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Cinemaholics Review: Deadpool 2

deadpool 2

The Chronicles of Wade Wilson continue in Deadpool 2, the follow-up to what I once considered a true breath of fresh air for superhero franchises everywhere. Like the original, Deadpool 2 is R-rated, edgy, and almost painfully self-aware, nothing like most comic book flicks today. I certainly got a kick out of the movie, but I don’t think I’m as in love with the concept of this franchise as I was at first sight. To help me unpack my mixed feelings, special guest Brandon Katz from Observer joins the show with regular cohosts Will Ashton and Maveryke Hines.

Question for you: How many times have you seen the first Deadpool, and did you like it more or less the second time?

Go on…Cinemaholics Review: Deadpool 2

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Review: ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Is Loud and Dumb, Just Like You Expected

review independence day resurgence

Despite what you may be led to believe from its title and the marketing for it, Independence Day: Resurgence is more “requel” than sequel, in the sense that while it does continue the storyline from the 1996 blockbuster, it’s still in the business of kicking off a new series of movies, rather than tying up any loose ends.

During parts of Resurgence, this works well and is paid off with some impressive world building that ties in logically with the events of the first film. Since the alien invaders of that movie were defeated 20 years ago, a more unified mankind has adapted their technology to prepare for their inevitable return.

Many players from the first film make a return for continuity’s sake, though Will Smith’s character was killed offscreen in between movies. If you aren’t caught up or haven’t seen Independence Day in a while, you might get a bit confused when some of these secondary characters show up without much explanation. But for the most part, Resurgence balances its focus with the next generation of heroes, most of them eerily being offsprings of the first film who all happen to know each other.

review independence day resurgence

Sadly, the new kids are probably the worst characters in Resurgence, and that’s amidst some trying competition.

Resurgence is the epitome of a film that tries so hard, yet fails so miserably at what it sets out to do in terms of plot, narrative, and even the basics of humor (rivaling some of the most painfully unfunny movies of 2016 so far). There’s some good spectacle to be had here, which is all most moviegoers are getting in the seats to see in the first place, but Resurgence makes a lot of the same mistakes as its predecessor during an era where they’re not quite as forgivable.

Independence Day was a silly, dumb disaster movie, but it resonated with audiences because its tone was of the moment. It spoke to the children of the Reagan era, who witnessed America bringing an end to the Cold War through their president’s own mouth.

Resurgence, by default, has to carry on this dated approach because it’s in an alternate timeline where “no armed conflict has taken place in 20 years,” as the audience is told early on. This sequel/requel would have been far more interesting if it displayed any sort of progression from the themes before it, especially throughout the entirety of the third act, which undoes almost everything worthwhile presented before it, finished with an ending that might as well have put dollar signs in each of the characters’ eyes to translate Fox’s plans for a franchise.

review independence day resurgence

And again, these problems are coupled with some incredibly weak storytelling, editing, and dialogue. Massive coincidences involving characters running into each other or happening to be connected occur on top of each other so much, it’s jarring when something unpredictable happens or the pacing feels right.

As expected, there’s a lot of death and devastation, but the camera moves so quickly to other characters, that none of the loss resonates, thanks in no small part to the seemingly dozens of key players all trying to contribute something valuable to this film. It worked somewhat in Independence Day because Smith and Goldblum had enough gravitas to lead attention to their stories above most of the rest, but Resurgence lacks that point of view that grounds the viewer and gets them invested. It tries, perhaps, with Liam Hemsworth, who essentially reprises Smith’s role for him, even though his son is right there.

That said, Independence Day: Resurgence isn’t as offensive or catastrophic as it could have been. At least a third of the movie has real potential in how it sets up a world that feels more evolved and interesting than it deserves to be. But by the end, you’re still waiting for someone to say, Welcome to Earf’, or I’m BACK.

Grade: C-

Extra Credits:

  • The writers of Honest Trailers are going to have a field day with this one.
  • I was excited to see Maika Monroe — who was in one of my favorite films of 2015, It Follows — playing one of the better characters. She deserves a better franchise than this.
  • Seriously, what was even going on with some of the “humor” in this film? I was in a packed screening with tons of people who seemed primed for some lighthearted jokes and quips. Yet there were maybe two or three soft chuckles over the course of two hours, even though someone made a joke every two minutes.
  • Some of the good things in this movie: the Warlord. The scientist bromance, I guess. The ship with the arms. Jeff Goldblum not sucking.
  • Some of the worst things in this movie: Characters and world governments behaving like the most insanely moronic minds ever put to film.

