…And it’s pretty much just as I expected. Reviews have been mixed, but most critics say the reboot hasn’t significantly improved or innovated the franchise. Even before it hit most theaters, the movie garnered a measly 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. A. O. Scott of the New York Times said:
“‘Fantastic Four’, despite the dogged efforts of its talented young cast, has nothing. The special effects are at about the level of the early “Harry Potter” movies — lots of glowing green clouds and ice-blue bolts and force fields. The human drama is meager. Once again, the only real pathos belongs to Mr. Bell’s Ben, who finds himself trapped in a stony new body and weaponized by a ruthless government. Mr. Teller stretches, not as an actor but as a digitally enhanced body. Mr. Jordan burns in the same way, and Ms. Mara disappears. Her character also has the power to make other things vanish. I would say she should have exercised it on this movie, but in a week or two that should take care of itself.”
(Ouch. Here’s a link to the full review in case you enjoy a good crucifixion).
Even though I fully expected to be underwhelmed by this movie, I’m still disappointed. Mostly, I just hope that filmmakers who plan to tackle the superhero genre will take something from this: a story doesn’t necessarily need to be dark and gritty to be complex and momentous. Taking this goofy coterie of heroes and simply mixing in some post-adolescent angst is lazy film-making and, from what I can tell, not very true to the source material. These characters- a stretchy professor, invisible lady, human matchstick, and rock monster- are just too whimsical to be taken so seriously. That’s at least something that the first FF movies, despite their many flaws, understood pretty well.
A full Fangirly review is forthcoming, but in the meantime, tell us what you think in our comment section, on Twitter @fangirly2, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.