One of my best friends invited me and a group of close friends to watch Fantastic Four with him earlier this afternoon. I didn’t have a lot of high hopes going in, based on the trailers I’d seen and some not-so-positive reviews that I had read. After the 1:45 or so were up, I realized that my expectations might have been too high.
It was not a horrible movie. It was not, however, a very good overall movie.
I am going to refrain from judging this movie on comic book-based content; I’m not very knowledgeable with all of the FF4’s stories and rivals, other than Dr. Doom and Galactus/his heralds. There were parts and aspects of this movie that I liked. For example, the special effects were pretty good; Johnny Storm’s “Flame On!” and some of the battle scenes were especially enjoyable to see. The first 20 minutes or so, setting up the back stories of the main characters, was pretty good. You see the friendship develop nicely between Ben Grimm and Reed Richards, plus you see some of the Storm family dynamics.
After that, there is a lot of “meh”, bad, and BAD. There is almost no character development with the main villain (“bad”); there is also no cohesion with what said villain wants to do, once he’s revealed. Before his revelation, he wanted to stay in his own anti-establishment, anti-government world; once he makes his more-spectacular-than-expected debut, he wants to remake, destroy, and create the world… seemingly all at once. There is also a horrible lack of action, other than the required final battle (“meh”). One movie that faced such criticism, in recent memory, was Iron Man 2; Fantastic Four had maybe 75% of Iron Man 2’s action sequences…. unless you count minutes of Johnny Storm flying around and Sue Storm “practicing” as “action”. Perhaps the worst thing in this movie was the dialog (“BAD”). Once the opening “act” was finished (maybe 35-40 minutes in), the actors picked up a ho-hum vibe about them (minus Johnny Storm); it seemed like they were rehearsing their scenes, rather than the scenes being a Final Cut. The lines, especially during the few tense/action-packed sequences in the 2nd “act”, got increasingly cheesy, to the point that a few of the audience members directly behind me audibly groaned. The final scenes and battle were over before they really got going; I was left with a “was that it?” feeling, and that shouldn’t happen with such a movie.
I enjoyed the time with the friends and I enjoyed parts of the first 35 minutes of Fantastic Four. The special effects were nice. Other than that, I could not recommend watching this movie, especially if you are a Fantastic Four fan or have more comic book knowledge about the FF4 than I do (which, my knowledge is little). Save your money and go see something like Ant-Man or Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.