The exciting comics are dishonored by a perversely contrary film both flat and dreary.
On paper, this film has all the elements of the right elements - a solid character driven director, a gritty sci-fi tone, and some stellar hot talent. In practice, the studio conflicts and director meltdowns led to a fractured experience that presents itself as such, with points of brilliance side by side with flat, inane, dreck. What a waste.
For a film that started with such a promise, they completely missed on the integrity of the characters.
Or, 'How Josh Trank did the Fantastic Four right in an unoffical homage, and then so wrong in their official film'.
Josh Trank's indie suprise Chronicle (2012), with its trio of friends who gain powers while losing each other, is as pure to the spirit of an early-60's Lee and Kirby story as one could want: the naive origin, the empowered gusto, the fractures and doubts, the epic conflict. With little money and much skill, the auteur crafted a classic character story. Who could possibly be better to re-adapt the Fantastic Four to the screen?
No one could predict that he would produce the Flatline Four. Little trace of Lee and Kirby's pulse resounds in this bloodless film, with its zombie performances and dreary tone. Even the charismatic Michael B. Jordon as the Human Torch, just off of the excellent Fruitvale Station, is stymied by the flat material and lack of energy. Conflicting stories of power struggles between the director and the studio only enhance the confusion and dashed hopes left by the fiasco. Perhaps they thought they were making the Frightful Four? It's worth reiterating here that the real comics team were always alive with vitality, and fantastic in the sense of being inspired and upbeat.
There's an antidote to this malaise: start by reading the 101 issues of FF by Lee and Kirby (60's), the run by John Byrne (80's), and Walt Simonson (90's)...