Thursday, January 29, 2015

Editorial: Fantastic Four (2015) Teaser Trailer Breakdown

20th Century Fox has just released a trailer for their upcoming reboot of the Fantastic Four. Surrounded by the mega-hype of the Avengers sequel, the Superman/Batman crossover, and the fact that Ant-Man’s movie was apparently filmed when no one was looking, Fantastic Four has slipped relatively under the radar, emerging only to respond to people’s complaints about how the movie’s taking more than a few “creative liberties” with the source material, like Dr. Doom being a blogger/hacker named Victor Domashev, the team being teenagers, and the Human Torch being black. I’ll be addressing that last issue in an upcoming post. For now, let’s break this trailer down and see what’s in store for Marvel’s First Family.

The trailer opens with some gentle piano music, as someone who I can only presume is Dr. Storm, Susan and Johnny’s dad, speaks.

Dr. Storm: “How did we get this far?”

Well, it all started in the 60’s with these guys named Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

We get short clips of various locations. New York, mountains (Latveria?), a building with “Grimm” painted on the side. Riveting stuff so far.

Dr. Storm: “Human beings have an immeasurable desire to discover.”

As this is said, we see a car speed through a dirt road near a cornfield. Because discovery, cars, corn…. I don’t think I need to spell it out for you.

Dr. Storm: “To invent.”

And we see two young kids (presumably Ben Grimm and Reed Richards) having built some kind of sparking electrical doohickey in a shed, no doubt trying to replicate Tony Stark’s amazing Cave/Box of Scraps feat.

Your Arc Reactor needs work, kid.
Dr. Storm: “To build.”

And this is where things start looking Fantastic Four-ish as we cut to some kind of science machine with capsules on it. Inside the capsules are people in suits. So apparently, kid genius Reed Richards built something in his shed which he will no doubt make a bigger version of later.

Hijinks and superpowers to follow.
A text card helpfully informs us that this trailer is from the same studio that brought us X-Men: Days of Future Past. What they fail to also tell us is that they also brought us X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Elektra. So, you know. Take that with a grain of salt.

Dr. Storm: “Our future depends on us furthering these ideas.”

And Fox’s future depends on them furthering whatever remaining Marvel franchises they have.

We see Reed Richards walking around marveling (no pun intended) at what I can only imagine is a laboratory in the Baxter Building.

"Holy crap, is that florescent lighting!?"
Dr. Storm: “A responsibility that rests on the shoulders of generations to come.”

We get to see an oddly brunette Susan Storm glaring at a fancy computer, Ben Grimm playing baseball, and Johnny Storm working on a car.

Hey, that guy's playing Galaga! Did he think we wouldn't notice?
Then some people (possibly our heroes, but there seems to be five or six of them, wearing slightly different suits), enter that science-chamber shown earlier as Dr. Storm watches.

Well, you've got the beard and hairstyle right, but your Nick Fury cosplay needs an eyepatch instead of glasses.
Dr. Storm: “But with every new discovery, there is risk.”

Cut to the exploded wreckage of the machine.

"Well, any landing you can walk away from, right?"
"We never took off."
Clips of a worried Sue Storm, a plane, and Victor Domashev.

Dr. Storm: “There is sacrifice.”

And it took a minute and nine seconds to do it, but this trailer finally shows something that gets my curiosity up in a dander. Apparently, Ben Grimm has to break his way out of a stone cocoon. Is this a regular thing he does? A one-time thing?

"I am a beautiful butterfly."
Dr. Storm: “And there are consequences.”

More worried Sue Storm, blonde this time. Guy in a cloak. Guy on fire. A blue energy blast in New York like the climax of Watchmen.

Some impressive fire effects and the same energy swirls as ever.
The music intensifies, and we see four people in spacesuits crawling on the ground before the big climatic shot before it cuts to black…. Where Reed Richards moves his arm offscreen with the implication that he’s stretching. The implication that he’s stretching.

“Totally stretching. You can’t prove I’m not.”
The logo appears, and I’m actually a big fan of it. I like the square. It sort of represents what I’m hoping the movie’s like: different, but enjoyable.

Although it looks like it's pronounced "Fant-four-stic."
Then we see someone (Reed Richards?) in a hospital bed with someone else (Victor?) standing over him.

Actually, it looks like Bibendum is in critical condition.
Reed: “Be ready for what’s coming.”
Victor: “What is coming?”
Reed: “The answers.”

And in our final shot of the trailer, we see the Fantastic Four looking at a big beam of light aimed at the heavens. It’s a good shot that actually is getting me excited for this movie, but I can’t help that notice that the Thing isn’t wearing any pants. It’s a bit distracting.

Let's all just be glad that we're not seeing him from the front.
You'd never see such a thing in the original comics.

No, you just wanted Sue Storm to be an invisible streaker. ...No, really. Look it up.
Analysis
Taken on its own terms, this was a darn good trailer. Many people were saying that this film was in trouble because of the lack of a trailer and the days of reshoots, but I'm glad that Fox waited until they had something they were happy with before rushing out a trailer. Green Lantern rushed out a trailer chock-full of unfinished effects that pretty much killed the hype for that movie.

Despite what the internet would have you believe, this movie seems to be shaping up to be pretty darn faithful to the comics. Just not the comics people were expecting. In the same way that The Avengers took a lot of inspiration from Marvel’s Ultimate Universe (an alternate reality that updated and reimagined the Marvel Universe), this film is taking many of its cues from the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics.

Except for Johnny's race, Ben's clothes, the costumes.... Okay, one or two cues.
In the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics, the team was composed of four teenagers, who lived in the Baxter Building under the watchful eye of Dr. Storm. Reed Richards built a teleporter based on one that he made as a kid to transport people through a layer of space called the “N-Zone.” Thanks to Victor van Damme’s sabotage, this backfired and gave them their familiar powers.

Hmmm….

Teenagers?

Check.
Dr. Storm?

Check.
Teleporter?

Check.
N-Zone?

I believe so.
So going from all the information, this movie will probably follow the following formula.

Reed Richards is a kid genius who builds a teleporter. He gets an offer from the government to be part of a think tank. After building a better version of his teleporter, he tests it alongside his best friend, Ben Grimm, this guy named Victor, and Dr. Storm’s two kids. Superpowers ensue. Victor gets a bug up his butt about something and decides to recreate the accident, or make a weapon out of it, or something. The other four have to stop him, and there’s a big showdown in the N-Zone.

And I'm not entirely torn up about the fact that this movie won't be based on the mainstream Fantastic Four comics. We already got a faithful adaptation of the mainstream team.

And people hated it.
It’s too early to tell whether Fantfourstic will be remembered as a creative new direction for the Fantastic Four films, or if 20th Century Fox is going to wish they had given the Fantastic Four film rights back to Marvel instead of the Daredevil film rights. At the very least, I think it's safe to say that even if this movie isn't that good, it won't be the worst Fantastic Four movie ever.

Not by a long shot.

1 comment:

  1. I am a F4 and I would have liked to see the team casted by actors who reflect what they "look" like in the comics.

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