I love comic book movies. I admit it wholeheartedly. The Dark Knight is the undisputed king whilst the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a fun and wholly impressive canon of success, with the much anticipated Captain America: Civil War embracing our screens in the near future. One thing that I am not a fan of however is the comic books themselves with none having the pulling power of gaining my attention away from the live-action adaptations that are constantly engrained on us from the small screen to the big and onto the page of their most original and truest form. Strange I know, but keeping up with Arrow, The Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and many, many more is exhausting enough. With that in mind, the arrival of Deadpool is somewhat something of a enigma. Sure, I know that this particular superhero is not exactly adhering to the notion of being very super, more anti-hero, more foe than friend with a knack of swearing at you and laughing rather then actually lending a hand, but in all honesty. sounds a bit Kick-Ass meets The Punisher with a hint of V For Vendetta doesn’t it? Without the political intrigue of course. In that regard, not being part of the hardcore comic book fan-club left me in a state of open-mindedness heading into Deadpool, with the film in the end being another case of superhero origin with added violence, swearing and fourth-wall breaking in an attempt to distinguish itself from other and ultimately, better examples of the genre. Please don’t hate me, I’m vulnerable.
Deciding to flesh out the story of Wade Wilson in a non-linear fashion in which we essentially witness the beginnings of the final showdown within the first few minutes, Deadpool can be seen as adhering more towards the B-Movie end of the cinematic spectrum, with ramped up violence taking precedent over true substance whilst adolescent jokes and endless resorts to swearing paint over the rather shallow origin story, something of which has become ever-increasingly tiresome in an age where comic book movies are indeed the top of Hollywood’s wish list. A guy meets a girl. A guy gets screwed over. A guy loses girl. Guy takes revenge. With violence, lot’s of violence. Not exactly the hallmark of a masterpiece but indeed something of a 90 minute Roger Corman-esque, culty B-Movie, except with a 58 million dollar budget at its disposal, all of which will no doubt please the comic-book loving masses, but for the lay viewer, leaves nothing but a gaping whole of mediocrity. Ryan Reynolds is good as the titular anti-hero whilst Morena Baccarin tries her best to break type of the two-dimensional superhero girlfriend, but the real winner here once again is Marvel, with them giving exactly what the fans wanted in creating a movie that specifically will be meant for them. As for me, it’s just not that special but I can see why many will love it and see it as the best thing since sliced bread. Not amazing, but enjoyable nonetheless, Deadpool goes in one ear and carves its’ way out the other in the most violent and adolescent way possible, laughing all the way.
Dan’s Score: 6/10
Unlike Dan, I love my comic books. My only issue is the moths fluttering out of my wallet when ever I open it up. As far as Marvel goes, I’m very much into The Amazing Spider-Man but Deadpool has been a character that I’ve known and loved for years, whose comics have been out of my reach for quite sometime. Excerpts and clippings surface everywhere and I enjoy every one of them. This passion only increased when the test footage leaked. It depicted the character I had envisioned and Ryan Reynolds sold it. To be brief, for me, the movie is a resounding success. An action “hero” movie with a lot of flair. On the other hand, I vehemently dislike the TV shows. If you’re looking for corny action scenes, sup-par acting, low-budget visual and god awful cinematography, comic book TV shows really are right up your street. I cannot watch these without cringing. Arrow’s voice changer is enough to make me spit out my drink in laughter.
But I digress. That isn’t why we’re here. Sure, its an origin movie, but its an origin movie with a difference. It appealed to the comic book lovers. It depicts the world correctly and is incredibly meta. The story and process of what made him into Deadpool is a very dark tale and sure, some of the usual action movie tropes are thrown in but throwing such a diverse character into a lead role and not giving this vital information would mean that the movie wouldn’t have traction with the audience and would be a confusing mess. Throwing him into some world ending, overly convoluted story would guarantee its’ death, but also shit over the character. As for its opening scene, I felt it was necessary to use this footage sooner rather than later. Being that it was in the test footage that millions viewed, its only reasonable to show that footage first so you aren’t left waiting for it throughout.
As for the violence, I cannot see an issue with it. It was creative, exciting, vivid and extremely funny. Giggling like a schoolgirl throughout, I couldn’t recommend it more to fans of action flicks and even more so to comic book fans. I have to disagree with Dan. (If you’d like to know more, jump over to our Youtube channel where we shall be talking about this soon!). The only real glaring issues I had with the film was the CGI backgrounds. They lacked the fidelity and sharpness I would have liked and the soundtrack is a little lacking. Apart from that, its everything I could have hoped for and more.
