Movie Review: 'Fantastic Four' most certainly not fantastic

"Fantastic 4" was released on August 9, and currently holds a 9 percent overall rating out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes. (Screenshot)

This movie may be many things, but fantastic is most certainly not one of them. It’s not only one of the worst superhero films of all time, but one of the worst movies I’ve seen in recent memory. In a summer season packed with great movies, “Fantastic Four” manages to disappoint in every way.

One of the only things the movie had right was the cast. Miles Teller is an excellent actor and was a great choice for the enigmatic genius Reid Richards. Michael B. Jordan perfectly embodies the fun-loving, casually irresponsible Johnny Storm. Meanwhile, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell were both well suited for their respective roles as Sue Storm and Ben Grimm. 

Sadly, the cast was let down by their director and none of them were able to fulfill their potential. The Fantastic Four are often called “Marvel’s first family” and that has always been a focus of the comics. The movie ignores this and the characters are essentially strangers with little to no chemistry. Director Josh Trank turns the comics’ colorful characters into lifeless pieces of cardboard and completely wastes the potential of the great cast.

Trank also completely ruins the character of Doctor Doom, taking one of the greatest comic book villains of all time and turning him into a lackluster villain. In the comics, Doom is the leader of his own nation and a master of both science and magic, an incredible threat to any who oppose him. In the movie, Doctor Doom starts as a jerk with a chip on his shoulder and ends as a metal zombie with no apparent motivation for his actions. His powers make no sense, his actions make no sense and he is a god-awful interpretation of the Doom everyone loves. 

“The Fantastic Four” is one of the most fantastical and imaginative comic properties out there, and the movie captures none of this. It is entirely devoid of anything resembling joy or humor, and it makes viewers wonder what in the world Trank and Fox were thinking when they made this movie. The tone is dour throughout, and I only cracked a smile once. A movie about the Fantastic Four needs to embrace the silliness of the comics to work. Studios and directors need to embrace what makes a property special and do it justice instead of gutting it and getting rid of it. 

The visuals in the movie are just as bad as most everything else, as seen by the cringe-worthy special effects, the greatest example being Mara’s hair, which changes from dirty blonde to an obvious blonde wig. Mara will walk through a door with one hair style and have a different one on the other side. It’s obvious the proper time was not taken to ensure that the movie looked smooth.

The story of the movie is extremely uninspired, which is disappointing when one considers that The Fantastic Four are often seen exploring other universes and dimensions in their comics. The film has them working for the government for a majority of the hour and 46 minute run-time, which is an incredible bore. There is no point to care about what’s going on.

If you haven’t already seen this monstrosity, do yourself a favor and don’t. It fails in every possible way, and I hope Fox will either get their act together or leave the property alone.


Ben Wagman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at benjamin.wagman@uconn.edu.