You might have heard all of the criticism, you might have seen the movie, and you might have noticed that the movie only made $28.2 million in its first box office weekend. In anticipation for a review, I decided to ignore all of that and go in the movie with an unbiased mindset. What did I think? Well, here’s the review.
Fantastic Four Movie Summary (Spoilers!)
The beginning of the movie centers on Reed Richards’ and Ben Grimm’s childhood, in which they collaborate to make a machine to teleport matter from one place to another. I was confused as to what year the movie was even based in, in the first couple of minutes, we get an Eli Manning reference, 5 minutes later, we see a stack of Nintendo 64’s, and throw in the fact that Ben Grimm’s house/property looks like a 1980’s junkyard. Other than that, there was nothing wrong with this section of the film, outside of a terrible “It’s clobberin’ time!” reference from Ben’s older sibling.
Then the movie fast forwards, which was fine at this point, to a science fair, where Ben and Reed have finished the device. Mr. Storm, and his adopted daughter, Susan, saw the device in action, and Mr. Storm offers Reed a full scholarship, not Ben, just Reed. It didn’t make any sense as to why they even left Ben Grimm out, as he was Reed’s roommate in the comics. Anyway, Reed enters the university, and ends up working with Susan, and Victor Von Doom. Wait a second, what? Doom and Richards working together? Well, yeah, they butt heads quite a few times, throw in a little jealousy, and that’s what creates the oh so famous rivalry, but nothing that will make you think, “These guys will become the worst enemies by the end of this movie” The rivalry could’ve been further developed, if Doom received anything more than 20 minutes of screen time.
Johnny Storm eventually joins them, after getting into a racing accident, and after being picked up by Mr. Storm in the hospital, he tells Johnny that the only way he’ll get his car back is if he helps build the machine, so he has no choice but to agree. After the machine is built, which is about 35 minutes into the movie, the government tells the team that they aren’t allowed to use the device, and should be used only by NASA, or whichever mumbo jumbo government program they use. Angered by this, the team goes drinking out of Victor’s flask, and Reed makes an impulse decision to sneak into the teleportation device and use it, so they could become the first people to successfully teleport themselves into another dimension.
Don’t make impulse decisions when you drink, guys.
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But before they do, Reed calls Ben and tells him that they can’t do this without him. He joins the team as they venture on to interdimensional transportation. While Susan Storm is gone, the rest of the team sneaks off into the pods and activates the device. What bothers me here, is that Victor went on to the other dimension, but somehow Susan still got powers, because she was piloting them through the computer. The movie turns dark fast, you see Victor fall into a pit of space acid, and then the planet begins to crumble. As the rest of the team runs back into their pods, Johnny gets engulfed in flames, and Ben is pummeled with rocks, kind of nerve wrecking if you’re a child watching this. Though that wasn’t a huge issue in the film, it was interesting seeing how these events gave them their powers, fire – Human Torch, rocks – The Thing
This is where the movie gets infuriating, the team wakes up in Area 57, and they are treated back to health by the government, who intends to use them as weapons of war. As Reed escapes, with his super stretchy self, the movie fast forwards a year.
One year. Could’ve been a week, could’ve been a month. Nope. One. Freaking. Year.
To sum up the rest of the movie which was about 30 minutes, the remaining members of the team find Reed, drag him back to the base, build the machine again, the government uses it, they find Doom wrapped in a cloak (How did he even get clothes by the way?) Doom returns to Earth with the intention of destroying it, kills a lot of guards in the base with a few nods, goes back to the planet he was left on, the Fantastic Four go after him, cue not so epic 5 minute fight. The world is saved. End movie.
That is literally what I could come up with for the second half of the movie. It feels like after the timeskip, the directors just gave up. I like to compare this movie to a final essay in college. You spend all of this time researching about your topic, finding a good template, and you write one solid page, next thing you know, the paper is due in a couple of hours, so you have to mush everything together, hope it makes sense, and hand it in on time.
Let’s move onto everything wrong with the movie (as if there wasn’t enough in the summary).
1) The movie is actually pretty decent until around the 45 minute mark, where they hit the audience with a time skip out of nowhere, and then it goes downhill from there. One huge problem with the movie: its runtime of 100 minutes. In a reboot, where you have to establish and develop each main character, no way a movie like this should be floating around an hour and a half. The pacing is downright awful, the origin takes up about half of the movie, and with all that time it wasn’t even done right. So many problems could have been fixed if the runtime was around 2 hours, dare I say it might’ve even been worth a watch.
2) One reoccurring theme that the past two Fantastic Fail movies did not realize is that Doctor Doom doesn’t have any superpowers. He’s a mastermind who learns sorcery, he’s not supposed to all of a sudden use telekinetic energy after being dropped in a pool of space goo.
3) Where is Marvel’s first family? That is one major characteristic of the Fantastic Four, they are a family. There wasn’t much bonding done, outside of building the teleporter together, and it just felt like four people working together after they got their powers.
4) The origin of each character is pretty flawed, with the exception of Reed, none of the first family’s origins are true to the comics. Ben Grimm seems like a wimp most of the movie, Johnny Storm seems angry most of the movie, with no real motivation to anything, and I can’t even begin to make sense of Susan, or how she even got her powers. (Seriously, if a computer blew up on me and all of a sudden I could turn invisible, find me a Dell or something.)
