While the rest of the press world will see “Fantastic Four” tomorrow with more verdicts to come, the Hollywood trades have had the jump, and these first online reviews confirm all the bad buzz: the movie isn’t very good. Update: here’s our own “Fantastic Four” review.
The common complaint is that Josh Trank‘s vision spends way too much time on building the origin stories for these characters, and very little with them actually joining forces to work together against Dr. Doom. Essentially, there is a lot of build up—none of it very interesting—for very little payoff.
While these are just five preliminary opinions, “Fantastic Four” still has a big hill to climb before it opens on Friday. Will these less-than-affectionate words impact the film’s box office takings? Here are what the reviews are saying….
THR: ” ‘Fantastic Four’ feels like a 100-minute trailer for a movie that never happens. At this point in the ever-expanding cinematic superhero game, it behooves any filmmakers who get involved to have at least a mildly fresh take on their characters and material, but this third attempt to create a worthy cinematic franchise from the first of Stan Lee’s and Jack Kirby’s iconic comic book creations, which can genuinely claim to have launched the Age of Marvel, proves maddeningly lame and unimaginative.”
Variety: “…the movie feels like a protracted teaser for a more exciting follow-up that, depending on whether audiences warm to this relatively low-key approach, might never happen.”
The Wrap: “Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell have real team chemistry—for about 10 minutes and only after lots and lots of dull origin storytelling. It’s one thing for a movie to leave you wanting a sequel and quite another to make you wish you were watching that sequel instead. ‘Fantastic Four’—the second attempt by Fox and the third by Hollywood in general to bring Marvel Comics’ popular superteam to the big screen — offers glimmers of good things to come in its final moments, but only after the audience has slogged through yet another dispiriting origin story and yet another Earth-rescuing battle in a bland, CG-created nowhere land.”
ScreenDaily: “After battling months of bad buzz about a troubled production and the need for reshoots, ‘Fantastic Four’ emerges as a wounded animal of a superhero movie, only rarely showing flashes of the darker, more emotional breed of Marvel film it’s trying to be. Certainly, Fox’s rebooting of the franchise blessedly lacks the dopey irreverence of the 2005 version and its sequel, both directed by Tim Story, but ‘Chronicle’ filmmaker Josh Trank struggles to balance an origin story, mediocre comic-book action, and a strained metaphor about dysfunctional families.”
Digital Spy: “It’s a muddled and underdeveloped origin story which segues jarringly from light-hearted adventure to heavy-handed grit, grasping for a gravitas that it hasn’t earned. The biggest mistake here seems to have been trying to marry a dark and realistic tone with the story of four teenagers whose superpowers include transforming into rock, generating force fields and becoming very stretchy. While far from the unmitigated disaster some had predicted, ‘Fantastic Four’ feels unlikely to kick-start a new franchise, barely sustaining the narrative steam to power itself through its modest 90-minute running time.“