Captain Marvel (2019)

She’s beauty, she’s grace, she can kick you into space.

Well, the first Marvel movie of 2019 is here. And, hey, it’s pretty good! Nothing that’s so exciting that it’ll melt your brain out, or anything, but Captain Marvel has finally hit our screens and damned if we aren’t glad to see her. Right? Right?

I don’t want to be down on this one. I really enjoyed myself as I sat in the theater and mindlessly absorbed a little nugget of Marvel product, which loudly and proudly is set in the 90s. Remember the 90s? There was a Democrat in office, the economy was essentially okay, we weren’t at war with anyone for a little while, and when the President got a blowjob and perjured himself about it, we all were in agreement that the office of the PotUS had been so thoroughly tarnished that no future President could ever sink lower (ha). But also, you know: AIDS, Hurricane Andrew (which goes strangely unremarked upon here despite the fact that a significant portion of the film takes place in 1995 Louisiana), Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, etc. Never let your nostalgia get the best of you, is all I’m saying, but it’s no crime to feel a little warm inside when you hear the opening strains of “Come As You Are,” either.

It’s 1995. Vers (Brie Larson) is a member of the Kree Defense Force, a group of interstellar “warrior heroes” who keep the peace in the Kree Empire (the blue [mostly] aliens from the Guardians movies and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) by performing various acts of apparent valor, including rooting out cells of Skrulls, a race of green reptilian shapeshifters. She herself is a woman without a memory, à la Wolverine, only getting glimpses into a past she can’t recall when dreaming of a mysterious woman (Annette Bening). Under the tutelage of Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), Vers attempts to learn more about herself using the AI ruler of the Kree, the Supreme Intelligence (Bening again, as we only see her from Vers’s point of view and it takes different forms for different people), without much success. After being taken captive by Skrulls and fighting her way free, Vers lands on C-53, better known to its inhabitants as Earth, where she immediately runs afoul of S.H.I.E.L.D., before bonding with a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and setting out to discover why the woman in her dreams seems to have had a life on C-53, including involvement with a top secret aerospace defense project. Along the way, she connects, or perhaps reconnects, with Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and her daughter Monica (Akira Akbar). Opposing her is the Skrull leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), but there may be more to his motivations than meets the eye.

A lot of the internet is pretty up in arms about Captain Marvel, and for the most part, it’s just trolling and various degrees of personal toxicity. And the problem with every dudebro out there who’s angry about the injustice of Captain Marvel/Vers (as I’ll refer her to remain spoiler free, if that’s even possible at this juncture) stealing a motorcycle from a man who told her to smile, as if a microaggression warrants grand theft, is that it leaves very little room to be critical of the elements that don’t actually work from a narrative perspective. Look, I’m not MovieSins; I’m not here to ring an annoying little bell just because the final mental showdown between two characters is set to a Nirvana classic from an album that we don’t actually see Vers hearing (although she had plenty of chances offscreen). But I have to admit that even I was a little tired of some of the pablum and the unwillingness to take risks that were on display here. Sure, there was some inventiveness with the subversion of both what we’ve come to expect from films in general and this franchise specifically, especially in regard to the villainous Skrulls and their true motivations, but that doesn’t mean that the storytelling itself is inventive, and that’s the issue here. We’ve seen the fish-out-water story before in Thor, but that doesn’t mean that this is inherently derivative. I remember walking out of that film way back in 2011 and being pleasantly and refreshingly surprised by it, and there’s a part of me that wants every Marvel movie to give me an equivalent rush, but that’s not a realistic expectation to have after ten years and twenty movies. Time makes you bolder, children get older, and I’m getting older, too. It may be that these movies are just as fun as they’ve always been and I’m just too cynical to enjoy them the way that I used to.