    I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

 

X-Men Through the Looking Glass

x-men through the looking glass

This week on the Now Conspiring, we review X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass. We also cover some pressing entertainment news and debate whether or not Fox should give the X-Men rights back to Marvel Studios.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Do you think X-Men movies should be made by Marvel now?

Go on…X-Men Through the Looking Glass

Review: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Takes Fan Service to New Heights

x-men apocalypse review

Apocalypse will have a hard time swaying movie fans over to its clunky, bombastic style that feels more like a comic-book adapted to the screen than even Snyder’s Watchmen, and this latest X-Men sequel isn’t even strictly based on any one story.

Other factors work against Apocalypse in the sense that it will lose many different types of viewers along the running time. It still suffers from problems it can’t readily solve, like with how overwhelming this cinematic universe has become in terms alternate timelines, the large cast of characters, and keeping your mind off of its now irrelevant predecessors (especially when Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey makes a not-so-subtle wink at how Last Stand is the “worst.”)

These were problems with Days of Future Past, too, but for the first time since X2, an X-Men movie has come along that does far more with its material than we should have otherwise suspected. Flaws and all, X-Men: Apocalypse is an excellent work of film in both ambition and execution, despite how alienating it will be for a wide swatch of viewers.

Even at its most convoluted, director Bryan Singer offers a movie with some thrilling set pieces that connect a lot of meandering pieces. They’re some of the best moments in the franchise, even if they have to share screen time with some of the weirdest flaws in the franchise.

x-men apocalypse review

This is the third film of the trilogy started by First Class, and it even sports several flashbacks to both that and the second film in order to deepen the lore many of us took for granted over the years, including plot involvement from Rose Byrne’s Moira and even Alex Summers.

Some of the loose story threads from those films come to a head in Apocalypse, though not in a way that feels paid off by the main narrative of this movie. Apocalypse opens with the origin of its titular villain, the “first” mutant played by Oscar Isaac, a power-collecting man worshipped like a god who was buried by rebellious followers thousands of years ago. Mystique and Magneto’s actions in D.C. ten years prior have since sparked mutant cults, including one that sets out to resurrect Apocalypse for no real explanation beyond…well, he exists to be worshipped.

While this happens, the film spends a lot of time catching fans up with the established characters and setting up new mutant students that will inevitably team up to face this new threat. The pacing and plot jumping from these characters is actually quite competent, though sure to confound anyone who skipped First Class or hasn’t seen it since 2011. If you’re invested in this universe, it’s more exciting than worthy of head-scratching.

For once, Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops is given the screen time worth his due, including a sub plot that better sets him up as a future leader within the ranks. Jean Grey’s character arc is a little messier, but easy to latch onto, and Nightcrawler is handed scraps he turns into some meaty offerings, thanks to a fun rivalry established between him and Angel.

x-men apocalypse review

Jennifer Lawrence plays a more relaxed Mystique than her somewhat lazy performance in Days of Future Past. She still seems miscast here, but Apocalypse seems to have a better idea of what to do with this hero/villain who constantly finds herself switching sides. In Apocalypse, she has a more solid foot in the heroic camp, and it’s refreshing to see her work with the X-Men without the tedious guesswork over whether or not she’s sincere. It’s a testament to the film’s willingness to allow Mystique a story in these movies that follows swiftly from the first two films, rather than a correction to make her evil for the sake of being truer to the comic.

As for Apocalypse and his four, loyal followers, the film falls a bit short in giving them time to shine, aside from a satisfying continuation of Magneto’s tragic story. Yet once again, we’re forced to sit through familiar stories that place Charles Xavier and Magneto at the center, with offhand characters (including the villain and a just-as-good-as-last-time Quicksilver played by Evan Peters) working around them.

In other words, Apocalypse lives, breathes, and dies as a comic book story, not a movie. Like a comic, it shifts locations quickly and without much cohesion. Its colors brightly match the 80s time period in a way that makes me wish for more X-Men films in this decade. And the plot boils down to a simple battle between good and evil that focuses more on the main characters deciding what truly is good and evil, as well as how their actions in this battle will affect future storylines in the series.

x-men apocalypse review

Its biggest flaw is probably where it falls extremely short with visuals. The CGI is either decent or poor to the point of distraction. You have to be fully onboard with this universe of zany characters and over-the-top action in order to overlook some of the weaker effects, but it’s somewhat matched by some of the most entertaining fight choreography seen in these films, including what may forever be a wholly underrated fight sequence between Beast (reprised by Nicholas Hoult) and Psylocke (played by Olivia Munn), that utilizes both characters in a way X-Men fans probably never expected to make it to the movies.

