I am still probably the only person in the world that likes this movie, well at least the first half. With Josh Trank making a comeback with his latest film “Capone”, I thought it only right to review his other films too. Trank is a guy I’m sure we all know because of the controversy around this film. There are a lot of he said/she said stories that came out of the production and while I’m not one that’s going to sit here and pick sides, I will just say that I am a big fan of Trank and his work on Chronicle and what I feel like was really good in this movie. This review will be posted after I have seen Capone which I haven’t yet, so I will not be making any comparisons between the two. This is simply how I felt after watching it again for the first time in several years to see if I still felt the same about it.
As I said in my opening line, I am probably the only person in the world that likes this movie. When I say that though, it really isn’t the movie as a whole rather that it’s just the first half of the film that absolutely love. This film is really a tale of two directors or two visions at the halfway point. I don’t know all of the specifics, but it is very clear that there were reshoots done and no really focus or story going into the second half of the film once our characters all get their powers.
That second half is an absolute train wreck that I can’t defend even with how much I really do like this movie. It’s a shame that something did happen to split this movie as much as it did, but the first half I will go back to as being very awesome. I know it’s not for everyone and not your typical “Fantastic 4” story, but it’s a super power origin story with horror elements that feels perfect. Does it work really well as a Fantastic 4 story? I don’t really know and honestly I don’t really care. What I loved most about the first half is how different this movie is than most of your other ones coming out.
Sure it’s trying to do the whole be darker thing that a lot of super hero movies tried to do after The Dark Knight, but it was also different. It felt more in line with Trank’s work on Chronicle where it feels more realistic with how the characters react in the circumstances. What made Chronicle so good was that it looked at the main characters as a group of guys in high school and how they would actually act if they had super powers. We could relate to them easily because we all likely would have done the same thing.
He keeps with this line of focus in Fantastic 4 because it shows how we all would likely react in the horror like circumstances. He could have easily taken it a more subtle approach and made it all happy go lucky like the original Fantastic Four films, but I love that he wanted to do something different and give us some horror elements to it. Because of that, we get some truly terrifying moments when our characters are gaining their powers. It really works because it puts in perspective how real having powers could be rather than everything going as smooth as it always does in these super hero films.
I will hype up the first half of the film all day long because it feels like true Josh Trank style very much in the vein of Chronicle and what I was expecting. It is of course after that when the editing becomes choppy and the story loses all focus and any point of story with the only highlight being Victor Von Doom. That does also bring me to one thing that Trank is very good at. Casting.
It’s funny to look back at Chronicle now because it had Dane Dehaan and Michael B Jordan before they got big and now you realize how awesome it is that they were in such a small movie before. One of the true highlights of this movie is of course the casting. The most controversial one being Michael B Jordan as Johnny Storm which isn’t fair because he’s an absolute perfect casting for the character despite all of the haters out there. It’s only rounded out perfectly with Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, and Toby Kebbel. I could probably sit here and hype up how much I love all of these actors, but I would really just like to highlight Teller and Kebbel as Reed and Victor.
Miles is a guy that I have loved mostly after seeing Whiplash, but I loved his casting as Reed and he pulls it off very well, the best casting though other than Michael B Jordan is Kebbel. He is an actors that I will watch in anything he is ever in. He as the chops in this sort of presence that makes him the perfect kind of villain. In this case he’s awesome and when he comes back and starts exploding people’s heads is awesome too, but it all falls apart because there just isn’t a story after he comes back.
That’s the biggest problem with this movie, that it seems someone came through and completely gutted the second half of this movie to make it run so off the tracks that you would be better off watching a real train wreck. There is just no story or focus after they get their powers and the movie suffers because of that. As I said earlier, I’m not going to pick sides, but let me just say this. It is very clear that the first half is directly in the vein of Josh Tanks style while the second half is as if he was painting a picture and someone cut off all of his fingers.
It’s just an absolute shame because this movie had so much potential under his direction and I feel like it shows early on. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we will ever see the movie that he envisioned, sorry Trank Cut supporters out there. I’m with you, but it will never happen. The only thing we can hope for is that moving forward hopefully he won’t have any issues putting forth his vision in a project of his. And it sounds like Capone is a good example of him having a great time working and truly giving us his vision. Except that it should’ve kept Fonzo as the title.
Look, I can’t recommend this movie for anyone to watch because overall it’s not a good movie and I know that. This is easily one of the top guilty pleasures for me and I am probably the only person in the world that actually likes it, but hey if you want to watch it then give it a shot. If you have seen this movie and you have your own comments or questions then be sure to comment below or send an email to TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and be sure to follow us @TowerCityMedia