Because, hey, this movie is fun. There are a lot of great setpieces: a sequence of dodging questionably aligned federal agents deep in the heart of a research base library, a terrific train fight sequence featuring the best Stan Lee cameo to date (I’m more of a Jack Kirby stan, if we’re being honest, but even I thought it was nice), and others. But the main one, the big finale, was just a big CGI fest that tired me more than it thrilled me. Compared to the relative viscerality of the Independence Day-esque desert dogfight that came earlier in the film’s runtime, not to mention the undetectable de-aging of Jackson to make him the Fury of yesteryear, it lacks any concreteness and feels hollow; I’m glad to hear that other people found this to be exciting, but it just didn’t work for me. Admittedly, that’s always been the case with the MCU, as all of the films peak early, going as far back as Iron Man, where the best sequence wasn’t the toe-to-toe showdown between our “hero” and Iron Monger, but the more stunning and ground-breaking sequence in which Tony finds himself flying alongside two fighter planes. But still, there’s something about this movie that doesn’t quite sit right with me, and it’s not just that they didn’t have an appearance from Peggy, even though she was totally alive at this time and, per Ant-Man, still active in S.H.I.E.L.D. a mere six years prior, although that omission is a crime.

Still, it’s hard to fault a film for having a poor finale after a lot of fun beforehand. Fitting for a movie that is at least on some level about both Girl Power and The 90s, the comparison that kept coming to my mind was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It may just be that I rewatched the 1992 film within the past six months (and also watched it about 47 times over the course of a single summer once), but the aforementioned scene in which Vers steals a guy’s motorcycle reads just like the scene in that film in which original Kristy Swanson Buffy does the same after a rude biker asks if she “wants some real power between [her] legs.” It’s a sanitization of something, to make it more palatable for you to be able to bring your kids to see the new superhero movie, but it’s almost the same scene, and I genuinely enjoyed that the film evoked that rhetorical space in the era of its birth. Further, the sequence of Vers getting up over and over again, used as a shorthand about her past and her resilience in the face of limitations placed on her by a masculine culture, included one of her as a little girl stepping up to the plate and getting ready to knock one out of the park, which once again evoked the scene from the series finale of Buffy the show, during the title character’s famous “Are you ready to be strong?” speech (believe it or not, this is the best upload I could find of the scene; sorry). I don’t know if there was a subliminal attempt to invoke the memory of disgraced Avengers and Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon by summoning relevant images from both the beginning and end of the Buffy franchise, but if so, that’s a next level of synergy, and I’m impressed by the mad genius of it.

I’m hot and cold on this one. As it’s been out for almost a month now, it’s unlikely you need me to tell you whether or not to check it out, as your decision was probably made months in advance of its original release date. Larson is a terrific actress who’s really not given as much to do characterwise as someone of her talent could, but she’s effortlessly charming and magnetic, and her chemistry with Lynch and Jackson is very good. When it comes to integrating a child as a main character and instigator of plot, it also certainly works a lot better than Iron Man 3, where the character was so blatantly an audience surrogate that it almost derailed a film that is, outside of that plot detour, the best Iron Man movie (don’t @ me). And after quietly making his bones in the mainstream as a one-dimensional villain in a lot of hyped releases the past few years (Rogue One, Ready Player One, and that Robin Hood that no one saw), Mendelson brings a pathos to a scaly monster that you wouldn’t expect to find in a movie that’s as relatively flat as this one is. There are twists and betrayals, but they all seem rather rote at this point. And yet . . . and yet . . . I enjoyed this one. And you probably will, too.

-Mark “Boomer” Redmond

Doomed!: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic 4 (2016)

“How many movies did Roger Corman make that never got released? One.”

When the last failed attempt to competently adapt the Fantastic 4 comic book series for the big screen hit theaters in 2015, I foolishly decided to give all past attempts a chance and watched all four craptastic Fantastic 4 features that have been produced since the 1990s. The only film of the batch that was at all enjoyable happened to also be the only one that never saw an official release. The notoriously campy, 1994 Roger Corman-produced Fantastic 4 film is rumored to have been made solely so that co-producer Bernd Eichinger could retain the film rights to the intellectual property he later leveraged for a much larger paycheck with the 20th Century Fox Fantastic 4 production in 2005. Although Corman’s goofy $1 million Fantastic 4 production was shot, edited, and printed into a final, marketable product ready to be shipped to movie theaters across the world, it never saw an official commercial release. The details of these backroom shenanigans have always been a little murky, as the Corman film was intended to be dumped quietly into the void by folks behind the scenes, which is a total shame given that it’s a much more enjoyable work than the major studio Fantastic 4 travesties that have been released in its wake. Now, the documentary Doomed!: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic 4 has arrived to promote the very existence of this lost VHS gem and to shed some light on the mysterious forces that sabotaged its would-be theatrical release.

