Film Review: Fantastic Four

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I thought I already knew what my least favorite movie of the year was months ago, but Fantastic Four might have just dethroned Jupiter Ascending considering that at least had Channing Tatum going for it.

At this point I’d usually write a sentence or two about what the movie is actually about, but the thing is, Fantastic Four isn’t really about anything seeing as not a lot actually happens. Technically it is an origin story because we see Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Sue and Johnny Storm, and Victor Von Doom get their powers, but past that there’s nothing really to it. This movie has no substance. They meet, they do some science for a long time, the mutate, they do more science, there is about five minutes of actual fighting, and then the movie ends. Sounds super exciting, right?

When it comes to superhero films most fans are hoping to see some action, but it’s understandable that plenty of time would be dedicated to character building, especially when there is a team involved. About the first half or so of the movie is given to this in Fantastic Four, at least I assuming that is what the intention was with taking so long for the characters to travel to the dimension of power imbuing. Along the way we watch Reed and Ben become childhood friends loyal to each other even as Reed’s brain takes him elsewhere, we learn Johnny is a thrill seeker with some random family issues, we learn Victor is a creepy and possessive person without drive, and we learn Sue likes music. This foundation is thin at best, and along the course of the film the characters don’t even stick to the one defining feature we were led to believe leads them. Minus Sue.  She still likes music through it all.

And who really knows about Victor. He throws out a line once our twice about people destroying the planet, but when it comes to introducing the Fantastic Four’s biggest villain there is about as much motivation for where his storyline goes as there is detail in his character design. The way I see it, the designer must have started out with a block of clay to sculpt. A few cuts were made here and there, a bowling ball smooth crown of the head was formed, the artist got up, tripped, broke both arms, didn’t tell anyone about this for fear of being fired, did some minor compression work into the clay with his nose where eyes should be, and then handed this in. It was that bad. So let’s throw a hood over it and leave him out of the movie for as long as possible.

When it comes down to it I honestly can’t think of anything to compliment this movie for. Granted, that’s what happens when a movie has nothing to it. There was a joke about Reed’s childhood plans for a flying car, which did get me to smile, but that’s about it. Then a guy came in who decided he would stand out in the movie by obnoxiously chewing gum and it all went down hill from there. Way way down hill into the bottom of a hole. Where this movie should also go. And then be lit on fire. And then buried. And then quarantined because the land will die and poison anything that comes in close proximity to it.

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