There was a moment when I was watching the rebooted Fantastic Four where all of a sudden we were in the climactic battle. There had been no character development, no comical banter between characters, and not a lot of anything for that matter. I expected it to be a quick fight, since I imagined there would be more to the movie. It was quick, for sure, but then the credits started to roll shortly after and I sat there thinking, “Did I miss something?” No, I didn’t miss anything—I just watched the dismally incomplete and boring Fantastic Four which does nothing but destroy our hopes for there ever being anything good to come out of this series.
Aside from being a complete mess in terms of crafting fully realized characters, developing a villain, or even making a coherent movie, the newly rebooted Fantastic Four is—dare I say—worse than its previous filmic adaptation a decade ago (and that film, along with its sequel, were extremely hated.) The opening moments are promising—Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan are all wholly likable. They are fresh, young actors who all have very bright futures, but the script gives them basically nothing to work with. We expect them—as this is a movie directed towards younger audiences—to have some solid rapport, witty banter, and some sort of camaraderie to make them entertaining, but these are all sorely missing from the incomplete script.
I guess the main issue—though there are many—is that there is literally no second act. After getting their powers, there is only what feels like a brief interval before the final fight. The characters don’t even appear to struggle that much with the new powers that have drastically changed their lives. This is probably because Fox pretty much chopped off most of the movie which was supposed to run over 2 hours to something that barely reaches the 90-minute mark.
All of this can be explained by Fox’s decision to wait 7 years (as long as possible to retain the right’s without them reverting back to Marvel) to make another one at the last second. They tore up Josh Trank’s movie, which was supposed to be about 50% longer, and threw out what they could, even if it was important to the film. One can only imagine what we might have seen instead of this clunky catastrophe.
As of right now, there is a sequel supposedly green-lit for 2017 (though that was before the release of the film.) If this is any indicator of what else is to come, then Fox should probably just give up the rights back to Marvel so we can maybe, just maybe, get a Fantastic Four movie that isn’t absolutely abhorrent. If you’re desperate for some Fantastic Four action—and I never thought I would say this—go watch the ones released a decade ago…