So I have two reviews for your reading pleasure on this sunny (where I am) Sunday. One was a trainwreck and the other one was friggin’ fantastic. Let’s see which was which…
I went into this Judd Apatow-helmed, Amy Schumer-penned potty mouthed rom com with sky high expectations. Why, because critics had been raving about it, the Twittersphere had gone bananas for it, and I am a sucker for good press. Plus, I have recently discovered the new duchess of comedy herself – Amy Schumer – and was all about watching what she could bring to the big screen. But, as I walked into the cinema, I tried to temper down those expectations, not wanting to be disappointed. And I really really wasn’t.
Right from the get go it’s obvious that this isn’t your usual rom com. Schumer’s character – also conveniently named Amy (there is a liberal dose of her own life used in this flick) – has it instilled in her by her philandering father from a young age that ‘monogamy is not realistic’, and she well and truly takes this to heart. We meet her again in her early thirties as she is partying large, sleeping around, swearing profusely and generally loving life as a men’s magazine writer in New York. But things start to go awry when she meets a sports doctor (Bill Hader – finally getting a solid leading man role) and falls hard. Can it be? Was her Dad wrong all along? Is monogamy actually realistic?
There are many many things to love about this movie – stereotypes being flipped on their head, Tilda Swinton as an unrecognisable magazine editor, Kobe Bryant watching Downton Abbey, awkwardly hilarious sex scenes – but what I didn’t expect to love, and be affected by, was the film’s heart. This isn’t your standard rom-com where everything is going swimmingly in the main character’s life and all they have to focus on is some randomly ridiculous thing preventing them from getting to Mr Right. This film is earthed in the reality of life sometimes delivering you shit to deal with, no matter if the timing might suck for you. Schumer’s delivery of these scenes really hit me in the feels, proving she is not just a comedic talent to watch, but she is also an acting and writing talent on a more dramatic level. Seriously, watch out, she has the potential to inject something new into Hollywood that it has needed for freaking ages.
Suffice to say, I thought this was a fantastic watch. It made me laugh, it even made tough as nails old me cry, and it lingered in the brain far longer than most rom coms. Four and a half multi-coloured M&Ms from me. And if you want to check out Schumer being hilarious in other things, YouTube her show ‘Inside Amy Schumer’. You will thank me. Honest.
Well, I have probably given the game away already right? Though, you must have been living under a rock for the last few weeks if you didn’t know the new and not so improved Fantastic Four movie is a turd. A steamy, large, very smelly, turd. And here’s why.
For those who don’t know, this is another superhero comic book adaptation, which has already been adapted in the not so distant past. Now, I haven’t seen those films – they never really appealed – so didn’t go into this with any pre-conceived idea of what this would be. But, I guess I did go in with an expectation that it would at the very least be on par with some of the shittier comic book adaptations of recent years. Maybe it would be like a less boring Captain America, or a slightly more fun Iron Man 2. But no, it made those films look like Oscar fodder. The main issue? Terrible plot, horrifyingly clunky script.
If you are going to have an origin film – sure, explain how the characters came to get their super powers, but you need to give them a decent amount of time to actually use those powers together. Here, they get about five minutes at the end when they are the ‘Fantastic Four’. Prior to that they are just four people who sort of get on but have zero chemistry, using their super random powers in super random ways.
The disappointing thing is they pulled together a great cast here. Miles Teller who knocked it out of the park in Whiplash, Kate Mara who went toe to toe with the Legend That Is Kevin Spacey in House of Cards, Michael B Jordan who earned critical acclaim for Fruitvale Station, and Jamie Bell aka Billy Elliot. But with a lacklustre script and some dodgy as editing, they seem like they are just phoning it in. I am fairly sure they weren’t, but it certainly looked that way in the final product. Much has been made of the fact that director Josh Trank tweeted (then deleted) about the fact that the version audiences were seeing wasn’t his preferred version, and I would hope there is a much better film out there somewhere. But unfortunately it wasn’t the one I had to sit through.
Marvel Studios have set the bar high for comic book fare, but that’s not to say that no one else can match it. Some would argue DC’s Man of Steel gave them a run for their money. But Fantastic Four isn’t giving anyone a run for their money – except maybe Fox Studios who may be lamenting the fact they had already given a sequel a green light. Who knows what they will need to do to make that successful, as if the comic book audience I saw this with were anything to go by, no one will be forgetting how shit this was anytime soon. 1 and a half slightly mice-bitten M&Ms for this. Avoid. At all costs.