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Fantastic Four (2015) Poster

Fantastic Four (stylized as FANT4STIC) is a 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name.

Plot

Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), get teleported into another universe which alters them and gives them superpowers. They must use their new abilities to stop Dr. Victor von Doom (Toby Kebell), a former friend turned enemy.

Why It Sucks

  1. The movie was only made so 20th Century Fox could hold onto the Fantastic Four film franchise and not lose the rights to Marvel Studios/Disney and it shows.
  2. The movie feels like it's ashamed of being a Fantastic Four movie, to the point that the name "Fantastic Four" is never mentioned on screen.
  3. The character design for The Thing is just terrible. The Thing doesn't even wear pants like in his previous incarnations, for some reason.
  4. Doctor Doom on the other hand looks like some sort of melted plastic toy that was put on a microwave rather than a scientist wearing a metalic suit. He's nothing short of a complete, total and utter monster, contrasting his tragic villain characterization from the comics gravely.
  5. The movie also takes itself far too seriously, and is very dark, which is a far cry from the comics and even from the previous movies. It aspires to become, to quote Trank himself, a "David Cronenberg superhero" movie. It does feature body horror akin to The Fly and stars superpowered people, but fails miserably in combining them due to the horror film theme not fitting well with the Fantastic four characters.
  6. Most of the movie is just boring conversations in rooms with the lights turned off.
  7. Poor CGI and special effects.
  8. Poor editing.
  9. Bad uninterested acting with no real direction.
  10. Terrible attempts to make the film dark and mature which only makes it dull and monotonous.
  11. Speaking of poor acting, the cast has no chemistry whatsoever even though this is a film about a family of superheroes. In one scene, when Sue and Johnny Storm do talk to each other it's just relatively brief. Another scene is when Reed and Sue (who are a married couple in the comics) sit down and talk it's not even convincing. The only moment where there is any real chemistry between the four are the Chinese lunch scene even then there not talking to each other.
    1. Reed and Sue is more like rivals than love interests, coming off Sue pushing the guilt trip Reed enough turn anti-hero than a hero.
  12. Very poor grasp of the source material.
  13. Awkard casting choices. Jamie Bell was miscast as The Thing/Ben Grimm. Michael B. Jordan's casting as Johnny Storm led to some criticism, particularly since his sister Sue Storm was still played by a white actress.
  14. Paper thin and underdeveloped characters.
    • They seemed like selective test subjects than chosen geniuses.
    • Behaving like military machines and only wanting to form a team because Reed returns.
  15. There is only one action scene in the entire movie, where the Fantastic Four face off against Doctor Doom near the end of the movie, which is absolutely inexcusable for any superhero or action movie.
  16. The storyline suffers from unbelievably poor pacing. The main characters receive their powers within' the first forty minutes and the first act progresses so slowly overall (taking up a huge chunk of the movie’s running time, of which there are 100 minutes) that the second and third acts ended up moving at an incredibly fast pace.
  17. The story itself is pretty poor, with several subplots in the first and second acts (like Ben Grimm's rivalry with his older brother, Johnny's connection to being a street racer, the Fantastic Four gripping and dealing with their new found super powers, etc.) being forgotten as soon as they are brought up.
  18. No cameo from Stan Lee, unlike other Marvel movies. Apparently Fox didn’t consult him, even though he was available to talk with the production crew.
  19. Scenes that clearly show studio-mandated reshoots, be it for trying to clear up/hasten the plot or appearance (i.e. Kate Mara's hair having a different color due to using a wig).
  20. Many scenes that were included in the trailers were deleted in the final cut of the movie.
  21. Dull ending.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Good soundtrack.

Reception

Fantastic Four was universally panned by critics and audiences, and has been called "a good candidate for the WORST movie of 2015". It even became one of two winners (the other being Fifty Shades of Grey) of the 2015 Razzie Award for Worst Pictures of the Year. It has since been grouped with the worst movies of all time and one of the worst superhero movies ever made.

The movie suffered from numerous production issues, ranging from director Josh Trank (of Chronicle fame)'s unprofessional behavior on the set to Fox taking over the movie from Trank in an attempt to salvage it via re-shoots. Also, many of the people who worked on the movie, including Trank, have since disowned it. In a deleted Twitter post (written just before the movie’s release), Trank said that "[he] had a fantastic version of [this movie] that would've received great reviews. You‘ll probably never see it though".

Trivia

  • Michael B. Jordan later portrayed Erik "Killmonger" Stevens/Gold Jaguar in another Marvel movie, Black Panther, which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • The relentlessly low quality of Fantastic Four movies has to do with Marvel making a licensing deal with German company Constantin in 1986 for any film adaptations of Fantastic Four and the rights to a number of associated characters (such as Doctor Doom, the Silver Surfer and Galactus). This deal had no expiry date. However, the contract does require movies to actually be made. This is why the 1992 Roger Corman Fantastic 4 film was created (apparently the contract does not specify that films have to be released), and why Fox made any films using the licence at all. Disney acquired the licence when it purchased Fox, however, and now intends to incorporate the group into the MCU.

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