Saturday, August 08, 2015

Fant4stic Movie Review, or How Fox's Studio Head Needs To Be Chemically Castrated As Soon As Possible

Okay, so have you ever gone out to eat, and the place you're going, it's not your favorite place, but it serves your favorite kind of food? And you know that lately people have created exciting new ways to prepare this cuisine, and you're eager to try it out and see if this version is better? And you get to the restaurant, and order your favorite dish, and get your drinks and your appetizer, and you start salivating thinking about the main course? And then the waiter comes to your table with a still flaming skillet of hot dog shit?

Of course you don't, because that never happens. Except I kind of feel it's the only way to compare how I felt watching Josh Trank's Fant4stic (I'm going to stick with the pathetic attempt to be "hip" that they went with when titling this loose heap of hyena semen, because calling it Fantastic Four is a disgrace to a property that has already been forced to endure Jay Underwood's Human Torch). That impossible scenario would have to occur, me sitting at the table staring in wide eyed wonder at the flaming skillet of dog shit that was supposed to be my steak fajitas, for me to look at someone and say "Yeah, this is kinda like when I went to see Fant4stic."

We live in wondrous times. Marvel Studios have been re-inventing cinema with their Avengers movies, both the team flicks and the solo movies, which still amaze me by each fitting into different genres (Iron Mans: Techno-thrillers. Thors: Fantasy. Captain America: War movie. Avengers: Summer Blockbuster. Winter Soldier: Political thriller. Guardians of the Galaxy: Space comedy. Ant Man: Heist movie.) We've recovered from the "George Clooney's got a fucking Batman Credit Card in the fucking Batman Movie" Batman Movie! We've got a kickass balance between movies (The Avengers movies, The X-Men movies, Nolan's Batman Movies) and TV (Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, Flash, FUCKING Daredevil) giving us solid doses of well made Super Hero Action! How do you shit out a turd like this with so many shining examples around?

I'm not even going to warn about spoilers, because if you go to see this movie, it's already too late to save you. I'm going to try to bring up the problems I had with this movie chronologically, because it seemed to only get worse as the time line progressed.

They start off by showing a brainy nerd getting ridiculed by his teacher when he gives a class career day presentation about how he wants to be the first man to build a teleporter. In 2007. Fuck, man, teachers weren't that harsh when I was a kid thirty years ago, and now a days teachers are likely to be water-boarded if a parent suspects their child's self-esteem was damaged when the teacher didn't give them an A+ and a hand-job to completion for their class project on what brands of paste they'd eaten that morning. Five years later, this nerd builds a device that successfully transports matter (and rips a hole in the universe, for fuck's sake), and the teacher disqualifies him from the science fair. Because if you're going to make a movie about unbelievable bullshit, you might as well make even the tiniest of details unbelievable bullshit. 

Cue the mysterious stranger and his hot daughter who just happen to be recruiting for their super secret government dimension piercing think tank at a fucking high school science fair. They are seeking the one who can finish the work of the prototypical douchetard genius brat who burned bridges and dropped out of sight when he couldn't crack the obstacle to his work. Maybe if the teacher had, I don't know, supported- or at least encouraged- the dreams of the hands-down smartest kids in the whole dip-shit high school, the research would have made it out of his garage a bit faster.

So this nerd and the douchetard and the hot girl who likes patterns and music (because writing smart girl characters is mad hard, you guys) and her hot-headed brother who built a shitty car from scratch (because that skill set totally carries over into quantum physics and teleportation) are all working together to try and create a larger version of the nerd's teleporter. 

Did I mention that the scientist who is in charge of this whole project and his son are black, and his daughter is white? I mention it here because I had no problem forming hypotheses reconciling this scenario using my ultra keen powers of perception and not being a racist asshole: maybe their mom was white. But no, this movie decides that that's too weird, so they made actors, paid actors, with previous movie credits to their name and everything, take time out of their movie to explain that she is adopted. Oh, don't worry, it adds nothing to the plot, and it never comes up again, but just so you feel safe, don't worry, in this universe, the different races DON'T smash their genitals together and make babies.

So they finish the machine, and the government guys step in and say "hey, let's get trained professionals to explore the violently inhospitable dimension you've discovered." It's probably the most responsible suggestion in the entire movie, but the petulant nerds liken it to the Apollo astronauts being famous while the scientists who got them there toiled in obscurity. Yeah, there's a reason for that; the nerd with the slide rule and pocket protector isn't properly trained for hostile airless environments where a grain of sand traveling Mach 5 is a credible threat. (The Howard Wolowitz Conundrum). 

