So Bad It’s Horrible Month 2: Fantastic Four (2015)

Fantastic_Four_2015_poster

At this point, they really shouldn’t have Fantastic in their name

Needless to say, I’m excited for the new one to see if we a really good Fantastic Four movie at last. Hopefully that one will be good.”-Me, 2015, complete with typos.

Hello, Spongey here. Welcome back to So Bad It’s Horrible Month 2.

It’s time to tell you how I pick these out. I went through the SBIH pages with films on them, and the IMDB Bottom 100, and picked all the films that I was interested in doing in one way or another.

I put them all down, numbered them and let Random.org do the rest. I put down a few oddballs there since you have to live a little sometimes. I say because that’s exactly how I found myself doing….this movie.

When I saw this on the page recently, I was both not surprised, and slightly confused. Okay, let’s step back and talk about The Fantastic Four. Created in 1961, this was Superhero team that was a bit different, as they acted more like a family than a typical Superhero team.

That was the appeal, and part why they’ve endured for so long. Like most comics, they of course wanted to translate it to film. The first attempt was in 1994, from fast sholock producer Roger Corman.

It was made just so the company could keep the rights to the characters, and was not intended to be released….and did not tell that to the actors. Ouch. It was…not that good, although it has grown a cult following in the wake of this movie’s reputation.

In 2005, they made as big budget version that was very mixed. It made plenty of money and had a nice budget, but fans were kind of mixed on it, as it had some of the family elements, but was also very light on plot and was nothing like a real Superhero movie. ‘

They hoped to fix with this with the 2007 sequel, but it was only slightly better. I reviewed it, I should know. It was a big enough disappointment for them to cancel further installments. So far things seem pretty grim, with no true adaptation in sight.

Then cut to 2015, as they have made a new film that was hoping to fix the mistakes of the previous versions. They hired Josh Trank, who previously made the found footage film Chronicle. That was basically a superhero/villain origin story, so he seemed like the perfect choice.

For some odd reason, there was skepticism, mostly because they wanted the films rights to go back to Marvel. Otherwise, the film seemed promising enough, with a more serious tone compared to the stupidity that came before.

Then it came out. To say people didn’t care for it would be an understatement With a mere 9 on Rotten Tomatoes, people really hated this film all around. It not only made plenty of worst lists, but “Won” The Razzie for Worst Picture….tied with 50 Shades of Grey, the only punching bag bigger than it.

I think that one is more deserving, morally but whatever. …Also, I’m not reviewing it. I figured it would be “Meh” at worst, so this is insane. How did it go wrong, with such solid credentials behind it?

Well, from what I can gather, there were some disagreements between Fox and Trank. Fox ordered reshoots and made changes without his permission. Others say Josh Teank was being kind of a jerk onset, leading to some of this.

He tweeted “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.”.

He deleted it right after, which isn’t suspicious at all. I’m not sure how much of this is true but I think some of Trank being a jerk could be true, as while as Fox meddling. Some blame this on them making it to keep the rights, but I’m not 100 percent sure

From what I can tell, it was made a lot more effort than other attempts like that, they as were trying to put a unique spin on the property instead of just rushing a lame story. Amazing Spider-Man was made to keep the rights, yet that worked because it fixes issues people had with the Sam Rami films.

Granted, the results of the sequel kind of ruined that, but whatever. I still liked it. But either way, this movie is still not liked (and it under performed), no matter what the backstory is. This seems like your typical hated film of the week, like a lot of Comic Book movies.

So it being on the SBIH page seemed strange. Is it really that bad on it’s own merits? I wasn’t sure about reviewing it, but after Random.org picked it, I got curious. And hey, if I don’t get to Jem before the flood of overly angry video reviews, may as well beat them to this.

…Oh, Blockbuster Buster JUST did this? Shit.

Our three writers include Trank, the guy who brought us The Lazurus Effect, and the guy who did stuff such as Jumper, This Means War, and X-Men Days of Future Past. ..Bit of a mixed bag, there.

I suppose now it’s time to dive in and see if this movie really is THAT bad. With my track record I doubt it, but let’s dive in anyway. Oh, and since I have to mention this, yes the posts did stylize the title so it says “Fant4stic”.

Making fun of it was cute at first but got old fast (I saw no one mocking Star The Force Awakens Wars) It is called the proper title in the film itself, so I shall call it that to be nice.