Perhaps along the way, Singer decided to make this the X-Men film that pays more service to fans of X-Men, rather than movie fans. Unfortunately, that’s sure to be a problem for plenty of big X-Men fans as well, but that doesn’t negate much of Apocalypse that is just solidly entertaining.

Grade: B

Extra credits: 

  • I really wanted to give this film a higher score, if only because I was so enthralled by it, in a way that rivals Deadpool and Civil War even. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to overlook some of the bigger flaws and how they will be deal breakers for most audiences. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy Apocalypse as much as I did, because it’s easily one of my favorite X-Men films to date.
  • No spoilers, but stick around for the end of the credits. Not like you needed to be reminded.
  • Comparisons will likely be made to Dawn of Justice, a film that is also likened to being too much of a comic-book in terms of structure, so it’s off-putting to movie fans. The big difference is that Apocalypse does a much better job, all around. At no point was I shaking my head at plot holes or gaps in character motivation.
  • I was always a fan of X-Men: Evolution more than the older animated cartoon. Sorry. But for that reason, Apocalypse worked on a deeper level for me considering the similarities. Something about seeing Jean, Scott, and Nightcrawler as students felt right.
  • Not enough Storm. Not even close.
  • I might actually be in the camp of people who now wish for an X-Men movie that takes a break from Magneto and Mystique for a while. Apocalypse might have been something really special (and for everyone) if it had streamlined its characters more and made this an Xavier vs. Apocalypse affair.

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Review: ‘Deadpool’ Is Fantastic at a Few Things

deadpool review

The makers of Deadpool had a tall order on their hands.

A beloved comic-book antihero conceived in the early 90s, Deadpool has collected a legion of fans for a list of specific, stringent reasons. Failing to capture the exact spirit of the character would land Fox in a repeat of X-Men Origins: Wolverine history, when they first tried to fit the merc on the big screen.

But Deadpool also had to be a movie. Which means Fox had to work hard for the affections of Deadpool fans…and everyone else. And in a lot of ways, Deadpool more or less pulls this off with some creative humor and storytelling.

The film stars Ryan Reynolds, again playing Wade Wilson in a new origin story for the same character he played in Origins (sort of). After finding out he has terminal cancer, Wade leaves the love of his life, Vanessa (played by Gotham‘s Morena Baccarin), and tries to find a cure.

A group of scientists, led by “Ajax” (Ed Skrein from last year’s Transporter Refueled), manage to save Wade’s life, but they give him mutant abilities in the process. The procedure viciously scars Wade in more ways than one, setting him off on a mission to track Ajax down using his new abilities as the assassin, “Deadpool.”

deadpool review

If this sounds like a straightforward superhero movie, then I’m doing a decent job of preserving a lot of the jokes and humor that comprise Deadpool. Going into too much detail surrounding the plot and how certain scenes are set up would probably ruin a lot of the laughs you would otherwise have in the theater.

Because as you’ll realize within the first ten seconds of the film, Deadpool is absolutely a post-modern comedy. More than that, it’s a satire of superhero movies, much like how the original comic was a satire of the macho, violent 90s comics Wade Wilson was created to mock.

This is as funny as it is poignant, considering what it took to greenlight a feature film for a character most people have never heard of. And fans of superhero movies will likely consider Deadpool to be one of the best offerings in the superhero genre in years.

But Deadpool also provides an appeal that casual fans of the genre can appreciate, thanks mostly to Reynolds’ performance. His quick delivery lands more jokes than I think anyone else in the business could pull off, and his likability keeps the plot “moving forward” as you’ll discover.

deadpool review

Violence is also a hallmark of the Deadpool franchise, and Fox didn’t hold back at all this time. Deadpool belongs to a small club of R-rated superhero films, and the rating is spot on. There’s plenty of gore and grisly mayhem to justify the restriction, but that’s all part of what makes the source material so endearing. While it’s not as on the nose as the comics trying to spoof the 90s, the gratuitous violence certainly feels welcome in a genre stuffed with sanitized action and fake-out deaths.

