Friday, August 7, 2015

Unfantastic Reviews for The "Failed Four"

Fantastic Four
When 20th Century Fox decided to reboot the "Fantastic Four" film franchise, it was generally well-received by comic book movie fans, as was the studio’s subsequent choice of Josh Trank (fresh off his breakout hit "Chronicle") as the project’s director.

However, nearly every creative decision made on the film since then (using the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book series as the source material, casting young rising stars like Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan, embracing a dark and grounded tone) seems to have proven highly controversial within the superhero movie fan community.

It is not helping that everyone knows that Fox mostly made this film both as a way to stay in the Marvel game beyond just X-Men and to keep the rights to the characters from going back to Marvel.

So, with all that in mind, the next million dollar question concerning the "Fantastic Four" movie reboot: was the finished product even worth all that trouble, at the end of the day? The initial wave of reviews just came out and it is does not look good for the production team.

"[Previous 'Fantastic Four' movies] didn’t set the bar inordinately high. Yet if this latest version, with a significantly younger cast (one’s tempted to call it “Fantastic Four High”), clears that threshold, it’s just barely, drawing from a different source to reimagine the quartet’s origins without conspicuously improving them. All told, the movie feels like a protracted teaser for a more exciting follow-up that, depending on whether audiences warm to this relatively low-key approach, might never happen.

- Brian Lowry, Variety"
"[Fantastic Four (2015)] offers glimmers of good things to come… but only after the audience has slogged through yet another dispiriting origin story… Director Josh Trank, whose debut feature 'Chronicle' put a smart new spin on superhero tropes, has assembled a quartet of engaging, charismatic performers and stranded them in a miasma of exposition and set-up that sinks the movie. So much time is spent putting the pieces on the board that there's barely any time to play with them.

Edward Douglas, Coming Soon"
"Fantastic Four feels like a 100-minute trailer for a movie that never happens. At this point in the ever-expanding cinematic superhero game, it behooves any filmmakers who get involved to have at least a mildly fresh take on their characters and material, but this [Marvel superhero movie] proves maddeningly lame and unimaginative ... The reins have been handed to director and co-writer Josh Trank, whose one previous feature was the 2012 'found-footage' thriller Chronicle. Unfortunately, there is no youthful enthusiasm or sense of reinvention evident in this outing.

Emma Dibdin, Digital Spy"
" In the face of such bad buzz, it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for the finished product, which is a harmless and endearingly cartoonish throwback to more simple comic book movie times. But whatever strengths Fantastic Four has, it does not feel like a movie directed by Trank (who made such a striking debut with 2012’s bold anti-superhero fable Chronicle) or for that matter by anyone. It’s a muddled and underdeveloped origin story which segues jarringly from light-hearted adventure to heavy-handed grit, grasping for a gravitas that it hasn’t earned.

Tim Grierson, Screen Daily"
"This is clearly a film that was made not out of any artistic desire on the part of the studio but rather to make sure that another studio didn’t get the characters back. Whatever artistic intent director Josh Trank and writers Simon Kinberg and Jeremy Slater had in mind back in 2012, and there are glimmers of promise in the opening reel, has been lost to whatever went down over the last year or so.

- Scotte Mendelson, Forbes"

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