This, is Fantastic Four (2015)

The movie opens with Reed Richards as a kid in school, as we see her prefers to doodle in his notebook like the outcast he is. Wow, they dropped all pretenses of subtlety in the very first scene. Some jerk kid mocks him.

Beam me up Scotty!”

Yep, he’s a nerd so for the most obvious joke you can think of. He’s doing a report on what he wants to when he grows up and he is mocked for saying he wants to be the first human to teleport himself. That really isn’t that far fetched, even with how he describes it. Although him claiming he’s making such a machine is a bit strange.

Also, his teacher is played by …., Dan Castellaneta aka…Homer Simpson. …Strange choice, but okay. After he is told to redo his report, we cut to Young Ben Grimm at home, as we see his lives in a pretty crappy place with a pretty terrible older brother who abuses him.

Clobbering time”

.I would be more shocked if this wasn’t spoiled to me, but….wow. Seriously? You’re gonna take a silly catch phrase and give it a “darker” meaning because….edgy? Thankfully, Mom sees this and gives him what for, so it’s not too dark I guess.

He goes outside and sees Reed snooping around, looking for tech stuff. He decides to help him, as the start of their beautiful friendship. They go to Reed’s place to work on the machine and they start it, which causes a big black out.

A kid being smart enough to do this would fly if this wasn’t trying to be a bit more serious. Just saying. Not that the tone change is bad, it just needs to fit with the writing. Despite that, the thing seems to almost work, and we cut to 7 years later, as he and Ben have entered a science fair with their machine.

It works but still causes damage.

You’re a dick”

A kid said that. Because…serious?

Despite that, this gets the attention of Professor Franklin Storm, director of the Baxter Foundation, a government-sponsored research institute for young prodigies. He’s been working this kind of technology, and only Reed and Ben have been able to bring things back with the machine.

He’s brought his daughter, who is Sue Storm. Okay, nothing to terrible in terms of the overall story so far, despite some cliché or….odd moments. We’ll see where this goes.

They offer the kids a full scholarship, which they accept. After a bit of them arriving there, we began to develop Reed and Sues relationship. And by that I mean having Reed awkwardly trying to make conversation with her.

Just with one look, she can tell his entire backstory.

Am I that predictable?’

Yes. …But her being smart might be a factor to. (But mostly the first thing). After that bit of amazing chemistry, we cut to Frank in some kind of meeting, as they discuss a guy named Victor Von Doom.

Can I just say that may be the worst civilian name for any villain ever? I mean, can you make your evil-ness any more obvious? It’s hard to buy that anyone with that name can be trusted, ever. Here this one guy wants him in jail, while Frank thinks he needs another chance.

Guess which one is right. What’s funny is that they were originally going to smartly change his name to “Victor Domashev” for the movie, but changed it back to be more faithful, even though it’s stupid. And weird given how many changes they seem to make, yet avoid the only one that would make sense.

After the meeting, Frank meets with Victor to ask him for help. He doesn’t trust him to some mysterious backstory, but perks up when he hears Sue will be there. Great, so his big motivation is to get laid. Truly one of the great Super villain backstories.

Back with Reed and Sue, played by Miles Teller and Kate Mara (Didn’t we realize we were at their main actors already so I forgot to mention them) as they are introduced to Victor. He’s distrustful of Reed because he’s evil, grrr.

They talk about some of their studies and saving the world.

Not that it deserves to be saved. The people running the earth are the same ones running it into the ground so maybe it deserves what it’s got coming to it”

Doctor Doom over here”

.Not even gonna say anything.

After that we finally meet Sue’s Brother Johnny Storm, played by Micheal B Jordan. The B is important, as not to expect him to call Bugs Bunny to play Basketball. Anyone, a bunch of racist people threw a fit over this casting, until the movie itself gave them more important things to whine about.

He’s the kind of guy who gets himself into street races and gets hurt over it. He’s the reckless one who will no doubt learn responsibility And he’s already honestly more likable than Tim Story’s take on the character. He’s somehow less of an asshole despite doing more dangerous things.

Not that this one is a ton better, as the dialogue between him and his father is a bit cliché. Clearly this guy is the one you want working in the field of science, so he is brought over to help with their project.

