I’d actually started this post around two months back, but put it aside to work on other things. It was going to be a really lengthy point-by-point peek at why the film deserved to flop out, but I decided to not be so negative until I maybe saw the final product. It’s a good thing I waited because after seeing the film, everything I thought about writing happened and the movie was even worse than my cynical ass expected. But I don’t blame director Josh Trank (Chronicle) all that much because it very well seems the studio had more to do with the film being such a train wreck.
In my opinion, Fox needs to sell back or hand those rights over to a studio that can actually do something constructive with the characters. Too many hands went into what looks like rushed re-shooting and sloppy editing so what should have been another reliable summer blockbuster for fans has turned into a must-see exercise for film students as to what NOT to do. Or a note to creative types with vision to stay far away from licensed properties and a studio system that demands souls and final cut in exchange for some sort of loyalty. While the film is far from unwatchable, it’s not worth the cost of a ticket at all and more suited to cable or network TV. Then again, on a channel with commercials, trying to make sense of the film will be a total nightmare unless scenes are added back in to help things out.
From all of the lousy-looking poster art (every variant looks like fan-made work by someone new to Photoshop) to the “stealth” marketing campaign (probably due to Fox taking away and chopping up Trank’s film into what it ended up as), Fantastic 4 is an unmitigated disaster of a movie. It’ll be a textbook case for years for anyone who wants to argue these super hero flicks are dumb money grabs and they’ll be about 100 percent correct. Of course, FOX can recover from this one and move on to its X-Men and other properties without missing a beat. I’m not sure the TV show will pan out as they want it to, but as with Gotham (which I was completely wrong on), I’ll shut up and wait to see what happens.
That said, the Marvel Universe as a whole HAS to be unified one day. All the different studios holding the assorted rights to individual characters and groups are doing nothing for continuity while DC has their ducks more or less in a row for better and worse. Anyway, I have bigger fish to fry (and better movies to watch), so I won’t dwell on F4 any further. It’s a good thing I didn’t pay for my ticket or I’d have been even more annoyed. Bleah. But oddly enough, I’ll more than likely watch this when it pops up on cable just so I can make out some dialog I missed in the mumbly delivery in some spots. At best, the film ends up quite compelling in its badness… and that’s the best thing I can say about it.