The “Fantastic Four” movie site now has the link up to the “ShoWest” trailer (aka “the one that doesn’t suck, we promise this time”) as a sort of funky hidden easter-egg. Don’t want to jump through Fox’s hoops to see it? Here’s a quick shortcut link:
We’ve been waiting on this for awhile folks, the first “big wide-open look” at the film; representing both fans’ first opportunity to try and get a handle on the real overall tone and feel of the film and the latest in the producers’ dwindling number of opportunities to reverse the almost universally negative buzz the film has had since, well… pretty much since they started signing the talent, really. Make no mistake, this thing is right now on the web for the sole and sufficient purpose of getting internet film-fanatics and web-centric Geekdom in general thinking (and posting) the happy thoughts that Marvel and Fox know will form the pre-blitz grassroots marketing that can mean the difference between “Daredevil” and “Spider-Man” in terms of boxoffice and franchise potential.
So how’d they do, in the opinion of this particular exemplar of web-centric Geekdom?
Seriously, I mean. Dammit. I’d almost have prefered something that made it look “bad,” as opposed to this which, while all very impressive and shiny-looking is none the less imbueded with the feeling of “dissapointing,” that more queasy of unpleasant reactions incurred when a lackluster film’s landscape is dotted with moments of brilliance or signs of unrealized potential for greatness. If this trailer is an accurate reflection of the film, then that seems to be exactly what we could be in for…
It’s definately better than last time, sure… but “better enough” to change the pre-existing bad buzz? Sadly, no.
There’s stuff in here that works: The Human Torch looks great (fire FX are hard!) The Thing looks great, and Chilkis is really conveying the appropriate sadness and self-pity through all that makeup. What little we’re being allowed to see of Mr. Fantastic looks impressively realized. It’s nice to see what appears to be Dr. Doom’s mask (instead of the metalized-look being his “face” as previously reported.) It looks injected with a certain degree of “fan bait” lines and images; and boy, it looks like Fox’s budget department was willing to spring for a lot of trucks, cars and pyro.
But there’s also too much that just looks “iffy… and more disturbingly it’s a lot of the same stuff that’s looked “iffy” all along: Jessica Alba is still reading loud and clear as a major casting mistake. Iaon Gruffud is still looking too far on the young side for Reed Richards (and the gray temples look sort of silly on him, bad sign.) The dialogue coming out of Johnny Storm is still sounding really annoying (memo to writers: Dialogue that sounds too obnoxious coming from The Human Torch is pretty damn obnoxious, indeed.) Dr. Doom retooled into yet another eeeeeeeeevil corporate creep is still looking like nothing but a bad idea done badly.
In more general terms, the whole thing is just looking so… typical. All this big, noisy, spectacular stuff is going on and it all just looks like so much been-there-done-that. The crashing-cars, big citywide explosions, bad guys tossing lightning all over the place, people falling out of skyscrapers… proficiently accomplished, sure, but not really looking all that different from the similar scenes in dozens of films-prior.
A few months back the big story was Fox being hugely worried about the film winding up looking too much like “The Incredibles.” Seeing more of the movie now, I’m given to wonder why they weren’t equally concerned about looking too much like “Armageddon.” Or “ID4.” Or “The Core.” “Supernova.” “Spider-Man.” “Blade 3.” “SWAT.” “Taxi.” Getting the idea?
The best thing in the new trailer is that great little shot near the end of (presumably) Human Torch “sky-writing” the F4 logo in the night sky over NYC. (Or maybe it’s the “calling the F4 for help” flare-gun that came back into use in the recent comic stories.) In either case, cool.
The worst thing in the new trailer is pretty much anything involving Dr. Doom. Sorry Fox, just not feeling it.
The likelihood that Marvel has a pretty big dissapointment soon to be on their hands remains… a lot higher, in my humble opinion, than the studio would like it to be at this point.
But the sky-logo is pretty cool.