As an informational experience, Doomed! doesn’t accomplish anything that couldn’t be achieved through a longform “oral history” article on a well-funded film blog. It’s more of a Wikipedia-in-motion style of post mortem on a superhero film that never officially saw the light of day than it is a Tickled-style exposé on the dark forces that greenlit the production just to sabotage its release. The interview pull quotes that appear as onscreen text and act as chapter breaks between talking heads awkwardly call into question why this even had to be a movie at all, instead of a series of print interviews & YouTube clips. It’d be foolish to expect anything more than that from a crowd funded documentary about a film only available on VHS bootlegs & less-than-legal YouTube uploads, but keeping those limitations in mind definitely helps soften any major criticism that could be lobbed at Doomed!. Stories about how the movie was fast-tracked into production, passed on by Lloyd Kaufman, filmed at a studio warehouse condemned by the fire marshal, and advertised in theaters with a legitimate trailer despite the apparent conspiracy to never release it all make for interesting anecdotes, but do little to distinguish the documentary as its own work of art. What makes Doomed! worthwhile instead is the pathos it manages to mine from the cast & crew who worked on the film, people who sank immeasurable time, passion, and money into an effort that was conspired to become a meaningless waste by design behind their backs.

In the early 90s most superhero media was considered to be kids’ stuff, with most Marvel films in particular, including early attempts to bring Spider-Man & Captain America to life, not really providing much hope that the landscape would change into the comic book-dominated nerd future we live in today. The success of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film changed that perception, however. Although folks working on the 1994 Fantastic 4 might have had reasons to be concerned about the limitations of working within Roger Corman’s direct-to-VHS era, with his quick-paced production schedule & indie-level scale of budget, they also had enough encouragement from the cultural zeitgeist at large that the film might be a huge financial success. A project hundreds of Hollywood nobodies sank all of their hope into as their big break into major A-list success, one that had explicit verbal assurance that it would reach a wide theatrical distribution and a trailer that screened before other major action films, never saw the light of day until it was bootlegged & ridiculed years down the line. The first sign the cast & crew had that the powers that be behind 1994’s Fantastic 4 might not have had total faith in their work was when Marvel legend Stan Lee publicly trashed the film at that year’s Comic-Con before production even wrapped. Everything from that point on is hurt feelings & dashed dreams. Doomed! is most essential as a document when it captures that sense if betrayal from those most hurt by the film’s cancellation. Like with a lot of movies sets, the crew had developed a tight-knit, familial sense of camaraderie during production and it’s a little sad to see them all look back bitterly on sinking together with a ship that was doomed before it even left the port.

If you want to see a great document of the cheap, wild production style of Roger Corman filmmaking, I recommend checking out Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel instead. If you want to see a great documentary about a passion project that becomes unruly during production and is sabotaged out of existence by sinister film industry types, check out Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau instead. Already-established fans of the Roger Corman Fantastic 4 movie (like myself) are likely to seek out Doomed! for its cool tidbits about how The Thing’s animatronic facial expressions were achieved or how, exactly, copies of the film were ever leaked out. Then again, those fans were likely to be the exact people who funded this documentary on Indigogo in the first place. If you’re already on the hook for Fantastic 4, this film works well enough in tandem with that would-be cult classic as supplementary material. Doomed! aims to achieve more than that, nakedly calling out for an official, decades-late commercial release for Fantastic 4 as a kind of victory for the folks who were wronged in the conspiracy of its initial non-release. Only time will tell if it’s successful in that respect. In the meantime, folks who aren’t already onboard with 1994’s “lost” Fantastic 4 can only look to Doomed! for a small, quietly sad story about a group of hopeful up-and-comers having their dreams built up and immediately crushed by a shared project that’s just beyond their control. Even if just for that one aspect, though, it’s still worth a recommendation.

