Skip to main content

Movie Review: Fantastic Four (2015) *Very minor spoilers*

I will be the first to admit that until I saw the first trailers for Josh Trank's Fantastic Four I wasn't that excited for the film. Like most people, even the announcement of the principle cast didn't add anything much of a spark.

Johnny Storm being played by Michael B. Jordan didn't really raise an eyebrow for me. I mean, sure a previously white character is now black but it's no great stretch of the imagination to see how that might be possible. The rest of the main actors I wasn't that familiar with, despite seeing some of their other work prior to this film. No one particularly stood out.

The trailers turned all that apathy around, making the Fantastic Four look far more interesting and inspired than their previous movie franchise from 2005 and 2007.

However, I think rumors of too many issues on the set and people's general lack of interest in the film's development, took its toll and set people up to just pan the film regardless of it's merits. If you read the reviews you'd think this movie was worse than Batman and Robin or even Green Lantern. It's not.



Where I agree with other reviews is that there is obviously a problem with the second half of the film. So much so that Josh Trank tweeted (briefly before deleting his comment) that the studio ruined his film. I'm inclined to believe that's at least half true. There's clearly big chunks missing, causing the second half to feel rushed. However that doesn't ruin film.

I definitely enjoyed this movie and feel it's the best live action Fantastic Four movie we've seen to date. Some people might say that's not saying a lot since the previous two movies aren't considered to be great either (for a long time I couldn't sit through the first of the previous two films but have since grown to like it despite its problems).

Josh Trank's Fantastic Four sets up a much stronger and more believable origin story for the team and Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) - well more believable within the realm's of suspending disbelief. We get glimpses into Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm's (Jamie Bell) childhood that sets up their friendship and is more of a window into who they are and how they got to being a part of the Four.

We get less background on Sue (Kate Mara) and Johnny Storm but learn that Sue is adopted (did anyone not work out one of them would be adopted?) but it's enough as by this point we're pretty invested in Reed  and Ben and we learn more about Sue and Johnny as the film progresses.

I was impressed the team's story leading up to the accident that cause's their transformation. Most critics agree that that much of the film is pretty engaging. I do feel the relationship between Victor, Reed and Sue wasn't really developed enough. We got just enough to get that there was some kind of love triangle there. A triangle that Sue barely seemed to acknowledge but was probably aware of.

Victor, in particular seemed like some of his pre-transformation story was missing as his motivation later in the film seems far more extreme than his general unwillingness to be part of the teams project (which he started).

Post accident, I particularly like how the team were all spirited away and quarantined. The effects of the accident are treated deadly seriously, like they should be, by those responsible for cleaning up the damage. No glib, "Now we've got powers, let's use them for good" moment here. Personally I thought this was one of the strongest ideas of the new film, with everybody seemingly having different ideas about what should be done with their new found abilities.

Unfortunately the film then jumps a year forward. Not bad, in its self but it is the start of things beginning to feel rushed. Before you know it Doom is back and he want's to destroy the Earth for reasons best known to himself. Maybe he's just mad at not being referenced in any way for over a year in movie time?

To me, that's what lets the movie down a little. Suddenly Doom is back and we're barreling straight into the final battle. No second act, "you've beaten me this time but I'll be back", or "how will the Fantastic Four get out of Dr Doom's clutches and save the day?". Nope, just straight into "I'm going to destroy the Earth" and the Fantastic Four, who don't even know they are a superhero team yet have to work out how to stop him.

That said, this version of Dr Doom is seriously God-like with his power. The MCU is often criticized for not having very strong villains. With a bit more of a fleshed out backstory, Dr Doom, with the power displayed in this film, would be more bad ass than Loki, Ronan and Ultron all rolled into one. If Marvel ever gets back the license to Fantastic Four, I hope they take some inspiration from this version of Doom, maybe even keep Toby Kebbell but redesign his post accident look.

The lack of time Dr Doom is in the film, along with his very gruesome powers, leads me to believe that this part of the movie took some severe cuts to make things a bit more family friendly.

That said, you do get to see all the team members in combat, displaying their abilities better than ever before on film. Even Mr Fantastic looks cool in one on many combat, using his stretching ability to good effect. One could argue he is the hardest to translate to live action but it's done so well here.

