Fantastic Four (2015)
Brad Wenzel Raves:
Fantastic Four is about the origin of the Fantastic Four. If you want to see a bunch of nerds and one cool black guy get super powers… This is the movie for you.
Miles Teller plays Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) a child genius, who from an early age is determined to build a transporter. He becomes friends with Ben Grimm (The Thing) played by Jamie Bell. Ben is just a stupid, non-genius child. Over the years, they continue to work on their transporter idea and make some headway. However, high school is no picnic for these two. Sometimes you invent a machine that can transport matter through thin air, but your teacher dismisses it as “magic” and storms off. You know how teachers can be.
Even though Reed attends a high school that thinks science is magic, he catches a break when a man named Mr. Allen takes an interest in his work. Mr. Allen whisks Reed away to the big city to join his two kids, Sue (The Invisible Woman) and Johnny (The Human Torch) to complete the transporter as a team. Also working with them is a young, angsty scientist named Victor von Doom. Wait a second… That’s five young people. Is this the Fantastic Five? Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but a team member with a particularly sinister name does not make the final squad.
Reed’s friend Ben actually doesn’t get to work on the project because he’s a big dumb dumb. Fortunately, there’s no hard feelings and Ben is just happy that Reed made it out of their crummy neighborhood. It’s fun to pretend this script started as a sequel to Good Will Hunting and went off the rails.
The transporter functions as a gateway between Earth and mysterious new world called “Planet Zero”. Same refreshing planet taste, without the calories.
The team gets their powers because they get drunk and decide to go poke around Planet Zero. Well, the whole team with the exception of Sue. The Invisible Woman wasn’t there for that party… OR WAS SHE???
*She wasn’t. She didn’t have her powers yet. Sorry about all this.
You know who does get an invite? That big dummy Ben because when you’re in the Fantastic Four it’s all about, “Bros before female scientists” Anyway, things get weird and these five young people end up with super powers.
Tobey Kebbell as Dr. Doom kind of nails the villain thing. When the drunken expedition goes awry, Sue manages to transport the rest of the team back to Earth, but Victor is left behind on Planet Zero. During his time on the desolate planet, he turns into a real dick and somehow gets a shawl. When he returns to Earth, he kills a bunch of people and says annoying stuff like “There is no Victor, there is only Doom.” He’s like an annoying college sophomore who got really into nihilism and started wearing a shawl.
Brad Wenzel Scathes:
It was about time they let a black guy play the human torch, but there was still room for diversity in this cast. The mis-casting of one character in-particular may have been the downfall of this entire film. It is very obvious to me that The Thing should have been portrayed by half-black, half-Samoan, former WWE champion, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The Thing is a rock and The Rock is a thing. Dwayne Johnson could have brought some serious charisma to this character. That’s right, The Thing should have been played by Dwayne Johnson, but specifically channeling his wrestling persona. People’s eyebrow? Fuck yeah. Using pie as a euphemism for eating pussy? Of course. Casting The Rock as The Thing would have laid the SmackDown on the box office.
This film also highlighted the origin of the Thing’s catchphrase, “It’s Clobbering Time!”. Turns out that The Thing’s abusive older brother use to throw that gem around. See, it’s not that it’s a cheesy… It’s that it’s very,very sad. Also, I’m sorry to keep harping on this, but you know who has a plethora of great catchphrases? The Rock. I mean seriously, what the fuck? The Rock doesn’t turn things down. You just didn’t ask him.
I won’t tell you exactly how the movie ends, but I will tell you they name the group Fantastic Four strictly because of alliteration (not a joke).
Brad Wenzel Rates It: Five Stars?
*Originally published August 15, 2015
Brad Wenzel is a comedian. Follow him on twitter: @BradWenzel