Reviews: The Fantastic Four Teaser #1 (Is it Good?)

Posted: January 29, 2015 in Reviews
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Fan reaction to the new The Fantastic Four teaser has been pretty much expected: some bandwagon fans came in support of the trailer, others continued to show their displeasure, and still others (like Stan Lee) expressed a large amount of enthusiasm for the upcoming film. Personally, after watching the trailer, I found the entire experience to be lackluster at best, and downright boring at worst.

I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong, however; before the teaser came out, I was convinced that the film was going to flop hard, or be bought out by Marvel Studios, whichever happened first. Now that I’ve had the chance to see what direction the filmmakers want to go with though, I have to say that, for a science fiction film, it looks decent, maybe even good. It definitely hits all the important notes science fiction films from the past five to ten years have been hitting: alien looking backdrop, some kind of fantastic (pun intended) plot devices and characters, and even the dark and somber tone a lot of films have been taking from The Dark Knight. Nothing out of place here, which I think will actually work against the film in the end (something I’ll elaborate further on below).

Sci-fi influence is very clear in this. Image taken from superherohype.com

The important thing to remember though, is that I said “science fiction film”, not “superhero film”. This is clearly a science fiction film, no doubt about that. But it’s not clearly a superhero film. If I’d not seen the title at the end, I wouldn’t have given this a second thought. I might have even gone to see it in a theater somewhere, or at least rented it when it came out in stores or online. But as a superhero film, it seems like a disjointed mess. Look at this trailer with fresh eyes, the way people who never heard of the FF would see this. Who exactly are the heroes? Where’s the villain? More importantly, why go with this kind of tone for this film? Casual filmgoers may not know this, but the Fantastic Four are supposed to be a little more lighthearted in comparison to the rest of the superhero community. I don’t object to having a darker tone for the film, because that’s what audiences want in their movies nowadays, and as a longtime superhero fan, it’s refreshing to see superheroes treated respectfully on screen (rather than something dumb, like the 1970s Dr. Strange for example). But something Batman level dark, like this teaser is trying to give off, is not the Fantastic Four. If a darker tone is what they’re going for, then go the Guardians of the Galaxy route and give it a balance; a serious tone when need be, and a lighthearted tone for the rest. If I wanted to watch a Batman movie, I’d go and watch a Batman movie.

This seems very familiar… Image taken from superherohype.com

As I said above, this film is very much set in the science fiction genre, including all the right elements in just the right way. The problem is, audiences have seen all of these things before. The car driving down the dirt road? J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. The shot of Sue holding Johnny towards the end? Thor: The Dark World. Even the last shot, where the team stands looking at the blue beam of energy, looks like a scene ripped straight from the Mass Effect series of games. If this teaser is any indication, the whole film just seems like it will be really boring in the end, almost as if it didn’t really have the energy to break away and do its own thing. Maybe I’ll be wrong, maybe the film will be good. For now, I just can’t see it being a good superhero film.

TRAILER REVIEW:

As a Sci-Fi film: 6.0/10

As a Superhero film: 1.0/10

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