Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fantastic Four (USA, 2014)

Nine Things About the Film Fantastic Four


1. When it comes to bad movies, there are four main types:
a) Movies that are cheap rip-offs of other movies
b) Movies that are boring or full of generic story ideas
c) Movies that don't understand the topics they're talking about
d) Movies that have stories that just don't make sense
Fantastic Four manages to combine all four of these fantastically bad movie types into one shameful mess.

2. It's basically a rip-off of X-Men - special kids go to school and learn to do cool stuff.  It's about a grade-school kid named Reed, who understands quantum physics. He joins with his junkyard friend Jim and makes a teleporting machine in his garage. Instead of telling anyone, he just saves it and enters it into the high school science fair.

3. Reed and Jim get recruited to a genius school and meet some other kids. Some more stupid stuff happens, and the four kids teleport to a different dimension. When they discover that the ground is unsafe to walk on, they walk on it for a couple miles and then Reed dips his hand into some green lava, which makes the ground explode and gives them all superpowers.

4. The sorriest superhero in the movie is The Thing. For a big tough guy made of boulders, all he does is pout and whine. And the superpowers of the others don't make sense. Like, when Reed gets all stretchy, how come his clothes get all stretchy, too?  When Johnny Storm lights himself on fire, how come his face doesn't get burned off? (And by the way, when he says his catchphrase "flame on" - well, where I come from that means something different).

5.  Like most of these kinds of movies, there are trite sayings like "Separate we are weakest, but together we are strong!" and "We can't change the past, but we can change the future!" There's a fake Einstein quote. There are tons of meaningless sentences that are supposed to sound scientific; my favorite is probably "His biochemistry is off the charts!" The movie should have premiered on SyFy, right before the new Sharknado movie.

6. The kids are all supposed to be around high school age, but the youngest actor is 28. So it's really weird seeing grown adults acting like teenagers.

7. The biggest mystery of the film is the casting. The main four actors are excellent. Michael B. Jordan killed me in Fruitvale Station, one of the best movies of 2013.  Miles Teller starred in Whiplash, one of the best movies of 2014. Kata Mara is excellent in "House of Cards", and I've loved Jamie Bell ever since Billy Elliot in 2000. They must all have played a serious game of Truth or Dare to have been put in this movie. Hopefully the Men In Black will come flash us so that we don't remember this incident in their careers.

8. Every ten minutes or so, the movie does something even more boring or stupid than before. Eventually, the sheer incompetence of the whole thing pressed me into my seat so I could barely move.

9. Will this be the moment where people discover that Marvel tells the same stories over and over again, and they aren't very creative in the first place? Probably not. But the fact that the movie almost put me to sleep is the only thing that partly saves it - this is probably the worst movie of 2015, but I was so bored that I didn't even care.