5 Reasons I’m Netflix-ing ‘Fantastic Four’, and You Should Too
Fantastic Four is the most universally hated comic book movie in recent memory. Critics hate it. Viewers hate it. Even those that worked on the film hate it. And I, self-professed Marvel-ite and lover of comic book adaptations, have relegated this film to my Netflix DVD queue before even gesturing to buy a movie ticket. Here’s why.
As fair warning, the content of this article will almost wholly be rumor, speculation, and movie commentary from someone who has not seen said movie. But, since reactions have been so resoundingly terrible, I am inclined to believe them.
1. Terrible reviews
First and foremost, this movie has been horribly reviewed. Comic book movies don’t tend to get any type of critical acclaim, but we’re talking single digit scores of Rotten Tomatoes (8%). And that’s just the critics score. The audience score is usually way more forgiving but this one only hits 22%. And so, this is now officially Marvel’s worst reviewed movie ever. Worse than the other Fantastic Four films. Worse than the Ghost Rider films. Even worse than Elektra. That’s just…wrong and was thought to be impossible before this.
2. Low opening box office
One of the main drivers to get people to see a movie is that everyone else is going to see it. You don’t want to be the one guy in the office that can’t give a review on Monday. But in this case, that isn’t an issue.
It’s dismal opening box office put it at #2 behind the week old Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. And in its second week, the box office draw dropped a staggering 68%. With numbers like that, you’d be in the minority if you did see the movie.
3. Clear confusion, poor planning, and open disregard of source material
Rumors are running rampant to explain what went wrong with this film. One of the big mysteries is footage that was clearly in trailers and behind the scene videos but not in the movie itself.
Most notably, there was supposed to be a Fantasticar, the team’s infamous flying car. An allusion to this vehicle is prominent in the movie’s trailers, so it seems odd that they would go through the trouble of filming scenes with it only to omit them from the final cut. But in any case, that decision shows clear confusion, poor planning, and open disregard of source material.
4. This isn’t the movie it was supposed to be
The other big rumor swirling around Fantastic Four is about conflict between director Josh Trank and studio 20th Century Fox. Amongst other assertions, some claim Trank was more or less excluded for the second half of filming and barred from the editing room. And possibly most egregiously, there is a claim that the studio changed their minds on three major action sequences just days before filming began.
All of this is unsubstantiated rumor of course, but Josh Trank’s tweet days before the film’s release (that was quickly deleted) seems to confirm at least some truth.
5. FOX plans to continue with the franchise
When things look this bad, you might be obliged to just never see the movie. However, FOX appears dedicated to its new take on Marvel’s first family, with plans for a follow-up continuing. I’ve read some reviews that state the first half of the movie was actually solid and that there is a lot of potential for further adaptations, so maybe that is what FOX is leaning on (or maybe they just don’t want to lose the rights to Marvel). But if a potentially good Fantastic Four 2 is coming, it’ll be worthwhile to at least add this weak origin story to your Netflix queue.
All of that being said, I’ve already weighed in on this film from a number of angles. There was the fallout from casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/Human Torch. Then there was the film’s highly anticipated, yet dubious trailer. Each instance, whether in support of or against the film, pointed to the film’s biggest issue: they were playing defense before filming even started. And it is my hunch that this central issue is what led to the disastrous string of decisions that completely undermined any chance Fantastic Four had.
Have you seen Fantastic Four? Weigh in on its validity in the comments section below!
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