Don't let the critics put you off seeing this in theater. It may not be a perfect film but there are so many good moments and ideas that it's still worth your money and time. I came out of the theater thinking that, despite the rushed second half, I'd really love to see this Fantastic Four get another movie. Even if the final line was cheesy as hell. It's a solid origin story with many ideas that could be explored further in future films.

I say give it a chance. Even if you don't see it in a theater, definitely support it when it comes to VOD, Blu-ray or DVD. At which time, I really hope they will release the directors cut that Josh Trank says was there before the studio 'ruined his film'.

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

The History of Electric Cars and How Car Manufacturers and Oil Companies Have Manipulated You Against Them

The 1990 GM Impact electric concept car Image source - Wikipedia:  Fair use , Link For as long as I can remember maintaining a car is more of an inconvenience and unexpectedly expensive. Particularly keeping the engine maintained. Not to mention having to actually drive to a service station to make sure you have enough fuel to go to wherever you're going. How many of us wait until the fuel gauge is showing nearly empty before filling up? If you could have a car that is extremely low maintenance, low cost to run, and you could fuel up at home whenever you wanted, you would right? That's pretty much what an electric vehicle offers but so many people are strongly against these vehicles? Did you know that electric vehicles (EVs) have been around since 1884? Not only that but also EVs dominated the roads over gasoline powered cars before said cars became quieter and easier to operate? Did you also know that there was an EV revolution (almost) in the mid 1990s with GM releasing the E

Is AI Art 'Art'? The Say NO to AI Art Movement, and Why Human Artists Will Adapt

AI Art No T-Shirt by TET Also available on other items . Right now there is a big debate over not just whether AI art is 'art' but whether AI's are actually ripping off the work of actual human artists, without their consent, to create their images - particularly images 'in the style of' specific artists. From my own observations this debate started to get more traction when artist's signatures began appearing in the output of AI Art  image generators. Is It Art? Cool Froyd the Cat Sketch by TET. My style is very much influenced by classic Disney and WB character styles. To get some clarity on how real human artists work (of which I am one)... we, that is all of us... take influences from the art that has come before. i.e. whatever artists we like, have studied, seen etc. we are influenced by. It shows up in our work, intentionally or not. If you really study my own cartoony art style you'll see I'm heavily influenced by early Disney and Warner Bros cart

Movie Review: Avatar 2 - The Way of Water (2022) *Spoiler Free*

To be honest I didn't think, after so many years, a second Avatar movie would have anywhere near the success of the first film. However, at the time of writing this review, Avatar 2 - The Way of Water had already made a billion dollars at the box office in just 12 days. As much as the first film has become a little bit of a joke - mostly just for how long it has taken to get a sequel - people did enjoy that movie and Avatar 2, I feel, is a better experience. It's easily of the same quality visually but also, there's more story and characters to invest in. Not to mention the additional world building. Avatar 2 picks up several years after the first movie. Jake Sully now has a young family on Pandora who he is forced to protect when a familiar threat returns to the extrasolar moon. While the broad themes and plot are not that different from the first movie, within that there are interesting sub stories of family, fathers, being different, and revenge. All of which is balance

TV Series Review: National Treasure: Edge of History (2023, Disney+) *No Spoilers*

While I wouldn't say I was a huge fan of the National Treasure movies staring Nicolas Cage, I did find them enjoyable and would have certainly watched another if more were made in the series (or is it 'franchise' when we're talking movies?). Having finally gotten around to watching the new Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History I'm honestly not sure who the creators think their audience is, because it's definitely not me? At this point I've watched six episodes and I'm intending to push through until the end but I'm finding it a difficult watch because at age 52 the show feels heavily skewed towards teenage girls, or at a stretch young adults in general. There's also a very CW show vibe that I'm getting that screams 'budget' television more than any attempt to give the series a 'movie' like quality. Which Disney has done with some of its Marvel based TV series. Not even the inclusion of Catherine Zeta Jones - who

Why Drawing Without Purpose is an Important Skill for Artists

I watch quite a lot of artist channels on YouTube and one thing that is common to many of them is that each new video sets out with the goal of creating a piece of finished art. Even if the artist is just doing something 'rough' in a sketchbook, by the end of the video that 'rough drawing' will look like a finished artwork ready to be framed and hung on a wall. In my latest two art videos I unintentionally demonstrated why not sitting down to create a piece of finished art every time is also an important part of any artists practice.