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Monday, August 10, 2015
This movie was doomed from the start and it is a classic example of a studio pushing something through because of money. If Fox did not release this movie by 2015, then the studio would have lost the movie rights to the Fantastic Four series. If Fox Studios had any shred of decency in it, then it would allow the Fantastic Four to go home to Marvel where Marvel can decide to either shelve it with dignity or make a good adaptation of this story.

It is extremely important to note that, while the Marvel Studios name appears on this film, Marvel had nothing to do with making it. Director Josh Trank was brought in to save this movie in early 2014 and submitted a script that many insiders said was an excellent adaptation of the Ultimate Fantastic Four universe origin story. Fox rejected Trank’s script but would not fire Trank. The result was a belligerent director who often did not show up to the set and, rumor has it, was drunk when he was on set. The results on the screen show the disheveled approach the studio took to making it and Fox should have never released this movie.

Let me address the big “controversy” about this movie that centers around a black actor (Michael B. Jordan) playing the Human Torch. This is only a controversy among outward and closet racists. While I hate it when studios change things like this, I love it when quality actors come in and do a great job on a role. Jordan was probably the only actor, aside from Reg E. Cathey, who delivered a performance worth talking about. The notion that the color of anyone’s skin ruined this movie is both petty and disgusting.

What ruined this movie was Fox Studios. When the studio was under the gun and had rejected Trank’s script, it should have seen disaster coming. Fox should have hired a new director or done the right thing and given up on the Fantastic Four series and allowed it to go home to Marvel. Instead, Fox created a disgruntled director (who was already unstable, based on reports from other movies he has worked on) and then allowed that director to create something that wound up getting chopped up in editing and pieced together to make a mess.

The movie starts off fine enough, but after an hour of nothing happening, I was getting bored. My grandson had fallen asleep. It could be because he is two, or it could be because this movie was awful. When something finally did start to happen, the special effects looked rushed and bush league. Once again we get a Fantastic Four movie that spends 90 percent of the time on the boring backstory and 10 percent of the time on the fight with Dr. Doom.

The sad part is that this movie had such potential if it had just been handled by professionals. The actors were not awful, but I do question casting Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic. Teller just does not have that subtle intensity that is needed to pull off a role like Reed Richards.

Fox Studios had the previous Fantastic Four disasters to learn from and it did not learn anything. We are supposed to believe that the Fantastic Four are a family, but we barely see any substance to their relationships. At the end, I was pretty convinced that they barely knew each other and calling them a family was the last thing on my mind.

I want the Fantastic Four movies to succeed because it is a Marvel story, but Marvel needs to take control of this franchise if the movies are going to work. Fox made the last set of disasters starting in 2005 and now it is rebooting the series with another disaster. To say I am disappointed would be a colossal understatement.

Rating: 1 out of 5

+George N Root III is a drive-in fanatic who doesn’t understand why Fox Studios keeps making bad superhero movies. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at georgenroot3@gmail.com. Join in the conversation about this movie and others at https://www.facebook.com/enpatthedrivein.



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