Fantastic Four: When A Director Looses His Faith In His Own Movie

The latest entry into the superhero movie genre was released this week: the Josh Trank directed Fantastic Four staring Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Micheal B. Jordan as Johnny Storm and Jamie Bell as the ever lovin’ blue eyed Thing. The movie is taking a bit of a beating critically, and nobody seems to want to see it. Now, before you read any further I have yet to see the new Fantastic Four movie, so be aware that this is all based on observation. Until I do see the movie I won’t comment on it’s quality, but it’s hard not to be aware of the reviews as they’ve been coming in.

To say that the reviews have been pretty unflattering would be an incredible understatement, but that’s not the harshest criticism of the movie I’ve seen this week. 

Apparently still better than the 2015 movie. Fan made post from
Apparently still better than the 2015 movie.
Fan made post from NiteOwl94

Granted, according to Rotten Tomatoes, it is the worst Fantastic Four movie that has been released. That includes the 1994 version that had a budget of about $1 million dollars and was never released to theaters or home media (it was made just so the rights holder wouldn’t loose the movie rights – sort of like the 2015 one), and the two previous offerings from 2005 and 2007 which are universally considered pretty bad. Now while I felt that the 2005 movie was somewhat underrated, I wasn’t that critical of the sequel, either – it’s cheesy, unintentionally funny but it’s certainly no Incredibles. The 2015 iteration had a lot to live up to, not because the previous movies were great, but precisely because they weren’t. In the current comic book movie age where superhero films are rarely ever out of the theater, Fantastic Four had some lofty heights to reach in order to stand with the likes of The Avengers and Guardians Of The Galaxy. 

While the film has been mired in controversy for the best part of two years, from some fans crying foul about the casting choices, others raging at some questionable story choices regarding a certain Russian hacker – sorry, Dr. Doom – and the Thing being naked in the few trailers that were released, one could be forgiven for thinking that all the movie had to do to garner fan acclaim was simply be average. From all accounts, however, it isn’t.

But when the director of the 2015 movie releases this tweet (that has since been taken down) it doesn’t exactly encourage me to ignore the reviews and rush to the cinema.tranktweet

Josh Trank released a fantastic found footage style movie, Chronicle, that is essentially an origin story for a superhero. It’s a brilliant film, and it shows that when Mr Trank has more creative freedom than the studio was allegedly willing to give him then he will produce a movie that is stylistically wonderful, has an intelligent approach to a genre that makes millions and was enjoyed by all that have seen it. If you’re not one of those who have seen it, then you can probably still find it on Netflix. From what I’ve heard about Fantastic Four, Chronicle is by far a better way to spend an evening.

The thing is, though, is that when a director tweets what is both an apology for a movie that is getting critically beaten, and an attack on what I assume is the studios interference in his project it does more harm than the reviews could ever do.

When a director has no faith in his movie, why should you?

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14 thoughts on “Fantastic Four: When A Director Looses His Faith In His Own Movie

  1. I have to go against the wave of negativity and say that for the most part I enjoyed this new version of FF. Sure it wasn’t perfect but I feel that any kinks could be worked it in the next – now highly unlikley – instalment. There was a cerbral element to it that I enjoyed but it seems meddling from Fox spoiled it.

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    1. I’m interested enough to go and see it eventually; mainly because I want to know if it’s as bad as I think it is, or if it’s getting an unfair reputation.

      I’m thinking if I go in expecting a bad movie I may be pleasantly surprised.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, you should go see it, definitely.

    Not because I’ll recommend it to you – no sir, not at all! – but basically for the same reason I went this weekend. I love comic books and superheroes and of course movies based on them so I wanted to see it, no matter the criticism I couldn’t avoid beforehand either.

    Go see it and and find out yourself. It’s a gamble, true, but what’s life without the thrill of a gamble? 😉

    I REALLY didn’t enjoy it and can’t compare it to the 1994-version either, but I will say that, although I would praise them, I didn’t hate the previous two movies. I wouldn’t rank them in my Top 5 of comic book movies but they were enjoyable and entertaining enough.

    Maybe a sequel would have made the new iteration better but like Chris said, I don’t really think there’ll be one. Although I just can’t be sad about that – this one really sucked. 🙂

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  3. I liked it. I realise mine isn’t the prevailing opinion about “Man of Steel” but I liked it.
    Although the finale was, in my opinion, mostly another soulless CGI-fest that defied some of Superman’s basic and fundamental trait, the movie also “fixed” some of the issues I’ve been having with Superman for quite some time.
    Go see it, if for no other reason then at least because it’s the precursor to the upcoming Batman/Superman movie. 🙂

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  4. Well, I guess you’re right although I honestly don’t see why.
    I enjoyed “Superman” and “Superman II” sure, but to me they never made it that far past Adam West as Batman I must admit. I may be messing with the Holy Grail here by saying that but I’ve never seen those movies as the cult classic they seem to be considered as these days.

    A) Henry Cavill is CUT like … and that’s you know … kinda alright. 😉

    But seriously though, I thought he was a really actor and great choice for Superman so although I didn’t find “Man of Steel” as awesome as I was hoping it would be, I really liked a lot of it and I think in the “Dawn of Justice”-trailer Henry Cavill is (after Wonder Woman of course) very intriguing. It’s probably the upcoming comic book movie I’m looking forward to the most.

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    1. I agree with your last paragraph entirely.

      I feel that Reeve was the first guy to truly embody both Superman and Clark Kent (and the scene where he became Superman by straightening his back a bit in the first one is still one of my favourite scenes in a movie), but you’re right. The third and fourth are pretty forgettable.

      I loved Christopher Reeve a Superman, but I’m saying that based on memory – I haven’t seen those movies (aside from the odd youtube clip) in close to twenty years, so I’m well aware that I may be looking at them with rose tinted glasses.

      That being said, I really enjoyed Henry Cavill as Superman; I think he did a great job.

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      1. Naturally, the nostalgia-lenses that we occasionally wear, especially when it comes to awesome stuff from our childhood are always a “danger” when it comes to talking about stuff from back then.

        On the other hand I think it’s also a very unique and probably the only way to talk about these things, like e.g. movies, “fairly”. I mean, of course looking back at the first two “Superman”-movies as well as other movies from the past it should be clear that comparing them to a modern movie from 2015 isn’t exactly objective either.

        Sure, some movies still hold up most impressively when it comes to cinematic traits such as writing, atmosphere, story, characters, suspence, etc. – for example “Jaws”, “Alien”, “Blade Runner”, … but of course when it comes to modern attributes like for example special-effects, quick pacing and so on (not saying those are necessarily good) as well as sound, editing, etc. they may have a hard time keeping up.
        And let’s not forget the hairstyles, clothes, etc. sometimes. 😉
        (I’m now only talking about movies which feature these certain elements. Of course there are countless classics from other genres that are also still fantastic movies)

        So I know some children and young adults who didn’t get the chance to see these movies back then but only recently and I can understand why some of the really outdated stuff – like the SFX in “Superman” for example – might not let them enjoy those movies in the same way we did originally.

        That’s why I think these nostalgia-lenses are indeed important, because I believe those have made sure several movies are being appreciated for what they delivered originally, when they were released, and not just today, when the comparison to modern motion pictures is almost absurd.

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