My thoughts on the “Fantastic Four” (2015) trailer

After many months of rumors (from BleedingC- er, Latino R-, uh, entertainment websites), premature hatred (from rabid Fantastic Four fans – wait, there are Fantastic Four fans?), and me silently snickering at the fact that Fox went against decades of comic book history just to turn a man who can set himself on fire black (because I truly am a horrible person), the first official trailer for 2015’s Fantastic Four (reportedly subtitled We’re Sorry For the First Two Movies) has finally been released.

Here it is:

It seems to be heavily based on the Ultimate universe’s Fantastic Four, which means that the movie takes inspiration from the iteration of Marvel’s First Family that belongs to a world closer to reality (i.e. full of assholes).

The basic premise remains the same, at least. Four intrepid young adventurers – Reed Richards (Miles Teller), a science buff with about as much personality as a hangnail; Susan Storm (Kate Mara), his supportive and oft-neglected love interest; Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), her hotheaded brother; and Benjamin J. Grimm (Jamie Bell), Reed’s best friend/bodyguard by default – embark on a dangerous quest (in the name of SCIENCE!, of course) that rewards each of them with the ability to stretch, turn invisible, spontaneously combust, and look like a walking mass of fossilized dinosaur crap, respectively.

The trailer starts off by combining a bunch of nice shots of a city, some mountains, and what appears to be Ben Grimm’s house/workshop with a decidedly not-Morgan-Freeman voice-over that talks about how human beings like inventing things and other profound stuff.

At around the 0:25 mark, the trailer suddenly realizes that it isn’t an advertisement for Interstellar, so we get a glimpse of younger versions of Ben (covering his ears and looking very troubled) and Reed (breathing heavily and looking like he’s about a few test tube strokes short of a SCIENCE! orgasm) engaging in a home experiment that would most likely end in some form of explosion. I don’t know.

We then see four chambers with spacesuits inside them (foreshadowing – or should I say, FOURshadowing! A-hyuck, a-hyuck) inside what appears to be a government facility. Afterwards, we see a bunch of high-ranking military officials and suits staring at schematics that I’m willing to bet Stan Lee’s left nut they absolutely do not understand.

Cut to Reed walking across an observatory and looking absolutely stunned at all the machinery around him, Sue presumably playing Galaga on some kind of sophisticated equipment, Ben getting ready to either play ball or whack a bastard’s noggin, and Johnny covered in soot while touching up his car.

Heh.

johnny storm fantastic four

I am so going to hell for that.

Cut to the four putting on the spacesuits we saw earlier and getting into the pods (which, if they’d bothered to watch The Fly, they should have realized was a terrible idea) and Miles Teller closing his eyes behind the eyeglasses he naturally forgot to remove.

Hey, it’s a government facility conducting an official experiment in a controlled environment. This isn’t like that adorably kooky origin story from 1961 where Reed (that ol’ card) somehow convinces the other three to break into a high-security launch site and steal a rocket for an experimental joyride. Nothing could possibly go wrong here, right?

fantastic four

Sigh.

Of course something had to go wrong; otherwise, we wouldn’t have much of a story to work with, and we’d be stuck watching The Perfectly Normal and Unremarkable Four or something. Here’s where things start getting interesting: we see an assortment of scenes that feature a flash of light going off in the middle of the city, the four inside their space suits climbing up a mountain, Sue crying, Johnny bursting into flame, Reed stretching his left arm, and what may be the most, uh, unique Thing transformation sequence yet.

thing fantastic four

“I *told* Reed that the recipe called for four cups of water, not two! Nobody ever listens to me!”

Cue the new Fantastic Four logo:

fantastic four human torch thing mr. fantastic invisible woman

Really? “FANT4STIC”? What is this, 1999?

We then get to hear Reed being warned to prepare for what’s coming… And we get our first-ever shot of the new Fantastic Four’s costumed butts, side by side.

fantastic four thing human torch mr fantastic invisible woman

Behold: pants-less Thing! So *that’s* what Reed had to beware of.

My thoughts:

1. I like how they didn’t show Dr. Doom (or whatever he’s going to be called in this film) yet. I kind of want to be surprised. I don’t know how they’ll work the face mask into this, but I really hope they do.

2. It seems a lot more serious than the first two Fantastic Four films – a step in the right direction, I suppose, as it worked for X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since both franchises supposedly exist in a shared universe, this can only mean good things. I hope.

3. I was never really bothered by the Human Torch’s race change (didn’t stop me from noticing the inherent hilarity of a black actor being cast as the feisty flamehead, though). I’m in the “let’s wait and see if this turns out to be a good thing” camp, partly because I was so impressed by Michael Clarke Duncan’s take on the traditionally white Kingpin in the Daredevil movie.

4. This feels more like a science fiction thriller than a superhero film, which to my recollection is exactly what the filmmakers had in mind. I hope this yields positive results for all parties involved (read: I hope it doesn’t suck).

I’m looking forward to seeing this film – I don’t hate the trailer at all (in fact, I enjoyed it quite a bit), and I really hope that people would give this film a chance before knocking it.

Fantastic Four leaps from the Negative Zone to the silver screen on August 7, 2015.

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