is Planet Zero? How do the containment suits work again? There’s just so many story elements and macguffins thrown at us in ninety minutes and nothing ever comes full circle to explain or even resolve. It’s almost like this is just here to prop up storylines for a real movie that will act as the sequel. The sad thing is I’m not sure I want to see a sequel. Somewhere deep down beneath this tonally confused, incomplete nonsense there’s a great movie. As for this studio tinkered madness, it’s a really bad example of what happens when you don’t understand the source material and don’t care about it.