But no, fuck it, let's steal that shit and take it out for a ride. Because I'm sure the door to another dimension that you built that could also theoretically generate a singularity and destroy the planet is totally unguarded at night. So the nerd calls his school chum, who is a scrappy abused junkyard kid (because why create new characters when you can just cook those two kids from Stand By Me into a shitty Shepherd's Pie of bad acting?) and tells him that they're totally stealing their dimension gate invention, and he's got to come check that shit out. Boys only, though, because girls can't do explorer stuff, unless they're Dora or written by someone who isn't cataclysmically retarded. Plus, there are only four pods, and Doctor Doom totally has to be there to get his powers.

Brief aside: Why do they insist on Dr. Doom being part of their group at it's inception? The source material certainly doesn't agree with any of that. Not only was Dr. Doom absent when they got their powers in the comics, Dr. Doom doesn't fucking HAVE powers in the comics. He doesn't NEED them. He has his armor, his genius, and an ego the size of a small Baltic nation. The comics even went so far and made him dabble in sorcery, which gave him an interesting "anti-science" angle that he could use against the totally science driven Reed Richards. But this is two iterations now where they felt the need to shoehorn him into the moment and rape the character by giving him weird, stupid powers (how could the piece of shit 1994 Fantastic Four straight-to-video Jay Underwood Human Torch movie be the only one that gets it right? HOW?!?)

They get to the other dimension, named Planet Zero (presumably by the screenwriter's retarded cousin as a favor), and Douchetard goes off on his own, right down to the large glowy polyp that shoots sparks when you touch it, and touches it. He touches it harder, and apparently angers whatever is inside the planet (again, I know as much as you do, and I saw the fucking movie) so that it shoots glowing green goop out of several pus holes. Douchetard gets doused in space planet jizz, and falls back to the bottom of the cliff like the star of a Predator bukkake film.

So the rest of the guys get powers from being exposed during their return from the other dimension. On the way back, the hot-head's pod lights on fire for some unexplained reason, so he becomes a living charcoal briquette. The junkyard kid's pod door won't shut, and for some reason stones find that attractive, so he becomes a rock man. The nerd's pod does nothing but drag the scene out, so he becomes super elastic. And the hot chick wasn't even there, so she gets to be invisible, because [plot missing].

After the scientists finally get to the lab (by way of the New Jersey Turnpike during a Chris Christie tantrum, apparently), the damage has been done. So they trap, cage and study the heroes. How did they find the Invisible one? The world's driest game of Marco Polo? What kind of debilitatingly stupid person do you have to not be able to avoid detection with the advantage of invisibility? Just shut your mouth and stand still in the corner, and you can die the Universal hide-and-seek Champion.

After a seemingly indeterminate time, stretchy man escapes confinement after hearing his friend screaming through a vent (again, it was lights out, so no guards were around, naturally). He runs away, leaving his rocky friend behind. Then screenwriter got REALLY lazy and gave us the old "One Year Later."

Rocks has been throwing tanks around for the military, and having his picture in the Enquirer, despite how difficult that would make his job as a top secret military weapon. They decide that a flying man made of fire would be a handy weapon as well, except now the Invisibitch has to stop them, because slavery isn't cool if the slave is actually black. Or her brother. But seriously, fuck Rocks.
So Stretchy has been living on the run for a year (about 30 seconds of movie time) when they decide they need to find him, because they can't build the machine twice, because xeroxing the blueprints would have involved getting the office manager to get off her ass and clear that paper jam, that lazy twat. So Invisibitch has to use her super powers of listening to music while searching the internet for his email address to track him down in his abandoned shack, and Rocks brings him back in a fish tank. Except that for a genius, Stretchy is kind of a window-licker, because if they even have air holes for him to breathe, he can slip out if he remembered how to use his powers correctly.

Now that he's back, he fixes the problems they're having with their machine in ten minutes. So why did he run away, again? No, I get why he thinks he ran away; prisoners. What I don't get is why the movie had him run away. Again, no plot advancement. Meaningless filler. They could have stopped him at the gate and showed a three second training montage and covered the same amount of ground.

So the trained experts go to Planet Zero and find Dr. Douchetard, who has the super powers of a melted space suit grafted to his face and whatever is convenient to the plot (and that's more of an explanation than the movie will give you, so you're welcome). He comes back with them, but surprise! He's a bad guy now, so his poorly formed environmental activism streak has transformed into the desire to annihilate Earth and live on Planet Zero.

