Fantastic Four is a Worse Movie Than Pixels, According to Critics
Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes are not the end-all way to know if a movie is good or worth watching. They’re just tools to maybe point you in the right direction, but sometime that direction is so definitive and so utterly depressing that it’s impossible to ignore as less than a suggestion. It’s crazy to say, but Fantastic Four is apparently worse than Adam Sandler’s riotously, offensively bad Pixels.
On Metacritic the films are tied at a comical 27. On Rotten Tomatoes, Pixels, after 125 counted reviews, stands at 18 percent. Fantastic Four, after 102 reviews, is at a 10 percent. For me, it’s the absolute zero score from Rolling Stone’s often breezy Peter Travers, who writes, “A gifted young cast (Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan) has been hired to freshen the plot, like an old whore trying to pass as jailbait. No go.” That hammering you just heard was the nail going into the coffin.
This is news for a number of reasons. The first and most finite conclusion to make is that Sandler might actually avoid winning himself a Razzie this year. Even though the buzz and anticipation for Fantastic Four were relatively low for a comic book movie, it seems the explosive level of disappointment on viewing has somehow caused critics to walk out of the theater in an even more cynical mood than after Sandler’s perverting of beloved 80’s video games.
But how else can we make the absolute most out of the absolute worst? Well, director Josh Trank, who made his critically successful directorial debut with the subversively non-heroic super hero movie Chronicle, is playing defense in a big way. According to multiple sources, he posted a now-removed tweet:
“A year ago I had a fantastic version of this and it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.” (Thanks, IGN, for keeping the tweet alive).
In other words, “blame Fox for screwing up my movie. Somebody please hire me again.” The man has greatness in him. Chronicle was his baby. Fantastic Four is just a doomed intellectual property (the previous Fox-produced films rated better, but just barely), and the poor quality of this film mirrors what happened with the Spider-Man reboot series, when Sony ventured to just poop out some films to hold on to the film rights to the characters. Marvel is just waiting in the wings to corral all of its character’s back into the stable. Unlike the much stronger superhero film franchise X-Men, however, Fox just can’t seem to get Fantastic Four right, which brings us to another potential comparison to Spider-Man.
Maybe this is when we finally see Fox just completely give up on the property and let the contract run its course. Sony came to terms with the awfulness of its most recent version of Spider-Man and decided to give Marvel a call. The character will now appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, among his greatest friends, though Sony still owns the film rights for the wallcrawler. With the comparably worse outcome of 2015’s Fantastic Four, it might see its way back to Marvel completely.
Oh wait, Fox already did that with Daredevil following Ben Affleck’s take on the character. And just this year we got the compelling Netflix series for the blind lawyer in Hell’s Kitchen, produced by Marvel.
Would that be such a bad fate for the Fantastic Four? Maybe a more drawn-out TV series is exactly what the character-filled property needs. Maybe not. Maybe it should just go away forever and concede greatness to the Avengers.
And in the motherload of ironies, Sandler is doing four movies for Netflix too. It all comes back to streaming, people. It’s the future of humanity and superhero properties that nobody knows what to do with. Stay tuned next year for the standalone Captain Marvel series and the Punisher on season two of Daredevil.