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Those of you that missed out on Fantastic Four earlier this summer, or knew that it was in cinemas but wisely made the choice to completely ignore that it even existed, probably won’t realize just how much of a mess the Fox blockbuster was. Sure, the fact that it only grossed $168 million and currently has a 10% percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes is proof of its failure, but you really had to sit down and feel time slip past you while you endured the colossal mess to understand its awfulness. Honest Trailers’ savaging of Fantastic Four does a pretty good job of that, though.
John Trank, who was handed the responsibility of directing Fantastic Four after his stellar work on Chronicle, had insisted that he did just as good a job on his follow-up. In fact, to prove to fans how good his work on Fantastic Four really was, Josh Trank decided on the eve of its release he’d release a specifically worded Tweet that would surmise where exactly the film went wrong in 140 characters or less. It carefully explained, "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."
Unfortunately people didn’t quite get the gist of what Trank was aiming for, and instead, as Honest Trailers points out, they focused on the fact that his reboot was somehow completely different to Tim Story’s campy Fantastic Four films of the mid-00s but still just as awful. Which really was quite a feat.
In the end, there are plenty of different reasons to focus on for why Fantastic Four failed. You could pinpoint the complete lack of energy that exists between the leading foursome. Or the fact that the quartet are never actually referred to by their collective, famous name, or their just as iconic individual monikers. Or, you could just blame the film’s awful incarnation of Dr. Doom, as well as its chaotic finale that just dissolves into a dark, furious mess. Personally, I blame the lack of Stan Lee for all of its shortcomings. That seems like the easiest thing to do.
And with news that Fantastic Four 2 has basically been canned being reported this morning, all we can do now is patiently wait for Fox to reach the same conclusion that we all came to months ago, which is to just sell the franchise to Marvel, who can then do something actually productive with it.