– by Joseph Jammer Medina

When a film studio refuses to let critics post reviews of their films until opening day, it’s never a good sign. It typically means, “We know the movie stinks, but we don’t want you to sound the alarm yet. Let us have our best shot at a strong opening weekend before everyone hears what a turd we’ve delivered.” Such was the case with Fantastic Four, which Fox had placed a review embargo on. Looks like some people just didn’t care, and the dam that is holding back the wave of words written about this film is cracking. What do the first gushes of water that have made it through say? And how much longer until the entire dam just gives way? 

Let’s have a look:

So far, Rotten Tomatoes has 10 reviews up for Fantastic Four. Not enough to form any kind of consensus, of course, but there is some heft to these reviews. The 10 reviews so far include critics from trusted industry names like The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and The Wrap. 

What’s The Buzz?

THR says the film “proves maddeningly lame and unimaginative.”

Variety adds, “All told, the movie feels like a protracted teaser for a more exciting follow-up that, depending on whether audiences warm to this relatively low-key approach, might never happen.

Guardian chimes in, “The cast are some of the most promising actors of their generation, but what chemistry there is between them is swept away by wave after wave of expository dialogue and ludicrous exclamation (“His biochemistry is off the charts!”)

The Wrap sums up their disappointment by saying, “It’s one thing for a movie to leave you wanting a sequel and quite another to make you wish you were watching that sequel instead.”

Even Digital Spy, whose review is notched in the “Positive” column, says “It’s a muddled and underdeveloped origin story which segues jarringly from light-hearted adventure to heavy-handed grit, grasping for a gravitas that it hasn’t earned.”

What To Make Of The Buzz:

The general idea, from those that have published reviews so far, is that the film is one long set up for something that never comes. These folks feel like the film is all groundwork with no payoff. While the cast gets mostly praised for doing the best it could do, the film is being described as one big wasted opportunity. 

One undercurrent of several of the reviews is this feeling that director Josh Trank got steamrolled by the studio. People seem to get this feeling that the film suffered, perhaps, from “too many cooks in the kitchen” and that the innovative vision he brought to his debut Chronicle was stifled by a studio that was more interested in creating a tentpole franchise. 

As of now, the film stands at a Rotten 20%. Let’s see how things progress as more reviews see the light of day.

I counted myself amongst the few that were cautiously optimistic about the Fantastic Four reboot. I’ll be keeping an eye on the buzz throughout the next 48 hours to see if it’s worth checking out. 

How about you?

SOURCE: Rotten Tomatoes

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.