-Brandon Ledet

An Ill-Advised Journey through All Craptastic Four Fantastic 4 Adaptations

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It’s gradually becoming conventional wisdom that you simply cannot make a watchable Fantastic 4 movie. For two decades running Hollywood has failed rather miserably to adapt Stan Lee’s/Jack Kirby’s half-goofy/half-gritty characters into a successful feature film, despite having much better luck with other Lee/Kirby designs such as Iron Man & The X-Men. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about Fantastic 4 specifically that is so difficult to competently capture on film, despite the wild commercial success of other superhero properties. What is certain, though, is that despite the disparate variety of approaches, no adaptation has won over fans of the comics or even casual movie goers looking for mindless escapism. And it’s somehow still likely that there will be even more shoddy attempts to adapt this property in the future, despite the four already-raised red flags. Listed below is a brief review of every Fantastic 4 feature released so far, hopefully to serve as a guide for the morbidly curious.

The Fantastic Four (1994)

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three star

Perhaps the most infamously troubled Fantastic 4 adaptation of all also happens to be the one I enjoyed the most. A Roger Corman production from the mid-90s, the original Fantastic 4 movie is often rumored to have been made solely so that co-producer Bernd Eichinger could retain the film rights that he eventually put to grander use over a decade later with the 2005 adaptation. As a result to these backscene shenanigans the Corman picture never saw an official release. To this day, the film can only be viewed through bootleg VHS copies & less-than-legal YouTube uploads. There’s even a documentary in works called DOOMED!: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four (which I’m dying to see) that’s supposed to recount the entire troubled production & intentionally bungled release, which are, in short, a jumbled mess.

What’s most surprising about this mucked-up non-release is that it’s actually a really fun picture, much unlike the three adaptations that followed. Corman’s production ignores the insanely popular trend of Burton’s Batman pictures & intentionally reverts to a time when comic book movies were still made for children. 1994’s The Fantastic Four plays like a live-action Saturday morning cartoon. Even Dr. Doom’s surveillance setup & pack of obedient goons recalls the evil Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget more than it does any other villain I can name. Sure, the costumes & effects employed here were way behind the times even for 1994 & the film was easily distracted by subplots that involved not one, but two will-they-won’t-they love stories as well as some less than compelling & entirely tangential jewel thief goblins that must’ve wandered from the set of Ernest Scared Stupid by mistake, but that’s all part of the movie’s hokey charms.

When viewed as a children’s movie instead of how we think of modern superhero fare, Corman’s The Fantastic Four is a fun little modestly-budgeted movie. There are some great cheesy lines like “Hello, Mrs. Storm. Can Johnny & Susan go out into space with us?” & [flying a spaceship] “Using turn signal. Turning right.” The cheapness of some of the effects can be fun in a campy way, especially in the psychedelic outer space transformation scene where the group gains their powers (where the background looks like something you’d expect to be projected behind The Doors) & in Doom’s hand-drawn space palace. There’s also some really awkward twists on the Fantastic 4’s core members’ group dynamics, like in the revelation that Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards knew Susan “The Invisible Woman” Storm as a little girl who she had a crush on him (gross!), Ben “The Thing” Grimm’s self-hating depression cycles turning him into a silent film bum, and in an over-explained monologue that reveals that each of the 4’s powers are reflections of their personalities, (something that’s much more subtly hinted at or assumed in the films to follow). Corman’s stab at adapting The Fantastic 4 is far from a perfect picture, but it is at the very least a mildly enjoyable slice of mid-90s children’s media with a fascinating context given its troubled production & lack of an official release. That’s more than you can say for any of the other films listed here.

Fantastic 4 (2005)

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onehalfstar

If Corman’s goofy adaptation sorta worked in its decision to chase the goofy, kids’ media bent of the Fantastic 4 universe, the 2005 adaptation that it made possible fails miserably because it makes no decisions at all. The mid-00’s Fantastic 4 is remarkably bad, just awful. Even more-so, it’s a prime example of what’s terrible about Hollywood’s chase for the PG-13 movie, a grey blob of un-creativity meant more to hit every possible demographic in their wallets more than it is meant to entertain. It tries to mimic the childlike goofery of the Corman film in lines like “Why the long face?” (directed at a stretched-out Mr. Fantastic, of course) & “That’s my nose. This is my face, genius,” (in a scene where an invisible Sue Storm is being sloppily kissed, of course), but also attempts to appeal to salacious old men in a gag where Sue (played here by 00’s sexy symbol Jessica Alba) is left publicly embarrassed in her underwear, ripe for the oggling. The 2005 adptation has its foot one in, one out, trying to juggle Corman’s children’s movie with the adult Burton Batman aesthetic; it drops the ball on both ends.