It’s a good thing he’s going to become a mutant freak soon and learn to be nice, eh? Well, hopefully soon, we;re 27 minutes in and we are not much closer to getting out there and becoming superheroes.

Come on, we have enough 2 Hour Origin Stories as it is.

Reed talks to Sue as they talk about their lives and attempt to have chemistry. Not much is accomplished here since it’s a very short scene. …Hey, what happened to Ben? Wasn’t he part of this? Did he vanish or something because he forgot what power he’s supposed to get?

Anyway, they seem to have finished their little project and are ready to show it off for some business guys. It works and whatever they teleported the thing to could “explain the origin of our species”.

Oh, so that is what this is all about. They were half and half with explaining what this thing took things to. And I’m guessing attempting to go out to this place will be what puts them into space so the plot can begin?

With the test successful, they are ready to go bigger but our little heroes will not be involved in the bigger adventure since it does kind of make sense to use better professionals, I guess. Won’t stop them from just going off recklessly on their own or something.

Then the boys realize what movie they are in and get drunk. In their drunken stupor, they get the idea to go off on their own which I’m not sure will not have any consequences at all. And yep, the entire plot of the “serious” film is started by them getting the idea to go off when drunk.

Yes.

Reed calls up Ben to come over and go with him, even though he hasn’t been involved with the project at large for some reason. With that, they suit up and get ready to go off an unsanctioned mission to some faraway place they know little about.

Did I mention that being drunk sparked this idea?

Before I can ask where a certain important character is, Sue notices the machine being turned on and investigates. Wait, no one was guarding this thing to make sure no one does this stuff?!

With that, they go through the rift and end up in their otherworldly destination…without Sue. Hopefully this is not what causes them to get powers or I will be rather angry.

This one is definitely going on InstaGram”

…Ugh.

They look around this strange place and when Ben tries to touch this green stuff, the whole place starts going ape shit. And that is touching weird green stuff is always a bad idea. There’s your PSA, kids.

They barely manage to escape but Victor sadly into the magic green stuff and has to be left behind. I’m sure this happening to Victor Von Doom will have no consequences whatsoever! Speaking of bad things, their little trip has caused tons of damage and has hurt them quite a bit, and we cut to Reed in “Area 57” as we cut his limbs are stretched out.

Yep, that was the trip that gives them their powers. Let’s recap that: They get their powers from a trip to another dimension or something, Sue was NOT with them ot get them in the same way they got to, and they got the whole ideas to go out while drunk.

  1. don’t need to read a comic to know this is probably all wrong. I can forgive not going to space, but the other two things are just beyond stupid. This is supposed to be darker, right?

The blast still at least hit Sue, and she is also there, fading in and out of sight while Johnny is engulfed in divorcement CGI fire. Wanna how long it took for this to happen? We are not 50 minutes.

Seriously. It was roughly 40 minutes when they went to the world, which is still too long. But hey, there’s plenty of time to explore characters, and have hero action!

Reed escapes that night (another place with terrible security) to find Ben who is of course a big rock monster. But to avoid being caught, he must leave his friend as he escapes. That one bit with Ben was the most emotional thing so far, because I’ve learned it’s near impossible to screw up The Thing, most of the time.

A government guy talks to Ben and promises they can find a cure. Didn’t work in the span of two previous films, it won’t now, sorry. Also way to NOT restrain the rock monster, guys. WE then cut to… a year later?!

Yes, a year later as Ben has become a militarily asset with his powers. Uh, sure you wanna skip the big period where they experiment with their amazing new powers? Seems like we’ll miss on important character development.

Hell, we barely saw their reactions before the time skip! Ben cried, Richard looked sad, Johnny screamed and Sue was barely even seen ,and not for the obvious reasons! Maybe we’ll get the development as this goes on, but it’s a dumb idea to just skip a year instead of showing their reactions.

It’s hard to get invested in the characters with how this is written, you know? Anyway, We are then told about their unique powers and how Johnny and Sue are being used to help as well. They plan to make another machine to go back to the world and be able to harness the powers of it to do evil Government things.

Your balance is getting better”

But is her aim getting better?! …I’ll see myself out.

Sue and Johnny are practicing with their powers as Sue is just NOW after a year, showing a bit of hesitation. One Year is longer than writers seem to think.

Flame on”

Wow, he sounded so disinterested. That says it all, really. We are now at the one hour mark by the way, and this thing is 93 minutes without credits, and we havent’ seen too much development or action. Yikes.