He goes back immediately and activates the weapon from the Man of Steel, which sucks in more ways than one, and begins to destroy Earth to serve as energy for Planet Zero. It's up to the heroes with their zero minutes of training as a team to get trashed by Douchetard, and then finally defeat him using zero different tactics! Pointless combat! Punchface! Explosion Rock! I've gotten deeper contextual descriptions watching just the onomatopoeias in an episode of the 1960's Batman Series. The Human Briquette gains the ability to smash through giant stone columns unprotected for some reason, causing Douchetard's vacuum hole to fall on him, and the heroes zip back through the closing gate just in the nick of time, just like Iron Man in that movie they clearly wished this one could be.

The return and are lauded as heroes, even though their joyride with the universe breaching doorway caused the entire threat to begin with. The U.S. Military (a notoriously fair and easy-going bunch) asks that they continue to serve as slave weapons, but the heroes decide that this is not acceptable. They demand freedom, and what's more, they want to take over an entire industrial complex in the mountains (along with the staff) as their personal playground and laboratory. And the Military gives it to them (see: fair and easy-going). 

Hey, remember that moment in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when we've been waiting two whole movies for someone to say "Avengers, Assemble," and Captain America starts to say it, but they cut to black just before he says it? Because Josh Trank sure does. I see what you did there, Josh! You had them all brainstorming team names, and then just as Reed is about to say it, you yank the rug out from under us and go the other way, just like you did when you said you would deliver a Fantastic Four movie and then released this fresh slurry of di4rrhe4.

I stayed through the credits of Fan-fuck-stic, only because I wanted to see if there was an after credits scene of Josh Trank weeping openly on camera for 30 seconds.  One of the usher's said that Josh Trank gave his own movie a negative review, which is the first piece of evidence I've seen that Josh Trank hasn't been replaced by a brain damaged garden slug wearing Hipster glasses. You don't have to be a talented Hollywood director to recognize a pail of camel shit when you see one (or direct a Star Wars spin-off, apparently). Of course he gave it a negative review. It is a shitty, shitty movie. However, he claims that this isn't the version he set out to make, that studio interference ruined it. I see nothing in this movie that could have been molded or shaped into a decent movie. The Abyss was a great movie fucked up by editing. This was a train derailing into an abortion clinic after a Motley Crue concert. No chemistry between actors. I felt just as much kinship between the life-long buddies as I did between the Nerd and the Douchetard (none). Robert Bever was a more loving brother than Johnny Storm seemed to be in this crap sandwich. 

They already green lit a sequel, because The Amazing Spider-Man 2 taught us nothing. Fox is going to keep making these movies to keep the license. Isn't there a child protective services of movies to take these licenses away from studios who just keep gang-fucking them into the ground? I feel like a lawyer could successfully sue 20th Century Fox and get the rights back to Marvel because of what has been done to this franchise. I don't see what Fox's endgame is here, because all they keep doing is tricking us into seeing shitty FF movies every ten years so they can keep making shitty FF movies. Shouldn't there be some quality at the end of the tunnel?

In conclusion, when asked what I thought about this movie, I quote Kay Corleone: "It was an abortion."

The following is a list of Fantastic Four related things one can do that will be more fun and entertaining than seeing Fant4stic in theaters:

Read any issue of Fantastic Four comic book;

Watch the 2005 Fantastic Four Movie; as much as I loved Chris Evans as Captain America, THIS is the super hero role he was BORN to play... none can touch his Human Torch;

Watch the 2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer; again, thanks to Evans, this one was good, not as good as the first, but certainly better than Fan-farce-schtick, which is like saying a blow-job from Ashley Simpson is not as good as a one from Jessica Simpson, but certainly better than one from O.J. Simpson;

Play the Lego Marvel Heroes video game using only the Fantastic Four characters;

Watch someone else play the Lego Marvel Heroes video game using only the Fantastic Four characters;
Watch the 2007 Fantastic Four with the sound off, and your ears filled with live crickets;

Read Fantastic Four fan fiction;

Read viewer reviews of the 1994 Fantastic Four movie;

Fill a Fant4stic souvenir cup with apple cider vinegar and then pour it into your eyeballs, drip by drip;

Have Gilbert Godfrey read you Fantastic Four fan fiction;

Think about the fact that they already green-lit a sequel to this piece of horse shit;

Staple your genitals to your upper thighs while biting down on a Fantastic Four comic book;

Call Josh Trank's mother and tell her her son has been gang raped to death by angry nerds;

Have sex with a nest of angry hornets while looking at an image of Jessica Alba as Invisible Girl;

Ask a friend to tie your dick in a knot, stone you, burn you alive, and then pretend not to see you;

Burn four dollars;

Get hepatitis from a hooker named Susan;

Wait for Fant4stic to come out at your local Best Buy on DVD, then shove a hot coal up your ass and replace it with a fresh one every time it goes out until every copy of the movie is sold off the shelf;

Watch the 1994 Fantastic Four movie. Well, maybe I went too far on that last one.