Let me start off by saying that I loved the original Fantastic Four movies. Now, before I lose all credibility, let me also say that I was quite young when I watched them. Nine year old me really enjoyed Fantastic Four in 2005 and eleven year old me was thrilled with Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer. I haven't re-watched them since and so I'm in no position to judge their quality on an objective basis. However, if they really are as terrible as everyone says, my sympathies go to my father who had to sit through them with me.
The Fantastic 4 reboot has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Whether it was the casting of a certain actor or rumours of troubled production, this movie just hasn't gotten a break. Lots of fans have declared on message boards across the internet that this film will be terrible. The studio, on the other hand has already green-lit sequels which is a sign of confidence in their product. I for one, have no preconceived notions of how good or bad this film will be. I have seen no trailers (you can ready why that is here) and will simply wait for its release before jumping to conclusions.
Unfortunately, some troubling news has very recently hit the internet. Kyle Buchanan, senior editor at New York Magazine/Vulture tweeted this:
FANTASTIC FOUR embargo lifts... 4pm PST the day before the movie comes out. Hmm. (That's for online. Print embargo lifts day of release.)— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) July 28, 2015
When a prospective franchise starter has a review embargo till the day before release, it's generally not a good sign. It's considered a sign of weakness and it is often assumed that the studio feels that early negative reviews could harm the opening weekend. For a movie that's already gotten more than its fair share of negative publicity, this piece of news was enough for fans to back up their claims that this will be a bad film. However, there was an attempt at making amends as you can see below:
Embargo change: It now lifts a day earlier. Wednesday, August 5 at 6pm PST.— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) July 28, 2015
This is a rather strange decision since advancing the embargo by one day doesn't exactly show renewed confidence or faith in the film either. To put this into context, lets look at a few examples. Movies that had no reviews come out until very close (1-3 days) to release this summer include the likes of Entourage, Pixels and Aloha, to name a few. These are currently rated at 33%, 18% and 19% respectively on Rotten Tomatoes and were disappointments at the box office (Pixels could still over-perform internationally). On the other hand, big budget films the likes of Fantastic Four such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Ant-Man and Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation had reviews out well before their release to build up buzz and have been critically acclaimed. Of course, there are exceptions. Terminator Genisys's early terrible reviews definitely did some damage to its advance booking and opening weekend. On the other hand, Jurassic World didn't have any reviews up until very close to its release and we all know how that worked out.
So, I definitely wouldn't go as far as lots of other articles that have declared this as conclusive proof that the film is indeed terrible, but it does worry me. If the studio had real faith in the film and thought they had a good product on hand, they'd want positive reviews to be out as soon as possible to help build up anticipation and counteract a lot of negativity towards this film. I will probably watch the film regardless, since I owe it to the 9 year old who enjoyed this franchise. At this point, all we can do is speculate and as always, we'll just have to wait and see.
What do you think? Will this movie prove haters wrong and surprise us all or is it definitely doomed (I promise that was unintended) ? Will the green-lit sequels happen or will the franchise find itself in a tough spot like the Terminator? Let me know in the poll and comments below!