One of the strangest aspects of the film is that even though it arrived with an outrageously larger budget more than a decade after Corman’s picture, its effects were not nearly as impressive. Corman’s The Fantastic Four may have looked cheap, but at least it looked cool. The only practical effects used in the 2005 film are in The Thing’s prosthetic costume, which I gotta admit I thought was kinda cool-looking in a hand-made way (although the awfulness of Michael Chiklis’ labored voice work ruined that effect). Everything else looked stuck in the late 90s, especially in the transformation scene where the crew mutates into their newly powerful bodies, where the CGI was barely a step above an old-school screensaver.

The CGI wasn’t the only thing stuck in the late 90s, either. Further solidifying the movie’s cynical grabs at the perfect PG-13 market, Fantastic 4 is crawling with dirt bikes, snowboards, pop punk, and antiquated rap rock, gasping its final breaths here in the twilight years of its heyday. Johnny “The Human Torch” Storm is essentially a live-action Poochie in his 2005 incarnation, appealing to all of the cool, radical kids out there who are too X-treme for the establishment. The movie also indulges in some X-treme marketing in a single, extended scene that finds room for ad placement for ESPN, The X Games, Red Bull, Burger King, Pepsi, Sobe, Mountain Dew, Dos Equis, and I’m sure I’m missing a few. It was dizzying. There’s something very telling in that sequence’s love for X-treme branding as nearly every minute of the movie that surrounds it feels just as hollow & desperate to make a buck.

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

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onestar

Despite the mixed reviews, narrative bankruptcy, and all-around awfulness of 2005’s Fantastic 4, it was still financially successful enough to garner a sequel. X-treme marketing really works, y’all! There’s a reason studios are chasing those sweet, sweet PG-13 bucks. Two years after Johnny Storm won The X-Games, Fantastic 4 returned to the silver screen, this time with a Silver Surfer in tow. The sequel is somehow even more awful & empty than the first, its narrative hinged on a much-delayed wedding between Mr. Fantastic & Sue Storm that no one could possibly care about. The Silver Surfer is an interesting character (voiced here by Lawrence Fishburn) who threatens to shake things up with his space alien aesthetics & threats of world destruction, but the movie is largely uninterested in this line of thought.

What it is interested in is repeating itself. Rather than trying to tell a worthwhile story about its titular villain , Rise of the Silver Surfer aims to tell more goofy jokes (with even fewer that land) and make room for more nonsensical asides, like in a sequence where Mr. Fantastic & The Thing both bust moves on the dance floor at a bachelor party for that all-important wedding, making me question the value of living another day . . . or at the very least watching another Fantastic 4 movie ever again. Besides some surprise cameos from folks like Brian Posehn & Kerry Washington (not to mention a not so surprise cameo from Stan Lee as himself, even though he played a mail man in the first film), Lawrence Fishburn’s competent voice work, and a needless sideplot where the 4’s powers are switched around in a gag that felt hokey even for Scooby-Doo (2002), there’s just really not much to distinguish this film from the first. It feels like an exact repeat of the not-at-all satisfying formula that came two years before, complete with yet another gag where Jessica Alba is left naked in public, complaining “Why does this always happen to me?” It’s a moment almost existential in its pleading desperationg, prompting me to ask it of myself as a member of the movie-going public. Why?, indeed Jessica. Why?

