Wednesday 28 January 2015

The Distinctly Average Four coming to cinemas soon

So Fox finally released a trailer for the radically re-imagined Fantastic Four movie they're releasing later this year and, to be perfectly honest I am trying to have an opinion on this thing but it just ain't happening. I thought I had an opinion a couple of times then I realised it was just general foreboding unsupported by anything in the actual trailer.

There is this general tendency, in the wake of the Marvel-Disney movies, to just prejudge based on the name of the studio. Marvel-Disney? Yay! Sony? Blecch. Warner Bros.? Unless its a Batman movie, cue quiet despair. None of these conclusions are completely divorced from evidence but it is worryingly tribal and reductive. Fox sits somewhere in the middle of the scale thanks to the X-Men movies which swing from great to terrible with a fair amount of good enough mixed in.

When I try to judge this trailer as a trailer... well, there's a generic portentous voiceover; a lot of hero shots of the new, young, “sexy”, marginally more diverse Fantastic Four and a lot of random laboratory set dressing. Nothing grabbed me like Henry Cavill's Superman leaping into the Antarctic sky, Black Widow jumping out of a moving plain on a motorcycle (can we please have a movie starring this woman, Marvel?) or Magneto and Xavier's moral philosophy in X-Men: First Class's trailer.

It just looked wilfully generic, probably because they're still filming re-shoots so they might be consciously avoiding putting anything meaningful up in case it changes. Wow, doesn't that make this sound like a movie you want to see?

To be fair, the first of Sony's Fantastic Four movies is on my list of all time “missing the point” films, reducing the epic clash of egos and philosophies between Reed Richards and Doctor Doom to fighting over a woman. Other films in this list include David Lynch's Dune (because of Irulan's reduced role), The Last Airbender (because of everyone's reduced role) and The Amazing Spider-Man (because watching Michael Sheen delivering that incoherent, rambling speech that so consciously doesn't include the words “with great power comes great responsibility” is almost physically painful to me).

Still, bring it on Sony, show me what you got and we'll see how it stacks up against the last few attempt. 

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