How does one write a review about nothing? How can one convey what is essentially a two-hour void of existence? How does one manage to summarize an experience that is truly, completely empty? How?
The Fantastic Four is a movie. It is in English, and all of the sound is audible. If you go to the theater and pay ten bucks, you can sit in a dark room and there will be images in front of you. Ostensibly, these images and sounds are connected in order to make “scenes”; some say that since there are enough of these “scenes” touching each other, Fantastic Four should be considered a “feature-length motion picture” with a “story”.
In these “scenes”, you can see recognizable human forms and faces without even squinting. Big ones, too. Some of them wear awful blond wigs through the second half of the film, as if it was shot over a year after the original half in an attempt to salvage what must have been some godawful wreckage. Which is funny, because if the second half of this movie is a rescue mission, it’s akin to sending ice floes to the survivors of the Titanic.
There is talking in this movie! Oh, boy, is there talking in this movie. If you like people talking, this is the movie of the year for you. People talk about how smart Miles Teller is. People talk about this guy Victor Von Doom, whose name apparently does not set off any alarm bells. People give inspirational speeches about teamwork and family. Halfway through the movie, it looks like something exciting is going to happen–and there’s even special effects!
But no. That would have been too interesting. Just as our brain waves were about to emerge from comatose levels, it’s right back to a whole lotta nuthin’. Oh, sure, there’s a fight scene at the end, just like every other superhero movie, but it comes completely out of left field–much like the team working together (or hating each other, depending on the scene)–or the villain, who shows up with ten minutes left in the show as if the production had finally realized that there was absolutely no conflict in the film whatsoever.
Which, quite honestly, is the crux of the problem: Fantastic Four is a nothing movie where nothing happens. There is no conflict. There is no consistent logic or narrative structure. Events occur because they do. Characters incredulously morph into various two-dimensional stereotypes based on what the scenes call for. The story moves at an absolutely glacial pace that makes Satantango look like an Avengers tie-in. Worst of all, everything runs on the sort of “and then…and then…and then…” logic of the stories that that one friend-of-a-friend tells you at parties.
You could go see Fantastic Four. You could also hide ten dollars from yourself and stare off into space for two hours. You could even take that friend out for lunch and start the conversation with, “So, what’s new with you?” By gum, at least in that case you’ll get some food out of the deal.