No. This can't happen. Marvel cannot afford this. With the superhero genre already hurtling towards quaint over-saturation, they simply can't afford to water-down their brand with dreck like this. And before one of my (many) comic geek friends starts shouting "But it's not the same film studio!", let me assert the average moviegoer is not going to know this (nor care), as witnessed by the disappointed audience I was among, which waited until the end of the credits for a tag that wasn't there. They will assume that this has been spawned by the same womb that gave us The Avengers and Iron Man even though Disney had nothing to do with this production.
Fantastic Four looks and feels like an ABC one-camera drama and is one of the most amateurishly directed big-budget films I've seen in a long time. Director, Josh Trank, claims that the film was taken from him and ruined in editing and the studio is blaming him, but no one is well served here. Especially not the young talented cast that is wasted on this presumptuous franchise launch. There was a reason Fox kept this from being screened until just days before release -They knew. They saw.
I can only imagine how thrilled Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and (why can't he get a break) Jamie Bell must have been to have been cast in a new Marvel reboot. And, Fox must have been equally delighted to have a bright, shiny, diverse and talented cast all under the age of thirty and well under the price of any of those old Avengers. But, sadly or not, I'm not sure another installment is coming anytime soon after the opening weekend Fantastic Four is bound to have.
The film makers spend a good one-hundred minutes on painstaking exposition until a ridiculous finale assaults us with Dr. Who grade special effects for the last ten. OK, maybe twenty minutes but you're kinda numb by that point. This is, however, the first and possibly only time you'll ever hear the sentence, "At least it wasn't too long," when speaking of a comic hero movie. Blessedly brief.
I wish that Hollywood would understand how many of us feel at this point: The more you try to explain how a superhero gets their powers the dumber and sillier it sounds. The birth of the Fantastic Four has always been one of the goofier origin stories and retelling it over ninety minutes in minute detail doesn't make it any less clumsy. It exacerbates what is already awkward.
And enough with the origin stories already. Geez, I don't ever want to be shown or told again how Superman got to earth, how Peter Parker became Spider-Man or why Bruce Wayne is so damn morose all the time. In fact, I think some of the dramatically dreadful reviews this movie's received are, in part, due to fatigue with this genre. You can't reboot a franchise EVERY EIGHT YEARS. They won't be happy until they ruin it. Treating the Marvel Universe like installments of Who Wants to be a Millionaire is not a good idea.
(Loudinni specializes in reviews you can read in under a minute.)