5) Jamie Bell played well in this movie, and as well as he played, it was just the wrong choice. I commend him for his work, but sorry man, you shouldn’t have been the Thing. He’s supposed to sound, to put it nicely, more aggressive. His origin is supposed to be an Air Force pilot, and he ends up coming out of his family’s workshop.
6) When you spend more of the movie without your powers, than with, that’s a Fantastic (red) Flag. When there are more action scenes shown on a TV demonstrating what each member could do, another red flag. When the “epic” final battle is 5 minutes, then the movie ends 3 minutes after that, well, you just aren’t going to get a very good movie.
7) Not to mention there are some of the worst references ever. I already spoke of the dreaded “It’s clobberin’ time!” reference, it was pretty cringe worthy. Also, towards at the end of the movie, the team suggests that they need a name, in which Reed goes, “I know what we can call ourselves!” *Cue Fantastic Four logo then proceed to show credits* Wow, even the ending was cringe worthy.
8) Oh man, the CGI! It didn’t look any better than the previous Fantastic Four (which came out in 2005). I’ll show you what I mean, take a look at the top part of the tank that is thrown.
9) With all of these red flags, this raises a few questions: Will Fantastic Four ever work as a film?
YES. I still believe. It’s not hard to make a superhero flick based on a family. Look at the Incredibles. Look at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Look at the Powerpuff Girls! Come on Fox!
10) Should they just hand the rights back to Marvel?
Duh. You saw what happened with the Amazing Spider-Man, which wasn’t even that bad of a film compared to Fant4stic. The worst movie Marvel has made to this point is Iron Man 2/Hulk, which is considerably better than either Fantastic Four that Fox has put out. Worst case scenario, they make a movie that rivals Iron Man 2, and at this point, that’s an upgrade. The question is, will Fox give it up? Probably not.
On that note, that’s the end of this review, let us know what you think of Fa- *cue logo*
Jeremy C says
Whatever your day job is, don’t quit it.
Mark Kausch says
So, are you talking to the film makers or the reviewer?
I liked the review enough to never want to see this movie – though I suspect I will at some point. After all, I saw “all” (both) of the last series. Not to mention Swamp Thing. Which I dragged my wife to. Our relationship was never the same afterwards.
Hahaha do you mean Man Thing? Or was there a Swamp Thing movie I missed. Either way, love this comment (especially in reply to the ambiguously hostile one before it!).
Hahaha, I know! “Don’t quit your
Day job”- What a valuable addition to discussing movies. I bet during the new f4 he shouted, “check please” or some other super original catch phrase.
I only saw the old swamp thing movie, but I feel like my wife would divorce me if I had taken her to it.
I might actually have to try and rent these Swamp Things now. Maybe if I put it in a rom-com starring Kirstin Wiig I can trick my wife into watching? Then again, I’m on pretty thin ice after putting her through Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine: Origins.
Wes Craven did a Swamp Thing movie in 1982, and it had a 1989 sequel.
I actually had no idea about the man thing movie, but it looks ridiculous. I can’t believe that the girl in iron man 3 (flaming girl in small town that he fights) was man things wife in the comics.
Wife compromises so far: watchmen/time travelers wife, days of future past/gone girl, ant man/train wreck. Honestly, it’s been pretty fair. Some of the chick flicks could be argued better than watchmen
I agree with most of this. It wasn’t very good. Even my 5 year old was like “I liked it a little bit, but I liked the old ones better.”
But…… It got and 8 percent on rotten tomatoes. 8? Almost every review I’ve read says, “the first half was ok.”
I feel like it was not as bad as people are making it out. It was too short, and it wasn’t very good. I’ve seen plenty of movie that I didn’t think were that great, and I don’t know how many I would give an 8 percent.
It had nothing to do with the comics, so whatever, I can get over that. I really liked dr doom, and loved his omnipotent style havoc. It was like a sci fi horror movie that was getting interrupted by super heroes. Fantastic four should be turned into a tv series.
The end of the movie was pretty disastrous, but the quick “that was it?” feel was similar to (and I hate to even mention it in comparison) to Star Wars a new hope. So maybe there would have been hope (ridiculous) in a sequel.
Either way: not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Certainly not the worst super hero movie. IMO worth watching just for doom and first half. Just overall too dark for f4, but not for the sci fi that spins out of f4 (which is what I like) so the family seems to have a lack of heart in this movie. the romance, character development, and over all dysfunctions just weren’t there to make u care
I have to agree, partially. The quality of the movie pre-time skip was much better than the rest. The production team got pretty lazy with the reshoots, and the editing team clearly didn’t do their job right. Not to mention the rumors of the director’s violence, cruelty to cast and crew, and breakdowns on set.
I disagree in that the darkness of it was pretty much exactly what I was there for – but the hard sci-fi/horror flick quickly degenerated into a bland superhero movie where the heroes use the power of friendship to beat the bad guy, who doesn’t once try to just explode their heads like he did to a few dozen people moments before. I’d have been happier if it had been more faithful to the Ultimate Comics in tone, though.
That said, I hope Fox turns the reins over to Disney, so Disney can make a good (non-origin related) FF movie, hopefully followed by a sequel based on Frightful.
Yeah, haha, why didn’t doom just kill them like everybody else? Not to mention that when he killed there dad (loved him in the wire and on oz) there was little to no emotion and it was less intense than Tim Blake Nelson’s death.
Of course, whenever a super villain in comics has unlimited power they never seem to use it effectively against the good guys.