Franklin talks to Sue and says that thye need Reed in order to finish the new portal thing, but she’s mad at him for leaving. While I agree he gave up a bit too soon, you can’t blame a guy for leaving some weird people who were doing crazy experiments on him.

He gives her a small speech and now she’s on board with finding him. That was easy. They track him down and quickly make it down to his hiding spot. For once, this kind of people get stuff done quickly!

He finally some of Reed’s powers, and as you might expect, the effects of his stretching are….hit or miss, to say the least. Ben pops up and knocks him out, ending one of our few fight scenes.

When they take him back, they tell him Reed is their only change of finding a cure, through getting to that world again. Reed is a bit skeptical on trusting the Government people but Sue says if they that cure, they can stop them off their backs and yada yada.

Maybe now that Sue and Reed are talking, we can develop their relationship. We’ve only had like one real scene of that, and they are supposed to be a couple at some point. Unless you call a dull speech development, then that sadly does not happen.

But Reed is now on board, that’s something. Franklin tells Johnny about this and he whines because he wants to do stuff with his powers and it’s too random and whiny to be all that engaging.

He joins anyway so it doesn’t matter. And just like that, the machine is ready and some guys are sent to explore things a bit. Then suddenly, they find Victor!

Huh, I forgot the freaking villain of this thing was a thing!

Thinking it’s a good idea to bring a guy who has been exposed to otherworldly good for a year, they see he’s at least still alive. His special suit fused with his body, and his face is now all metallic and stuff.

Thankfully, Victor is somehow still up for talking about the crap he’s just been through, and tells them that place kept him alive and gave him power. With that, he pretty much shows himself as a villain and starts to wreck shit up.

And yes, his face looks face as all hell. It’s not as horrible as I’ve heard, but it still looks bad. He kills this one guy and goes around and Johnny flames on to try to get him. His fire somehow looks even faker now, by the way.

Franklin tries to talk some sense into Victor, and he says he wants to create a new world through “Planet Zero”. I hope that’s not as deep as his plan and motivation goes. Because that would be lame.

But I’ll complain once we confirm that.

Then because we need a shock moment, he kills Franklin. Oh no, I really felt his connection with his kids enough for this to be shocking. Close, but no cigar. Victor goes through the portal without all the fancy precautions somehow, and winds up back on Planet Zero where he activities a portal he somehow made on there that starts to suck up some of the Earth.

What the heck was he doing in there all this time? I’m gonna assume it’s wherever Ford went to. The four go in after him and go to him.

There is no Victor. There is only Doom”

That is….really lame with how this film is set up.

I saw a different future for us, Susan”

Oh yeah, he likes her. They really dropped that quickly, and it’s kind of silly now that it’s back. Than a mere 87 or so minutes in, the Four band together with their powers, as Reed gives a speech telling them their powers are cool and they must fight.

I get that you need to set everything up, but when an explicit origin film doesn’t take as long to get the hero stuff, you have a problem.

It’s Clobbering time!”

.You really wanna take inspiration from your abusive brother? With that, The Thing punches him into the portal, which is kind of awesome, and he disintegrates. Yes, that’s the end of him. Now that’s one weak Supervillain defeat.

And we can confirm his motivation was super lame. From what I can gather he tends to have a deeper reason that involves being jelly of Reed having Sue but that is barely shown here. This tells me he’s evil because….he felt like it, I don’t know.

If there is a real reason here, it’s not convey very well.

And thus, the day is saved aside from property damage here and there, but eh no one cares. They say no one knows of what they did, which means everyone must be blind as all hell. Either way they are heroes.

The four tells the Government guys that they don’t want as much involvement from them, they just want a place to work. They say yes because…well, would you say no to a rock monster and a fire dude?

They get their space and disscuss a name for the four of them. Oh, how about The Justice League? …Wait..

Also, how about you give yourself your proper names before dong the team name? Yeah, no ones’ called them The Invisible Woman, Mr Fantastic, The Human Torch, and The Thing yet. Even though Johnny calls him that just now without an explanation.

It’s Fantastic”

Oh, we have a force title drop set up!

Okay, so your name so you can gear up and get this party started!

Credits roll

..What.

…I’m not pissed because of the abrupt ending which has this stop RIGHT as it actually gets going. I’m pissed because they didnt’ even say their name! They set up their lame roll credits moment and don’t even take it!

