Speculative Fiction Saturday: Fantastic Four

fantastic-four-trailer-poster-2015Some of you might remember when I did my review of CHAPPiE that I tried to say something positive about it, even though that on the whole, I didn’t like the film. The issue with Fantastic Four is I have never seen any film that is so thoroughly disengaging.

It’s pretty clear why Marvel wanted to do a Fantastic Four movie, and yes, money is one of the reasons. The Fantastic Four is kind of like Marvel’s first family, and they mean a lot to Marvel. I used to read them in comics back in the eighties, and the best thing about this book is that they were family. Reed and Sue were husband and wife, Johnny was Sue’s brother, and Ben was Reed’s best friend.

Unlike other super-teams, they got along. A lot of people don’t like that aspect with super-teams, but they think they should be like the Avengers and X-Men. You know, where the team is just thrown together and don’t get along but work together anyway, making the conflict a bit more interesting. Fantastic Four always had the familial bond between them, so nothing really stops them, honestly.

The film opens in 2007, and yeah, that wasn’t a long time ago. Not very nostalgic, really. Why even give it a year? Anyway, young Reed Richards has invented a teleporter, but it only slightly works. He does manage to black out New York City, which actually happened in 2003, and…couldn’t we just set this back then? Well, I guess we just had to make Reed Richards younger.

Now, what is interesting about the Fantastic Four is that they have been rebooted, several times, and Reed Richards just keeps getting younger. This film deviates a lot from the Source material so much, it almost represents something else. This isn’t like the change makes it interesting, and some of these changes just seem like they would work.

Anyway, the film opens with Reed and Ben being friends, but not really developing that friendship that much. Reed has a teleporter that he’s been working on all through his childhood, and one day, at a science fair, some people notice it. One of them is Sue Storm and her father.

Sue Storm is played by an actress who decided not to show any personality whatsover. Many times, Sue is portrayed as a Jessica Alba type, but in the Source material, Sue is both beautiful, nurturing, and motherlike, and no live-action film has ever got that right.

As for Johnny, he’s like this character from the Fast and Furious transplanted into this film, and the movie as a whole is rejecting him.

Anywway, Reed figures out how to make his teleporter work, and he decides to take the four of them into this other dimension. This isn’t the Fantastic Four, but Reed, Johnny, Ben, and…hey, this is bros only, so let’s find someone else. That someone else is Victor…something or another, but they call him Von Doom because he’s kind of a pessimist.

So, they all get into the teleporter so they can have an origin story, and now this film becomes a reboot check-off list. Once the group gets their powers, it still isn’t interesting. There is scene where Reed tries to crawl away from the wreckage of the teleporter accident with a pinned foot. Then we realize that his leg has stretched. I saw that effect coming from a mile away, and it was the only interesting thing in this, and it wasn’t very interesting.

So, Reed escapes from the military who want to use the Fantastic Four as weapons. They apparently do this for a year or two, and apparently only the Thing has been used for covert operations. Now, why in the world would you use a brick guy when you have a woman who can turn herself invisible? Wouldn’t that be the greater asset?

From there, the government rebuilds the teleporter, tries it again, and they find Dr. Doom, who wants to destroy the world because…I honestly don’t remember. From there, it is a finale to end all…yeah, I barely remember that either.

This Fantastic Four film is now become one of the worst films of the year, and it is pretty obvious, because this film is so forgettable that I probably should have done it a few weeks ago, when I first reviewed it. This can be the worst thing for a film, when it isn’t so bad that it is good. Personally, I believe that Fantastic Four has achieved some kind of level of so bland it has no impact, good or bad.