Fant4stic (2015)

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twostar

Although Corman’s Fantastic 4 film is the adaptation most widely known for its troubled production, the version that’s currently running in the theater may one day give it a run for its money. Although director Josh Trank won a lot of superhero fans over with his debut film Chronicle, they’ve quickly abandoned ship with the release of his much higher profile follow-up. To give you some perspective on just how much critical abuse the latest Fantastic 4 film is receiving, just take into consideration that it currently boasts a dismal 8% score on Rotten Tomatoes, while the much more infamously reviled (and not even officially released) Corman movie is carrying a 33% on the same site. According to Trank, the film’s problems could mostly be blamed on studio interference after 20th Century Fox reportedly hijacked the production in order to, in their eyes at least, limit damages & save face. It’s difficult to say if the final product would have been more successful if it were left completely in Trank’s hands, but there’s definitely enough going for it that indicates a decent Fantastic 4 film was at some point in the works here before it was hideously derailed. Trank claims that his original, unaltered cut of the film was a much better product than what was delivered, but that remains to be seen.

What actually reached theaters is not an entirely shoddy film, however. At least not in the first half. The beginnings of 2015’s Fant4stic (hey, if they’re going to spell their shit that way on the ads, they have to live with it) feels like a kids’ movie in a way very much unlike how Corman’s film did. The idea of children getting in over their heads while building teleportation devices in their garage using stacks of N64s and other dated electronics calls to mind a wonder-struck Spieldbergian kids’s flick or maybe Joe Dante’s Explorers or JJ Abrams’ Super 8. Much like with a lot of recent non-MCU superhero films, though, Trank’s Fant4stic succumbs to the mood-spoiling temptations of post-Dark Knight grittiness. During an early scene, The Thing’s family name “Grimm” flashes in neon, serving as an early warning of the Nolanisms to come. It might as well have read “Gloomm” or “Broodd”.

As the Spieldbergian tykes transform into disgruntled teenage nerds, the film gradually became a slog of very sciency lab montages, who-cares struggles with military figureheads, and knowing looks of teenage lust & self-hatred. This transformation wouldn’t be so bad if it actually built to something significant, but the film completely derails after the 4’s superpower-gaining transformation scene and never really gets started in any significant way. In short, it’s a total nonstarter. By the end credits, reminders of flashes of promise in the film’s cast, which included Miles Teller, Tim Heidecker and (voice of Homer Simpson) Dan Castanella feel so distant that they’re almost unbelievable. I was left in the darkened theater with one all-consuming thought: “What happened?”

The two characters that are seemingly hardest to get right on film are The Thing & Dr. Doom. Part of what makes the newest Fantastic 4 film so frustrating is that it gets them both so horribly wrong. The Thing’s 100% CGI body is much more of a yawn than his practical effects looks in the earlier films & his silly/infamous “It’s clobbering time!” catchphrase is one of the Nolan-spoiled elements in play, as it is delivered by a physically abusive family member (whereas in the other film’s it’s first heard as a cheeky action movie one-liner or through the speakerbox of an action figure). Also bungled here is Doom. In all craptastic four films listed here, Doom is burdened by the prolonged build of the origin story format and, thus, afforded very little time to rock his metal face & hooded cape look. He gets the most screentime in Corman’s film, but even then he’s often obscured by that behind-the-chair Dr. Claw angle. In the 2015 version, since Doom isn’t shown in his full glory until very late in the film, audiences mostly know him as an angry Redditter type, the kind who rarely bathes & is very concerned with the “ethics in gaming journalism” or whatever. He’s grotesquely misused.

Perhaps the absurdity of Stan Lee’s & Jack Kirby’s collaborative aesthetics are just too at-war with our current Dark Knight gloominess. The most enjoyable moments of the latest Fantastic 4 film are when it reverts back to the childlike wonder wholeheartedly embraced in Corman’s adaptation. There’s even a couple full-on goofy moments, like with Johnny Storm’s X-treme love of Fast & Furious style street racing, or the way Sue Storm’s energy shield is at one point employed as a Hamster Ball of Justice. For the most part, though, the movie is sank by a crushing lack of imagination despite its high concept & well known characters. Watching the Fantastic 4 waste their time in the alternate greenscreen universe of Planet Zero or buck against the tedium of government interference is way more of a chore than it should be, very far removed from the unhinged silliness that made Corman’s film mostly enjoyable. I don’t think the 8% score on the Tomatometer is accurately indicative of the film’s overall quality, as it was a much better picture than the X-Treme branding of 2005’s picture & its weak echo of a sequel, but it does reflect a frustration I personally felt. The first half held so much promise. The second delivered so, so little.

-Brandon Ledet