Fail!

Oh, and there’ no post credits scene, I checked. And also no Stan Lee cameo, which is sad since not only did the originals get him, but the Fox and Sony stuff like Amazing Spidey and Deadpool did too.

And Reed’s stepfather was played by Tim from Tim & Eric. What.

Final Thoughts:

Internet, I am disappointed. You promised me a disaster of the most epic proportions….I was expecting a train work that would have left me in stunned silence. Instead I got a forgettable piece of mediocrity”-Kyle Northrup/Norty

Now you know how I feel in almost every review these days. But I will say I think I liked this less than him. It’s a bit complicated, because honestly…some of it is just as bad some may say, at least on a written level.

I can forgive some dodgy effects (although it’s sad how weak they look for the budget…still better than Gods of Egypt in that regard) and things like that. But the two big problems, not so much. One is the tone. Some parts of the writing try to be kind of amusing and sort of fun, but the direction is serious and the color pallet is as diverse as this document I’m writing in.

It’s clear the writers and director had a different idea for the film, and that causes some issues in the beginning and end. I wouldn’t say it’s too “Dark”, or dreary, but it’s too dull thanks to this decision.

At least with Man of Steel, the writers and director were fully on board with the tone and just went through with it. This is a bit confused in some areas. But that problem isn’t nearly as bad as the writing.

Look, I’m fine with an origin film mostly focusing on how they come to be that is about them developing. I’ve seen that done well in plenty of comic book movies, especially recently. But the problem is that they think that what they have is engaging enough to make up for how little hero action is here.

It does not. With other attempts to do that, the characters are interesting or likable enough to make it good before they become heroes. The MCU is especially good with this. But in this one, the characters are not developed enough.

They have a good start, as I like Johnny’s attitude and Bens’ whole deal, being friends with Reed. But they just…stop there, as they are more concerned with getting them to a certain place than anything else.

We have hints but it’s not the same as fully exploring them. Someone like like johnny is just until the script says to stop it, and someone like Ben stops moping really quickly. I hate to say but the Tim Story one did The Thing better, because we saw haw this messed up his love lfe, so we felt sorry for him.

This just puts him with the Government and calls it a day. Way to mess up my favorite character. Sue is worse, barely getting anything to do at all on her own. And she never even gets with Reed, making any scene with them together pretty dang useless.

I suppose they wanted to wait for a sequel, but their relationship is too important to skip. And the boat sailed on that sequel.

The worst is Doom. They barely set up his motivation, so he’s evil for very lame and poorly explained reasons, and he’s just laughable, and not in the god way. His lame defeat is worse because it means they had no plans to use him in the sequel.

The acting is fine, but the witting does help as it makes them a bit too dull. By the way, I recalled right away that Miles Teller was some guy in Divergent but I only just now remembered he was Drunk Friend in 21 & Over.

I’m just impressed that painful memory didn’t prevent me from liking him at all after that one.

There are scenes where I almost like them but then it cuts away before they finish it. They fail as a team because they don’t do anything together that much until the end, and as I said, the writing makes this worse.

When they interact at the very end, its’ kind of enjoyable but it’s very much too little too late. The overall story and concept isn’t really that bad, but the writing just skips over the important parts and makes this a lame excuse for a Superhero film.

You can do something wildly different if you want, but it’s clear some writers wanted that while others wanted a typical modern blockbuster. Apparently Josh wanted to do a body horror thing…even though they only touch on that slightly early on and that’s it.

As a viewing experience, it’s far from painful but it’s still very boring because the film isn’t interesting in seeing these characters actually develop naturally. On a writing level, it’s…almost kind of bad, honestly.

There aren’t any actual awful moments (beyond the horrible origin of The thing’s Catchphrase…) but a team film cannot be this boring and uninteresting. Even by dull Superhero film standards, this is kind of pathetic.

No, I don’t think is “So Bad It’s Horrible” or quite the train work some may say it is. But after thinking about, I am sorry to say it’s….kind of…bad. I’m sure they tried their hardest and maybe they butchered a fine film.

But it’s still not very good as it is.

Grade: D-

Looks like The Internet won this round. We’ll see you again for Jem at some point. Next time, we’ll see if a certain comedian can bring us something truly painful.

See ya.

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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