What’s more impressive than the violence, however, is how competently Deadpool is shot as an action film. While parts of the origin story drag for a bit before getting back into the action, what we do get in these scenes is typically worth the wait.

The camera cuts at just the right moments when you want to feel the pain of a character’s head getting smashed against a wall, and impressive stunt work and effects make for an immersive comic-book movie on par with some of the best ever made.

You’d have to be pretty demanding to expect anything more from a movie that is as well-made as Deadpool, but there are enough issues to remember that Fox is just getting started.

deadpool review

The movie is overflowing with a surprising amount of faithfulness to the source material, and it’s fairly inventive. But it’s also generic, anyway. Underneath all of the delight you’ll get from well-written, self-aware humor is masked by an origin story that feels by-the-numbers and formulaic—a stark contrast to the risky business displayed by everything else in the movie, from the side characters to the soundtrack.

Perhaps this was necessary in order for Fox to ensure that there can, in fact, be a superhero movie for people who are sick of them. But for everyone else who can’t stomach the genre, Deadpool won’t do much to entertain them.

I’m going to give Deadpool a B+

If you like superhero movies, X-Men or otherwise, you’ll find a lot to love in Deadpool. Otherwise, you may find a lot of the humor flat and uninteresting. It would be a must-see for the action and Reynolds alone if only it didn’t fall back on so many origin story cliches it could have easily sidestepped.

Did you like Deadpool? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Hitman: Agent 47 Review — This Is Not a Game

hitman agent 47 review

Hitman: Agent 47 was directed by Aleksander Bach and written by Michael Finch and Skip Woods. It stars Rupert Friend as Agent 47, Hannah Ware as Katia van Dees, and Zachary Quinto as John Smith—er—Brian.

It’s based on the video game of half the same name, Hitman, which is a popular franchise about an elite assassin with no emotions or empathy coming up with creative ways to kill his high profile targets.

He’s traditionally shown wearing his iconic red tie and nice suit. He has a shaved head, a bar code at the base of his neck from when he was “engineered” into an agent, and his trusty silver ballers, which are basically just Lara Croft’s dual pistols with silencers.

hitman agent 47

I’ve been a big fan of these video games since Hitman: Codename 47 came out in 2000. I still remember the brilliance of Blood Money from 2006, and I even liked Absolution, the somewhat poorly received game from 2012.

Even the 2007 movie starring Timothy Olyphant was a passable diversion for me. It had its problems, but it at least fell within B-movie territory. It had neat ideas, the characters were OK, and even memorable action scenes I still remember almost a decade later.

I saw Hitman: Agent 47 just a few hours ago, and I barely remember any of the action scenes in that movie. I don’t even know if I can explain the plot to someone without giving up halfway through.

So what’s this new Hitman movie about? The plot centers around a young girl who is looking for someone she’s never met who apparently holds the secrets to creating an army of super-powered assassins. She’s hunted by one of these assassins, who turns out to be Agent 47. She comes across a CIA agent who tries to protect her, but it’s revealed that he’s…the bad guy? And then Agent 47 is sort of the good guy. But they’re all looking for the same thing for different reasons…and…I think the bad guys want to…well, it’s never explained.

hitman agent 47 review

I think Jurassic World‘s militarized raptor subplot made more sense than this.

The opening scene itself lost me instantly. It’s heavy on exposition we don’t care about, and it goes on for way too long explaining things we don’t care about with computer screens and pixellated faces we don’t care about. From then on, the movie boils down to people chasing each other and explosions. That’s about it.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise if you recognize the talent of the writer I mentioned, Skip Woods. You may remember him as the guy who wrote X-Men Origins: WolverineCredentials, and…Hitman (2007)?

No, seriously, they brought back the guy who worked on the Hitman movie that completely bombed on top of the worst X-Men movie. People who make money doing this for a living made that decision.

hitman agent 47 review

Not even the director seemed to know what he was doing here. This is Bach’s directorial debut, and even though the movie has some style to it, you can tell that it lacks good direction. The action scenes and editing are put together alright, and there are even some interesting ideas here and there (though nothing truly inspiring).

But there’s a complete lack of connectivity going on between both the characters and the set pieces.

