Someone in Hollywood better take note quick.
Indie darling and rising character actor Miles Teller needs a star vehicle ASAP, but “Fantastic Four” just isn’t it.
It’s hard not to feel bad for the star of last year’s Sundance winner and Academy Award nominated “Whiplash,” who played the perfect whipping boy to J.K. Simmons in the heavy drama.
To go from one of the most well-written and pitch perfect features of 2014 to perhaps the most inept, slow and tedious films of 2015 is a major step back for Teller, one he doesn’t deserve.
Teller invests heavily in his role as super-nerd turned world’s stretchiest man Reed Richards, but with a subpar film that even director Josh Trank has disowned, Teller might have been better off staying on the indie circuit until next “Allegiant: Part 1.”
His “Fantastic Four” cast mate Michael B. Jordan — who had his own indie breakout with “Fruitvale Station” and “Chronicle” — doesn’t have this problem as he will debut as the son of boxing legend Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” franchise sequel “Creed” later this year.
Audiences aren’t having much fun watching “Fantastic Four” and it’s pretty evident from the onscreen performances that the actors aren’t much into things either.
Chronicled with production problems from the start — everything from casting to editing issues abounded on the film — put “Fantastic Four” at such a disadvantage that no one involved seems interested in salvaging something worthwhile out of the project.
Trailers for the film make it appear as if there will be a significant amount of high-octane battle sequences, teasing viewers with a small glimpse of things to come.
Unfortunately, the joke’s on audiences.
The dialogue-heavy, action-light feature doesn’t see the “Fantastic Four” become fantastic and absorb their superpowers until nearly an hour into the film, a forgivable concept if there’s something more that the movie has to offer, but there’s not.
For an action movie to have about three minutes of real action out of the 100 minute running time is a real disappointment.
Those same trailers have touted the real reason to catch “Fantastic Four” — a glimpse at next year’s highly anticipated “Deadpool” starring Ryan Reynolds, though you can always just catch that over and over again on YouTube.
The original “Fantastic Four,” made a decade earlier in 2005, lacked a lot of the cinematic pizazz that its 2015 reboot has — from vastly improved CGI to a grittier, more contemporary visual style to a more talented group of actors.
But the original — helmed by Jessica Alba and a pre-Captain America Chris Evans — has a distinct and action-packed script, making it a more compelling film in spite of major casting, directorial and other cinematic issues.
Trank’s film and cast with something on par with the 2005 script would have made for a much better film and not one that makes audiences wonder if it’s worse than the universally panned “Green Lantern.”
Regardless of whose fault this train wreck of a film is — whether it be Trank as the director, backing studio 20th Century Fox or the writing trio of Trank, Simon Kinberg and Jeremy Slater — “Fantastic Four” is the complete cinematic opposite of its superhero counterparts like “Ant-Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
The two recent Marvel Studios films pack on both physical and comedic punches while “Fantastic Four” takes too long with the set up for audiences to enjoy the pay off.
For all its many warts, “Fantastic Four” is no more substandard than, say, “Pixels” or “Ted 2,” pointless wastes of time in their own right.
There’s still blockbuster action films yet to come in 2015. “Fantastic Four” just isn’t one of them.