One would think that with so many examples to look up to and even more examples to avoid that bad superhero movies would be non-existent. There are at least four or five of them coming out every year and what works and what doesn't is basically established. Well, not exactly. I do not enjoy reviewing bad movies because I am in love with the art of cinema but it's also my obligation and duty to let you know about one of the worst superhero movie that I have seen by far. Rob Hunter of Film School Rejects wrote that reviewing this movie felt more like an autopsy than a review and he is exactly right.
A huge chunk of the movie basically tells the story of Reed Richards (Miles Teller), who has been working on a teleportation device since middle school with his best friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell). Richards gets a scholarship and starts working on a more expensive version of the machine along with Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) and Viktor Von Doom (Toby Kebbel). When the device is finished, they choose to test it without supervision and they bring a completely unqualified Ben Grimm along. Because why not? Then, through a series of flash forwards, you find yourself at the credits wondering if it would be insulting to call this atrocity a "movie".
The story of Reed Richards is told through flash forwards because the movie feels the need to tell very insignificant parts of the story that only accomplishes to bore the audience and nothing more. It skips over parts that had potential to be somewhat interesting like the transformation of one character when he is stuck somewhere.
Even though you sit through a 10 minute introduction with bad child actors, I still saw a glimmer of hope in the movie because it meant that by showing how Richards got the idea of a teleportation device, the movie would skip the long origin story. But, it doesn't happen. The whole shtick of setting up the movie just becomes horribly uninteresting. And, when it finally happens, when the powers are given, when the moment that you have been impatiently anticipating for in a 70 minute set up, you find yourself utterly disappointed. I am still shocked how the movie takes a turn for the worst when the most interesting aspect of the movie arrives. This happens because of the visual effects, costumes, character motivation and most of all direction.
In a very high budget movie that is attached to very well-known studios, the visual effects present in the movie are just embarrassing. Believe me, I have nothing against CGI. When used correctly, with a mix of practical effects, it is a great tool. However, the visual effects felt like this movie was filmed when CGI was just discovered. It is so bad that you can almost feel the visual effects supervisor trying to avoid certain shots during the fight scenes. It is also because of this that the interaction between the actors look very fake and blown out.
The costumes that the not-so-fantastic four wear are bland but you are okay with it because they are going with a more "realistic" approach. However, the costume of the bad guy is so laughable that you can't take anything about him seriously. What is even more depressingly polarised is the fact that the 2002 version of the 'Fantastic Four' had a better Doctor Doom costume.
I have mentioned before that I had a glimmer of hope when I saw the young Reed Richards. This was because I thought that we would get a very detailed character motivation arc. Oh, boy was I wrong. Forget character motivation but the movie can't even keep up with the emotions the characters are feeling in ONE SCENE! One shot a character is angry, the next he isn't. One shot the characters feel betrayed, the next they aren't. It is juxtaposed so messily and so horribly directed that you can't even relate to ANY CHARACTERS.
Last and definitely not least, the direction Josh Trank gave in this movie is what demolished this movie. His famous movie 'Chronicle' was a giant success and people were expecting the same standards. There are so many shots that feel awkward even if you aren't paying attention to them. The cringe-worthy chemistry between the actors constantly extract you out of the experience. And most of all the pacing is all over the place.
Overall, 'Fantastic Four' has so many horrible aspects that continuously pull you away from the experience. It has pacing worse than any movie I have ever seen. You can't even laugh at it for being bad because it takes itself so seriously. It's not a movie, it's 106 minutes of juxtaposed shots.