Before watching this year’s iteration of Fantastic 4, I was already having second thoughts about using my hard-earned money for it, especially after hearing that 20th Century Fox placed an embargo on all F4 reviews prior to the movie’s release. That should have been warning enough, but admittedly it also made me curious. Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about spending anything since I got complimentary passes from a friend! (Thank you, friend.) And now I’m here to tell you, in a nutshell, and as spoiler-free as possible, why I’m grateful that I only got to watch this for free:
- There was no sense of connection. Remember when you watch a movie about a topic you know and love and there will be scenes that sends chills down your spine? That somehow, other than the general storyline, they were still able to enforce the central theme of the Fantastic Four: which is awe and exploration? Instead I was treated to an entire hour of emo-fest on how each character was flawed. That would have not been a problem had the movie made me care about them. Richard and Ben’s supposed childhood friendship was wasted on poor character development (and believe me, there were plenty of opportunities to do so). Susan and Johnny had almost zero relationship going as siblings. Victor Von Doom as an anarchist? Zero effect, because there was no build-up on his anger and choosing the path towards his world-destructive ways. And when they all got together, it tried to do a climactic fight scene that actually fell flat on its back.
It was as if the scriptwriters quit after page 2 and the Fox execs decided they were good enough to take it from there.
Fox Prez: *sees Fox Execs huddled about writing stuff* What’s going on here? What happened to our writers?
Fox Execs: They all quit and transferred to the Deadpool movie department, so we’re finishing the F4 script ourselves! It’s OK, we’re nearly done!
Fox Prez: What will this new script cost?
Fox Execs: Nothing! Just don’t fire us!
Fox Prez: OK, carry on!
- Stan Lee wasn’t there. Although it’s possible his cameo was just too fast or too obscure for me to notice. But then again, there were no indication of his presence in other newer Fox movies like X-Men: First Class, as indicated in his IMDb page. In an interview made earlier this year, he was asked if he was going to have a cameo, and he replied:
“I haven’t heard anything about it,” Lee said. “I don’t know where they’re shooting it. If it’s too far away, then maybe not. A special pickup shot in L.A. is always nice, though. They know how to reach me!”
They may have forgotten his phone number.
- There were no mid or end credit scenes, which is probably a good thing. At least I’m assured that nothing in this movie will connect with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I would really hate to see this “Suicide Quad” show up with the likes of the Captain America or Iron Man (given that this is a Fox Production, it will never be connected to the MCU anyway, so yay!).
- The strange “acknowledgment” at the very end of the credits. I wasn’t able to memorize the whole thing, but the gist of it went: “This film has produced and provided jobs for 150,000 people, all of whom worked hard to make this movie a reality.” Did the filmmakers really feel the need to instill a sense of guilt in its viewers by telling them, “Hey! At least this movie was good for something! So give us your money and stop complaining!”? It was unnecessary
— and yet, it was the only part of the film that made me genuinely laugh out loud.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of my thoughts on F4. To be honest, this movie makes me want to watch the Attack on Titan live-action film just so I could say that F4 was a better film. From what I’ve read online here, here, here, and here, the overflowing hate for the Japanese big-screen version of the manga/anime is enough to fill a bottomless barrel of disdain that would make Satan drunk (by comparison, F4 would probably just make him tipsy.) But that’s a story for another time.