There are multiple instances of Agent 47 and Katia having what appear to be “visions” that let them know what’s going on in other parts of the building. This doesn’t work at all because most of the visions are triggered when they touch someone or something or each other, making you think they’re psychic or just having hallucinations.

Also, it makes no sense WHATSOEVER that they can see through walls. Maybe the script does a better job painting this picture, but I found myself completely distracted by the lack of logic in how everything moved and related with each other in almost every scene. Even the ones in confined quarters.

hitman agent 47 review

What about the actors? Individually, they’re fine, but once they start interacting with each other, the movie becomes a chore to sit through. The first issue is how the endless exposition seems to do more harm than good because it introduces a new plot hole every 47 seconds. There’s enough plot holes going on visually, but when the writing gets involved…

I had a headache after watching this movie. Not because it was loud and dumb, but because there were so many plot holes, I couldn’t sit still. I was constantly engaged with how poor and ill-conceived this movie was. It caused me physical pain.

The second issue with the characters is their complete lack of apparent interest in anything that’s going on. Watching Agent 47 and Katia interact is like watching two coworkers talk about work. Just look at this image:

hitman agent 47 review

And I’m not cherry picking. That’s the extent of their expressions throughout the entire film. No passion. No hint of a motivation written for them. To be fair, this is expected from Agent 47 because that’s his character (even though the games make 47 look like the Joker compared to this guy).

But Katia is supposed to be our gateway into the lore of this movie, and she’s just as bland as everyone else. It was actually a smart idea to present Hitman through a person learning how to be one from the legend himself. So it would have worked if there were genuine reactions and important dialogue coming from this character, but they’re nonexistent.

What about the action scenes? They could have been good, as some of the setups are clearly inspired from the game and play homage here and there. Unfortunately, the CGI is pretty terrible and noticeable. And the few decent scenes were always ruined halfway through.

hitman agent 47 review

There’s a great sequence where Agent 47 uses stealth to take out a few guards. It would have been great if they left it at that, but then you see him walking casually down a staircase just shooting everyone and walking away unharmed. It completely undercut any tension that started to build when the scene started.

Another scene has 47 steal the clothes from a guard he’s taken out, which is a fun throwback to the games. But then he’s encountered by another guard in what is at that point a race against time, but then he takes the time to take out that guard too and change his clothes again for no conceivable reason.

One of the most frustrating scenes is when Agent 47 has multiple opportunities to finish off the main villain, but he just walks away every time he brings the guy down. Then the villain gets back up and tackles him. Agent 47 knocks him down again and walks away. Then the villain gets up and tackles him again. This cycle happens about four times WHILE AGENT 47 STILL HAS A GUN IN HIS HAND. 

Then there’s the matter of Agent 47 being surrounded by armored guards with machine guns, but he’s able to defeat all of them in the middle of broad daylight without moving. And he doesn’t get shot once.

hitman agent 47 review

And the soundtrack? They couldn’t even get that right. One of the prime attractions of this character is how beautiful classical music contrasts with the bloodshed that’s taking place. There’s not one moment where this happens. Instead, the scarce music that does take place is a boring mix of electric guitars and…I can’t remember what else.

 

This is easily one of the worst action movies of the year, and probably the summer. While I didn’t have high expectations for it, I honestly thought we could at least get something interesting to salvage from a movie paying tribute to a fantastic game series. Now I’m more jaded than ever that they can’t get a Hitman movie done right.

Strangely, the only good Hitman movie is last year’s John Wick. Like the games, it features an overpowered assassin working within the confines of an underground organization. In fact, just watch John Wick this weekend instead of Agent 47 and you’ll get your fill.

Grade: F

And that’s all I have left to say about it. I wouldn’t even recommend it to someone who wants to “turn their brain off” and watch a good action movie. Go watch Mission: Impossible again or any of the legions of other superior action movies that are out there and avoid this mess at all costs.

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

‘Fantastic Four’ Review — Doomed Expectations

fantastic four review

Fantastic Four feels more like the pilot to a promising TV series than an actual movie. That’s not a really a bad thing, but it’s certainly a deal breaker for most critics and FF fans.

We could talk all day about the troubled production this film has gone through, the obvious reshoots, and how director Josh Trank was fired halfway through and is pretty bitter about it (enough to denounce the film via Twitter before it even came out).