Pete’s Score: 9/10
Dan – With my local multiplex offering the chance to watch a preview screening of Marvel’s new offering in the form of Fantastic Four, a reboot of the widely panned Chris Evans/Jessica Alba films released ten and eight years ago respectively, it was one of the rare occasions in which I went into a high-profile release without a sense of whether it was set to be a masterpiece or a complete turkey due to the miracle that is social media, something of which I believe results in a much more reliable and fresh opinion in one’s opinion of that film. One thing that has always impressed me about the abundance of Marvel movie releases and the subsequent Cinematic Universe, harking back to the release of Iron Man in 2008, is that throughout its long list of releases, all the films within such a universe have always tended to be in the positive spectrum when it comes to a critical stance, where although some are much better than others (The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy), nearly all have also been rather solid, if rather formulaic, without one seemingly sticking out and declaring itself as the black sheep of the bunch. With the release of Fantastic Four however, although not being a part of the MCU in terms of the bigger picture, it seems that this particular run of good Marvel fortune has seemingly come to an end, with Josh Trank’s reboot being a complete mess from beginning to end, resulting in a movie on par with the widely panned original releases ten years previous.
When boy genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller, Whiplash) is given the opportunity to further his studies into the boundaries between parallel dimensions by Professor Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards), he and his team of like-minded scientists including Sue Storm (Kate Mara, House of Cards), Johnny Storm (Micheal B. Jordan, Chronicle) and the reluctant Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell, Dead Man’s Shoes) successfully gain access to the parallel world known simply as “Planet Zero”. One drunken night, Reed, Johnny, Victor and close friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell, Jumper), decide to be the first to venture into the unknown plant and inadvertently witness Victor seemingly fall to his death, whilst bringing back with them a range of powers that have not only changed their own genetic structure, but that of Sue who was attempting to help them return from Planet Zero. With their new-found powers and abilities, the team not only must adjust to their radical changes, but the threat of impending doom from something they thought they had once lost but has now returned with a vengeance. So, in terms of the premise of Fantastic Four, it is pretty much what we all expected, with a redesign of the origin of our four main heroes and an influence of their biggest enemy, Doctor Doom, in an attempt to give them their first taste of heroism, all of which was given away in the rather overplayed trailers. So with a solid, if rather unsurprising, story to helm it, Fantastic Four was never set to be anything as good as previous superhero entries but the completed picture can only be classed as something of a complete disaster with a wide range of faults and issues that succeed only in making it one of the biggest disappointments of the year so far.
With recent superhero movies attempting to redesign the notion of what such a film entails, helped by the success, both critically and financially of The Dark Knight trilogy, Fantastic Four seemingly has decided to completely disregard such ideas, with the added depth that has been highly prevalent in recent comic-related movies missing entirely, resulting in characters that I don’t overly care for and a story that is completely off the chains to say the least in terms of its’ narrative structure and discipline, evidenced by a final act that not only is rushed completely off its’ feet, but has no dramatic or logical impact whatsoever aside from the fact that a big-budget Hollywood movie like this has to have at least some sort of scene whereby destruction and only destruction is the key concept. I mean come on guys, did your editing or production team simply bypass watching the film as a whole before releasing it, or were they just not bothered about the critical appeal of such a film and instead took the Micheal Bay approach in that big explosions and fire results in making big money? Well if that is the case, unfortunately for you, Fantastic Four will not take Avengers-like levels of cash and instead will only be seen for what it is; a fantastic disaster from start to finish which not only will anger cinema viewers who will no doubt pay to witness such drivel, but the Marvel fans who were waiting for at last a solid take on one of their most beloved comic creations, something of which they definitely did not get this time around.
Adding to the mediocrity of Fantastic Four is its’ fundamental contradictory in what it wants to see itself as. Is it a dark, adult, comic film in similar vein to Watchmen, or instead a light-hearted, comedic take on the superhero movie like Guardians of the Galaxy? Too many times the film seemingly flipped in and out of its’ true intentions with cheesy one liners being offset with scenes of shocking violence whilst the calm and collective beginning being transposed with a shoddy collapse at the films’ conclusion all resulting in a film, which although must have had good intentions, seemingly being made without a care in the world, something of which angers me deeply as lover of film. The one saving grace of the film? The cast, with Miles Teller leading the way in doing the best he can with the script he was handed, whilst it is good to see Reg E. Cathey getting more of a shot in Hollywood after his heart-braking performances in House of Cards. But in terms of the good, that’s just about it. Ironically, director Josh Trank has come out this week stating that the reason for Fantastic Four sucking so much is due to the input and influence of 20th Century Fox, and that his version would be receiving much better reviews if not for their desire to edit and change. Well Mr, Trank, if that is the case then you have my sympathies, but for now we are left with a shoddy, out-of-place, disaster-ridden raspberry that not only will be quickly forgotten, but will hopefully be lost in the vaults of cinema completely and left to die along with its’ equally as bad predecessors ten years previous. Want my advice? Watch Ant-Man again.
Dan’s Overall Score: 3/10
Pete – Lets put it this way, Fantastic 4 is as fantastic as an empty bottle of Fanta filled with lukewarm piss. Its as if Josh Trank wanted to make the worst Marvel movie in history. How someone can actually enjoy this, I will never know. We can’t even class it as a child’s entrance film into the MCU because there is so little substance, you may as well let your kid watch paint dry.
