Fantastic Four (2015) Review

This is the year of disappointing movies for me.  Tomorrowland, Terminator Genisys, Self/Less, Pixels, Southpaw, and now Fantastic Four.  The nails in the coffin could potentially be The Visit (my most anticipated film of the year), Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Spectre.  I hope to God that is not the case.  Fantastic Four (2015) is directed by Josh Trank and written by: Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, and Josh Trank.  Stars-Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Reg E. Cathey.  Premise- Five young geniuses create a machine and use it to travel to an alternate dimension.  But when their attempt to return goes awry, they wake up with incredible powers and must use them to stop what was once their friend.
Honestly, this is the worst superhero movie that came out after 2005.  Yup, that means this movie is worse than Hulk, Ghost Rider, The Green Lantern, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and the first Fantastic Four movie.  Why?  Because it    is    BORING!  Ninety-five percent of the movie consists of “talking head” scenes where the characters spew incredibly uninteresting exposition.   I’m just going to show you TV Tropes’ definition of “talking heads,” as I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Footage (specifically, close shots) of people … talking, with little or no other action. Theoretically easy to write and definitely cheap to film, Talking Heads can be boring.  That description sums up this movie in a nutshell.  But wait, aside from being a superhero movie that doesn’t entertain (wrap your head around that one), it falls flat on many other levels.  First, the acting.  This movie has some of the most talented young actors currently gracing Hollywood.  So, how are their performances?  With the exceptions of Michael B. Jordan and Reg E. Cathey, the acting in this movie is just bland, very, very bland.  Miles Teller and Kate Mara are the worst by far (they also have zero chemistry).  They just seem disinterested, and hardly ever emote beyond the occasional grin or halfhearted laugh.  I know that sounds insane (I can hardly believe it myself), primetime Emmy nominated Kate Mara, and the universally loved Miles Teller giving bad performances?  However, I attribute that to bad direction on Trank’s part.  Even in Chronicle (the other film Trank directed) only Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan were the superb actors (at least in my opinion) and that’s because of their natural talent.  I can tell it’s the bad direction in this movie because the first 10 minutes contains some dreadful child acting.  I understand that not every child actor has the potential to be the next Haley Joel Osment, but I also know that children have basic emotions.  Either Tank never told the actors in this movie what to do, or they apparently took lessons from Will Smith in After Earth: boring, emotionally deprived and forgettable.
As for the story (besides being exhaustingly boring), it is horrendous!  The pacing is slow, the characters are extremely forgettable, and the storytelling is pathetic.  I mean pathetic, (no spoilers) there is a subplot of Reed Richards running away presumably to save his friends with some cool technology (and more understanding of his powers) later.  But a few months later (movie time) he is found and apparently accomplished nothing!  So that whole subplot (as well as all the suspense with it) was completely pointless!  This movie also tries to be funny (like every Marvel movie), but because the acting is so stale, most of the jokes fall flat.  I can tell the writers felt really lazy when writing the script, because in one scene B. Jordan and E. Cathey (who are father and son in the movie) have a conversation in a car that is supposed to build character and tension.  However, the entire conversation is made of cliché’s!  I am not exaggerating when I say that every line between them is a cliché (I actually laughed at how obvious it was in the theater).   As for the action, there are only three scenes of any actual action and one of those scenes isn’t even a fight scene, while the the third one is the climax.  Speaking of the climax, it’s horribly rushed, short, and underwhelming.  So much so, that I am placing it in my Top 5 Worst Movie Anticlimaxes, it is worse than Rio 2, After Earth, and I Am Legend’s anticlimaxes’ combined.  Because there are only three things I liked about this movie, I’ll just state them here.  The score (done by Marco Beltrami), F/X, and camerawork.  Occasionally the CGI looks pretty fake, but most of the time the visuals (especially the CGI of The Thing) do look really impressive, and the music works with every scene.
This movie was a train whose cargo contained nothing but pure potential, but I guess while on its way to the theater, Mr. Glass from Unbreakable put a bomb on the tracks, subsequently derailing the movie.  In truth, the first Fantastic Four movie is better than this one because it could at least entertain me for an hour (like ANY SUPERHERO MOVIE should be able to do).  This movie wasted so much time explaining science crap no one really cares about instead of showing us the action, humor, and memorable characters everyone loves about the comic book: Fantastic Four.  Atrocious acting, a non-coherent plot, and next to no action place this movie in my Top Ten Worst Superhero Movies of all Time.  It is only by the skin of its teeth (and the aforementioned positives) that Fantastic Four (2015) gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a D- instead of an F.


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