The obvious end of Trank’s career aside, this is a movie that is best enjoyed by audiences who want something a little more fresh from their superheroes. Fantastic Four is a welcome surprise for anyone who thought this year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron was a little overstuffed and overly self-aware. Instead of focusing on spectacle, FF focuses on characters coming of age in a science fiction backdrop.

Weirdly, superpowers are more of an afterthought.

FF is about a group of loners who build a teleportation machine that can take them to a “new dimension.” The journey alters and grants them powers, of which the military is anxious to capitalize on (it makes more sense than the army wanting to weaponize raptors).

fantastic four review

Most of the film is that first part of the story, in which we meet each character and get to know their origins and what motivates them. For this reason, I really enjoyed the first half of the film. It’s tightly written, the eventual villain has a decent arc, and I had fun watching these characters interact in a story that was obviously building up to something great. Only some of it was a bit eye-rolling (the science fair ex machina, for example).

Unfortunately, post-production rewrites sort of gutted the weight of the movie by essentially skipping over the second act. We jump from Act 1 (getting the powers) to Act III (using the powers for one, final showdown). There’s no real buildup or failure/success cycle you’ll find in a good story.

We don’t even get to see how these characters feel about getting superpowers because of a strange time skip. This is ironic considering Trank’s last movie, Chronicle, almost exclusively focused on the fun part of figuring out what it would be like to have superpowers.

TV pilots are typically guilty of these rushed plots. And sure, it all leads toward something that could be great in the future. But the ending is instead too one note to feel earned.

fantastic four review

My theory is that the second act had to be streamlined because it would have felt too familiar. The 2005 Fantastic Four movie already did the “getting our powers and learning how to use them” thing, so this reboot attempted to do something different with these frankly unpopular characters. I can easily see FOX discussing how fans were tired of the incessant Spider-Man reboots repeating the same story and trying to come up with a unique solution for this.

I appreciate the gesture, but it could have been much better executed.

The effects aren’t very memorable, and the action scenes were overall unimpressive. I did enjoy the look and brutality of the Thing, played by Jamie Bell. And my favorite scene (that I wish they extended) was the fight between Reed Richards and his pursuers. Pitting Reed against his future teammates (not just the Thing) would have been a great way to demonstrate how great these powers are. Instead, the movie decided to just tell us because it was getting too long.

I will say that with the exception of Reed and Doom, the look of these characters was good, even great (Human Torch was spot on). Kate Mara’s Sue Storm went the safe route and Miles Teller had way too many scenes where he needed a shave, for example.

fantastic four review

Doom himself does get a chilling scene straight out of a horror flick that is quickly undercut by how goofy he looks, but this can all be compartmentalized into a rushed third act that doesn’t force you to dwell on his character design anyway.

SUMMING UP

This movie will be very polarizing for years to come. Fans who enjoyed enough of the movie to forgive some of its blatant flaws will be met by others who were immediately turned off to the third act. A great example is Iron Man 3, another superhero film I thoroughly enjoyed despite immense backlash for its “twist.”

It’s not saying much, but I consider this the best of the Fantastic Four movies (of which there’s now four). To be fair, I abhor the 2005 and 2007 film. Comparisons aside, FF on its own is something I want to see more of. It’s a mess of a film that could be leading to something superb down the line, though I doubt it will ever get the chance under the weight of its abnormal expectations.

Grade: C+ 

fantastic four review

Extra Credits:

  • I really like how they gave Ben Grimm the idea for “it’s clobbering time.” And it was fun to see more substance and backstory come into play for Johnny Storm, who was overly silly in the last two of these movies.
  • There’s nothing after the credits, and I don’t think FOX is ready to hint at any crossovers with their X-Men and Deadpool movies unless FF is received well. I think this is fine because FF doesn’t seem to fit in a world where mutants live.
  • No Stan Lee cameo. He approved of the Human Torch being cast as an African American, but that wasn’t necessarily a recommendation for the film. He probably wants FF to be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point.
  • Look, I get that it would be cool to have FF in the MCU. It would also be cool to have X-Men and Deadpool in the MCU. But the fact is that FOX bought these rights when Marvel was on the outs. They deserve to get a return on their investment, especially since their bailing out of Marvel two decades ago pretty much led to the sacred cow cinematic universe you seem to like so much.

Fantastic Four was directed and written by Josh Trank. It was also written by Simon Kinberg and Jeremy Slater. It stars Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm, Toby Kebbell as Victor von Doom, and Reg E. Cathey as Franklin Storm.

 

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