Let me make one thing clear, these actors suck. They suck more than Kim Kardashian. The casting was just awful. Pretty much every incarnation I’ve seen of FF source material has involved adults. The group were of a serious age to be taking part in space age opportunities, not borderline psychopathic children that where clichés from High School Musical. The teen angst drips from this and it has to be one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching. Oh, big spoiler here, Doom dies. Deader than a doornail. Sucked into some power hunger hole that tore him into pieces and it was probably for the best. Hopefully he will never come back to grace the screen with his awful costume that looked more like a morph suit than it did the real Doom. Don’t insult the source material with such an awful depiction. Although, this is honestly the only action that happens in the film. The last 10 minutes of the film is occupied with it while the rest of the experience is tortuous attempts at storytelling.
Dan speaks of the indecisiveness of the plot from gritty and dark to ‘comedy’ and I couldn’t agree more. Every attempt at character development was removed, deaths were played off as something not relevant and these “incredibly smart children” are fucking morons. I’ve watched many movies in my time and more so with the creation of this blog but I don’t think I’ve ever felt like throwing faeces at the screen and swinging out like fucking Tarzan 10 minutes into a film. Sure, The Counsellor was bad, like real bad; but Christ, at least they tried.
You know what made it worse? The acting. Even the extras were awful. Often you would catch one staring at the camera lens like its some sort of mythical creature with a creepy grin slapped across their face. Obviously they’re just extras who somehow landed a quick role in the flick but when the main cast can’t type on a keyboard in a convincing manner, is almost an indefinite sign that they have no idea what they’re doing. At least put a little effort into what you are ‘doing’. Perhaps write an essay on how you’re such a terrible actor and that you really don’t want to be on a film that everyone will see because you don’t want your reputation to sink any further into the precipice of Josh Trank’s vacant mind than it already has.
I’m not going to argue against Dan. I’m in fact, going to congratulate him on such restraint. The awful composition, shots, music, story, acting, character development, design and visuals were trash for a Marvel film. Perhaps if 20th Century Fox actually worked with Marvel on this, we could have finally got the FF we deserve but noooooo. I’m almost tempted not to give this a score. Giving it score would acknowledge is actually exists and I don’t feel like it even deserves that. Dan’s score says it all and heed these words, we do not want another. I saw you had it scheduled, stop it. Now. For the love of god, kill it off now and please don’t fuck up X-men…
OVERALL SCORE – 3/10 – DO NOT WATCH
Earlier today we Brits were treated to the release of yet another Marvel movie! This instalment of Thor details the resurgence of the Dark Elves – a race who ruled the universe in complete darkness and seek to bring back the black with the use of a super weapon which does a lot of complicated science stuff. So, we have more aliens fighting alien. I always feel that this is what makes Thor shine. It’s not always bound to saving earth. It’s a much wider aspect that opens up far more avenues for high octane fun. With a mix of brilliant cameos and sassy jokes, Thor is definitely a must-see.
As I’ve already explained the story, I don’t feel much need to complain about it. With a lot of twists and turns, you are drawn into the story, even if moments are predictable. Being that it is a Marvel movie, it is going to have the good vs bad which drives the story forward even if it feels a little generic.
Visually, it was almost perfect. ALMOST. Certain green screen scenes and long distance shots made characters stick out like a sore thumb, overly bright in a dark area and this really agitated me. The same could be said about some of the fight sequences that do exactly the same. Otherwise there are some brilliant visual effects all the way through astonishing costume design that makes everything look badass.
Marvel are not known for Oscar worthy scripts and acting but it wasn’t bad. Yeah, there was a few cheesy lines but they were mixed in with witty one-liners that were very funny and kept a continual up beat feeling throughout. The sassy nature of Loki with his banter towards Thor is golden. It helps to enforce the fact that they are siblings. This sassy nature also uses Loki’s power to transform himself into Captain America and spout excitable, patriotic nonsense which he is notorious for but also makes Loki look like he is trying to impress his older brother. With another guest appearance from Stan Lee, the film seems complete. The only other thing to focus on is the acting. Hemsworth and Hiddleston were perfect, as ever. My issue rides with Natalie Portman who plays a pretty pathetic character in the first place but she doesn’t look genuine – almost uncomfortable in her role. Fear ends up looking more like shock. An additional actor that many people don’t really focus on when they think Thor is Idris Elba. If you haven’t read my Pacific Rim review, you should know that I love this man and I feel he didn’t have a big enough role within this film and I wanted to see what happened to him at the end.
Overall, I consider a 8/10 a good score. It’s a darker and more personal twist for Thor to undertake and appears to be the current trend at Marvel (Look at Iron Man). Yet, some acting, some poor CGI and a few loose ends within the story do drag it down for me. Superhero/action movies will never achieve a 10/10, simply because they are more for fun rather than the critical film making that many critics desire.
I’m sorry for such a short and crazy review but seeing I’m running on 5 hours sleep and trying to keep up with everything that’s going on is not an easy task.