You know what’s worn thin during this era of super hero movies? Watching the same story over and over again. We all know how Spiderman became Spiderman; we all know why Bruce Wayne became Batman; and yes, those of us who care about this stuff, we all know how the Fantastic Four became the Fantastic Four.
Not only does this reboot of the Fantastic Four retell the origin story that we all saw unfold in the 2005 film, but they do it with all the excitement of paint drying. I’m not certain how you can make inter-dimensional teleportation boring, but this movie somehow pulls it off. It doesn’t help that the film’s talented cast looks as if they’re family pets all just died. Stars Miles Teller and Kate Mara are robotic throughout the film, uttering their lines without emotion. For a movie based around the relationship between four superheroes, Fantastic Four develops zero chemistry or spark between the four main characters.
It’s hard to really blame the actors in the film. Most of them have displayed their immense talent in other films, which means their badness in Fantastic Four has more to do with the writing than with the skills of the actors. And man, is the writing bad in this movie. Aside from an early scene set in the past, the film has zero charm or wit. The supposed genius characters seem like clueless airheads, the wise cracking rebellious characters seem like entitled brats, and the villain character is a heartbroken loser who just decides to destroy the earth for no good reason.
This film also suffers from some of the worst pacing I’ve ever seen. It’s an hour of prologue, then a time jump happens and we spend ten minutes catching up with the characters. Then the film delivers the final battle and ends. When it occurred to me that the final battle had come out of nowhere and was happening, I was genuinely surprised. This felt like the pilot episode of a television show, not a complete movie.
In this day and age of incredible comic book movies, the worst thing a comic book movie can do is be generic. That’s the great flaw in Fantastic Four. It just feels so generic. You’ve seen it all before, and there’s nothing to these characters or their story that makes you care about seeing it again.
You know a movie is bad when the film’s director takes to Twitter to acknowledge the badness and air his frustrations with the movie studio. The Fantastic Four director quickly deleted the Tweet, but the message was clear. Even the guy who made it knows it’s bad.
With some decent special effects and a lot of potential, this isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen. But there’s also not much here worth watching for. If you’re a Fantastic Four super fan you may want to rent it in a few months, but for everyone else I’d suggest you pass.
ONE OUT OF FIVE STARS
This movie is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and language