Fantastic Four trailer – reaction

The first family of superheroes, the Fantastic Four haven’t had an easy ride at the cinema: their first adventure was produced but never released, with rumours that Marvel paid a substantial sum to producer Roger Corman in exchange for his agreement that he would bury it rather than tarnish the good name of Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm. Fantastic Four and Rise of the Silver Surfer were released in 2005 and 2007 and collectively grossed around $620 million against a budget of $230, not stellar figures, and both suffered a critical mauling, though Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis were singled out for praise. The studio decided a reboot was in order, a change of direction, with a new director in the form of Chronicle‘s Josh Trank and a new younger cast. The release date was March 2015. Then June 2015. Then August 2015. Almost uniquely in modern film marketing, until today no images from the film had been released, not even a single cast shot. Behind stories of major reshoots, was the silence bravado or panic? With the first teaser finally released, the team have expressed their opinions.

Glenn Jones – It doesn’t look as bad as I feared it would, and X-Men Days of Future past proved to be entertaining enough. My attitude towards this film? Go in with low expectations and anything else is a plus!

Kevin Gilmartin – This trailer certainly seems to be going in the gritty direction of the new wave of Marvel movies and maybe it will surprise us on release. I’m not really inspired to shell out the ticket price based on this, though. It was very by-the-numbers (read, “cliché-ridden”) as trailers go, wasn’t it? A car driving REALLY FAST PAST A CORNFIELD, some SERIOUS MILITARY PEOPLE ROUND A TABLE and lots of BIG IMPRESSIVE SCIENCEY STUFF RUN BY PEOPLE IN GLASSES.

I’ve never been a huge Fantastic Four fan, always able to take it or leave it, but the first attempts at these movies were so bad that I had managed to erase Rise of the Silver Surfer from my memory until our ever-lovin’ features editor reminded me of it the other day (thanks, Mike; thanks a bunch).

I’m not saying I don’t like the look of it, I’m neither excited nor discouraged. I Nothing this trailer. Maybe I’ll Something it when they release the next one.

Owen Williams – I feel betrayed by that trailer. I have been a positive voice for this film when some… a few… okay, everyone else was saying it was going to be bobbins. I liked the fact that they weren’t splurging the internet with photo’s, rumours and plot leaks. It made a refreshing change from the now mandatory eighteen month hype for a film, where we obsess over casting details and low resolution pictures taken by someone with a shaky hand on a mobile phone.

But, today, the trailer came out, and it tells us NOTHING about the plot or the characters. There’s no interaction between the team. No real sign of their powers or how they got them. No hint as to what the story will be about. There is none of the joy, humour or banter that is the foundation of the Fantastic Four. This looks like a dour, depressing movie that has ignored the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and decided that they’re going to completely destroy what could have been a cracking movie.

There is nothing here. Anyone without prior knowledge of the Fantastic Four would be left wondering what the hell it was about.

I was wrong to have hope.

Les Anderson – I’m struggling to find anything positive to say about this.

Wes May – The trailer seems to be interested in downplaying the superhero elements in favor of a straight up sci-fi vibe. Not necessarily a bad direction to shoot for, but I can’t quiet the nagging voice inside saying “something just doesn’t seem right here.” There’s been an unprecedented level of secrecy surrounding the film, with most of the  online buzz focused primarily on controversial casting decisions.

I think the cast is fine, as it illustrates how fully committed to a hard reboot of a rather lackluster franchise the studio really is. That said, not every risk pays off. I’m reserving full judgment for after seeing the movie, but the trailer is the very definition of a teaser: creates a bit of anticipation and confounds with ambiguity.

Michael Flett – I saw the 2005 Fantastic Four film when it first hit the cinemas, knowing practically nothing about the story other than the names of the characters, never having read the comics. Ten years later, my memories are:

Chris Evans is hot, even when not on fire.

Ioan Gruffudd was a terrible choice for a leading man. Maybe not his fault, maybe he just got a bum character, but seriously, we’re supposed to be impressed by a hero whose principal superpower is that he’s stretchy. And who has no leadership abilities whatsoever. Oh, and Jessica Alba is blandness personified.

Some of the staging of the film was utterly incompetent, calling attention to itself it was so wretched. The particular scene which sticks with me was when they have their first action setpiece in what I think was Times Square, and it was so obvious they could only get permission to film from one angle or they had only built the set with one side, and none of the extras were paid to have speaking parts.

The whole thing was two dimensional and unbelievable – all these amazing things happening and not one person in the crowd comes forward and asks who they were or what was happening. They stood back, they all took out there phones and took pictures, but nobody asked if they could have a photograph with any of them, and then they just walk off. Humans don’t act that way; film extras act that way.

It also bugged me that whole scene was the result of the supposedly Fantastic Four having an argument amongst themselves, which was both immature and irresponsible, except the whole film turned out to be about people having tantrums. Doctor Doom comes in and rather than having
a diabolical supervillain scheme, he’s some guy who’s pissed at his friends because they got cool powers from their irradiation and he didn’t. What has this got to do with the rest of the world? Why is there a film about it? Sort it out amongst yourselves or get some therapy, bitch.

