Why We're Nonplussed Over the Fantastic Four Trailer

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The Fantastic Four

With all the hoopla over the assured blockbuster status of Marvel's upcoming THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, it's easy to forget that another Marvel property is coming to theaters this year as well. Granted, it's a franchise tainted by two previous lackluster releases (three for the purists who pretend the Roger Corman version counts), but Hulk's first two films weren't exactly critical accomplishments, and the big green guy is doing alright for himself in Avengers.

I'd like to say that the Fantastic Four could follow in Hulk's crater-like footsteps, but my confidence level hasn't been high, and this trailer has done little to change that.

Before we discuss that, though, let's take a quick look at the trailer, released today, for FANTASTIC FOUR:

Okay, now, all the non-comics fans only please: What is this movie about?

That's what I thought. There's no villain, no threat -- just a lot of ominous music played over alternating scenes of high technology and apocalyptic destruction. Now, how were the effects of the super powers? What's that? You didn't see any use of super powers? You didn't see Reed Richards stretch, didn't see Sue Storm turn invisible, didn't see Ben Grimm bust a wall down? (By process of elimination, that means, yes, the guy on fire seen from a distance was Johnny Storm.)

Now, for all the comic book geeks (like myself, so don't get all huffy, we're family here), we can pretty much tell that this reboot is based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four series -- which kicks off with a much younger group than the traditional comics. Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is a teenaged wunderkind, Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan are siblings Sue and Johnny Storm, the children of one of the research facility's head doctors, and Jamie Bell is the athletic best-buddy. Only by going to IMDb and seeing that Toby Kebbell is slated to portray Victor Domashev, and then doing a little mental arithmetic, do we come to the conclusion that the villain of the show is Doctor Doom. Again, even though he waited until the team's fifth comic book before making his first appearance.

We can assume an origin story, but other than that, all we know is that at some point in the film an airplane is threatened by a beam of light. So let's save the airplane. And then what?

I want to like FANTASTIC FOUR. I really do. But the FOX treatments of the Marvel resources have paled so much in comparison to the AVENGERS-centric movies that they just don't do anything for me. Maybe the audiences will be kind to it when it's in theaters this August 7, 2015; but I'll be content to wait for the DVD.

What are your thoughts about the FANTASTIC FOUR trailer? Are we spot on? Are we full of it? Express your comments.

Grade: 
3.0 / 5.0