“The Fantastic Four” Colored Me Surprised

Man, the superheroes just keep on rolling in.
20th Century Fox released the first official teaser trailer of their reboot of “The Fantastic Four” Tuesday morning after the film’s details have been kept under wraps for quite some time. The film is directed by Josh Trank (“Chronicle”) and stars Miles Teller (“Whiplash”), Kate Mara (“House of Cards”), Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”) and Jamie Bell (“Snowpiercer”). This is the latest movie iteration of Marvel Comics’ first superhero family since the 2005 film and its 2007 sequel, “Rise of the Silver Surfer.”
The details of this new film have been kept under wraps for quite some time. The franchise stalled after poor critical and public reception of the first two (admittedly silly and stupid) movies, but 20th Century Fox announced plans for new films back in 2009. Trank, who received acclaim for his found-footage pseudo-superhero film, was announced as director in 2012 and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” writer Simon Kinberg wrote the story and screenplay. Throughout this and it’s shooting, nearly no details of the film were released to the public. All everyone had to go on was the basic information of core cast, writer and director, and a selfie of the cast together after wrapping. Perhaps this is to keep from immediate public hate thanks to last movies.
But here it is, just a day after it was announced on Twitter by Trank himself, and perhaps the mystery of the movie has helped after all. The trailer doesn’t look or feel like the run-of-the-mill comic book movie. The clips shown (with some impressive cinematography, by the way) emphasize the four characters in protective explorer suits hiking through dangerous terrains. There is the typical ominous narration over the footage that emphasizes human advancement over good versus evil. And…..that’s it. Other than shots of the main cast and quick teases of the appearances of The Human Torch and The Thing, the teaser clocks in at a minute and 45-seconds with very little revealed.
And surprisingly, ambiguity works. Unlike the Ant-Man teaser, which nearly spells out the whole movie for audiences, “The Fantastic Four” keeps things mysterious and doesn’t appear to follow the typical superhero formula. In fact, the movie plays more like a science-fiction movie than a superhero movie, with it’s haunting score and dark atmosphere. Its imagery and feeling has more in common with “Prometheus” and “Interstellar” than “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Again, nothing is spelled out in terms of what exactly is going on, leaving more discussion as to what the movie could entail. That what a teaser is supposed to do; tease the movie, don’t tell the whole movie, show don’t tell. Marvel and DC, take note and keep movies under wraps. Want to know why people can’t stop talking about “Batman v Superman” even though it doesn’t come out until next year? Because no one in the movie is saying anything about it. SPOILERS SUCK, so learn to keep things quiet!
“The Fantastic Four” hits theaters August 7, 2015.

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