I was pressured into seeing Rise of the Silver Surfer. I can’t even remember as much about it as the first film other than it was an incomprehensible mess and I was delighted when Sue Storm died only to be appalled when moments later the power of luuuurve resurrected her and the big bad just dissolved… or something. I think perhaps he’s just had enough embarrassment, I know I felt the same.

I can’t believe the studio thought there was demand for a third one, but if they had to there was no option but to scrap everything that went before and make it over. And here we are with – the trailer from Interstellar? Pensive plonky piano, epic landscapes and skylines, a pan up to the sky, vast secret laboratories, a car racing through cornfields, great scientific experiments (well, if you picked up your equipment from the nearest farmhouse) and a whole heap of indifference. The only reason I could have to see this film is freakish curiosity.

I don’t know Miles Teller other than I’m sick of seeing the trailer for Whiplash. Kate Mara I’ve seen in Transsiberian, where she played (very well) a two faced bitch, and Transcendence, where she was so obviously the traitor from her very first shot I lost patience with her immediately. I can imagine the direction – “sit in the front row, wear black, apply your black eyeshadow like fingerpaint and a scowl at everyone else in the scene – it will be a masterpiece of deception and nobody will guess you’re EVIL!” Still, she has to be better than Jessica Alba. Also, Transcendence wasn’t entirely her fault – everything in that film was bad.

Jamie Bell I like, but other than the colour of his hair, I don’t see crinkly orange rockman. Michael B Jordan I only know from Josh Trank’s first film, Chronicle, which was not awful, which is about the kindest I’ll ever be about a found footage film that isn’t Troll Hunter. I don’t have a problem with him being black, in fact I’m all for challenging the established order when it’s apparent what went before isn’t working.

My only fear is that if I do see this I’ll come out with the same feeling as when I saw Spawn, touted as “the first black superhero movie” – if I were Spawn I would have asked for better representation.

Couldn’t the studio have given him something better or were they just determined to sabotage it from the outset?

My biggest problem with this is that they’re all children, though I guess since in the first films they had the characters behaving like children they just figured they might as well cut to the chase. Sorry, I’m an adult, if I want to watch teenagers I’ll put on a John Hughes movie. Or maybe Clueless. Fantastic Four: The High School Years? As if!

This looks like nothing. Where is the excitement, where is the joy, where is the colour? Is this the Fantastic Four or the Miserable Quartet? Did Doctor Doom infect them with Gloom?

There are rumours of production problems; I wouldn’t be surprised if they hired Josh Trank to get something different and edgy and now he’s delivered exactly what he promised the conservative Fox heads have gone into a tailspin panic – “When we said we wanted different, what we meant was, the same! Yes, the same!” Still, keep repeating – it’s not found footage, it’s not found footage…

There’s no sign of Toby Kebbell yet, but rumours that the once fearsome Doctor Victor von Doom is now a pissed off blogger just… I don’t know where to begin, but I have faith in Kebbell. While I could have stabbed him in the eyes in Wrath of the Titans, though again, that film was wretched through and through, so I don’t blame him, and I liked him in The East and he was brilliant in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, so he may yet be the saving grace.

It worries me that there is so little indication this is a superhero film – and this from someone who isn’t a superhero fan, and even I can see something is missing. What audience are they aiming for?

Apparently this is “From the studio that brought you X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Yes, and Star Wars. And The Phantom Menace. So what? What mental connection is supposed to be made by flashing those words on screen? “You like mutants, right? These are mutants! You’ll like them!” Sorry, the Pavlovian conditioning didn’t quite work.

Still, at least they didn’t have the gall to say “From the studio that brought you X3: The Last Stand...”

Word of mouth was already not glowing on this, so the first glimpse had to be big and awesome to silence the doubters and wow those on the fence. It had to be Guardians of the Galaxy good, which sold itself from the very first teaser. Next to that, this is soulless generic stock shots.

Matthew Rutland – Shite/pish/drivel. Take your pick.

Adam Dworak – What we have here is just a teaser and it’s not the best one. It’s really almost impossible to say anything substantial about this reboot after watching this. Feels atmospheric but looks very generic, just another superhero movie – yawn…

Garry Mac – Well it’s a teaser. There’s not much to see here – no full on display of the powers, barely even any of the cast, and a suitably enigmatic and unnamed voice over – so it’s hard to judge one way or the other.

It *looks* pretty good, and I’ll admit, the setting does it for me way more than the previous two cutesy FF films. It’s got a long way to go to overcome the doubts most of us have about it, but on this brief trailer, it doesn’t look like the unmitigated disaster it might have been. Time will tell, but I reckon we’re about to get a Fantastic Four movie that isn’t really a Fantastic Four movie, and that will either be a good or a bad thing depending on the story, and your relationship to the source material.

If it’s a good film I’ll be happy either way.

Fantastic Four is scheduled for release on 7th August 2015



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