Fantastic Faux

Oh boy. Where to start with the Fantastic Four movie? I wasn't expecting much from the director of Barbershop and the Jimmy Fallon/Queen Latifah remake of outstanding French film Taxi. It wasn't godawful, but it wasn't very good either. 20% of my enjoyment came from neat moments in the movie and the other 80% from ripping the movie to shreds during and afterwards.

It starts with a scene that feels like it wasn't shot to be the opening. You're there suddenly with the feeling you just switched channels. Then the five lead characters run an experiment on a privately owned space station which goes horribly wrong and renders them unconscious. We see the last of them wake up in a medical institute back on Earth. How did they get home?

Ben Grimm calls Johnny Storm "Mr. Blonde Ambition". Johnny is blonde in the comics and Jessica Alba dyed her hair to play his sister, Sue. But then they cast a dark-haired actor for Johnny and didn't update the script. This should give you an idea of the level of care in play here!

Soon there's a scene where Invisible Girl has to use her new and fluctuating powers to get past some police and help The Thing, providing an excuse for Ms. Alba to disrobe in public. Of course, she accidentally becomes visible again so they can show her in lingerie in the movie trailer. Next thing you know, all four of them are on the other side of the police. How did that happen?! In another scene, Ben's wife goes outside her apartment and across the street in the middle of the night to meet him by some some shadowy bushes. She dressed up sexy for his homecoming and doesn't even put on a coat. Has she seen New York's rape statistics? Titillation is all well and good and after two hours of cleavage I now understand what the fuss is about with Jessica Alba's body, but could you at least TRY to have it make sense?

Dr. Doom talks to Grimm in a Manhattan diner and it's raining outside. Cut to Sue and Reed having a romantic moment on a New York bridge and it's dry. You curse and make excuses in your head: maybe there's been an ellipse? Then they cut back to the diner - so the two scenes are meant to take place at the same time in the same city - and it's still raining there. Several times characters see other characters on a live news broadcast and then turn up at the scene mere moments later.

At the end, we get the Raiders Of The Lost Ark scene where Doom's P.A. signs off on a cargo shipment. The camera pulls back to reveal it's on a ship, already at sea, bound for Latveria. Why are they doing the paperwork after the trip has begun? Is the P.A. going to Latveria too? He's on the boat.

Don't even get me started on the nonsensical pseudo science in this film. It doesn't even make sense as they define it within the context of a fictional universe. We've seen such shoddiness in movies for so long now, it's lowered our expectations to the point where we accept it. My favourite (and I use the word with some irony) is in action movies when they shoot a door's control panel and the door opens. Try smashing up your computer keyboard and see if the monitor turns on. Mine didn't. These acts of stupidity will not stand!

On the plus side, I thought Johnny Storm was hilarious and as big a show-off as he was in the comics. If not for him, this could have been a walk-out. He would often guest in The Amazing Spider-Man in the early days of the comic and I wouldn't be opposed to this guy having a cameo in the webslinger's next movie. He and Peter Parker have very different approaches to crimefighting and bicker a ton. It would be awesome.

The Fantastic Four: 10 out of 10 for Johnny and the Alba boobies; minus several million for everything else.


Blogger Jono said...

I reviewed the movie at my own blog... but that's beside the point. The one thing I want to mention is the dissolve shot at the end of the movie. The Doom shipping container is in fact on shore, and then they dissolve to it aboard the ship during the pull-out shot. If you didn't get it, well, that's another strike against thte makers of this movie.

Blogger Aussie-Askew said...

4000 man hours on special FX, 3.5 man hours on scripting and continuity. The only thing (no pun) that makes me sadder than having to watch this movie *I haven't) was noting that it was #1 opening week at the box office. Someone somewhere thinks this stuff sells, and we keep justifying their decision. Let's hope it sinks like a stone.

More Batman, less this.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

I said it wasn't godawful and it is no Batman & Robin but, you know, I would rather see Daredevil again than this a second time.

Blogger Mkae said...

Well then you're in luck. It was announced this week that Affleck and Garner are doing Daredevil 2.


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