Page 1 of 3
This Hong Kong export is heavy on acrobatic fight scenes but light on storytelling skills...
Well Go USA / 118 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: April 9, 2013
The Four is set more than a thousand years ago, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do everything it can to look like an X-Men or Marvel superhero movie. It actually becomes quite funny at times: the movie’s heart is in the right place – it really just strives to entertain – but even if you’re familiar with the popular book series that spurned this rollicking action tale, it’s hard to take it all that seriously.
This is not to say that superhero movies are particularly morose or culturally imperative, but even The Fantastic Four has a purpose, an overall dramatic arc that surges it along. In this martial arts caper, we follow our four great constables – Heartless, Iron Fist, Hunter, and Cold Blood – as they pummel through bad guys with rip-roaring frequency. There are devious baddies to be taken care of, of course, but The Four is a lopsided affair: the way its story is set up, these cats could kick the snot out of anybody who stepped in their path.
So while there is absolutely technical savvy and fun modern-age fighting acrobatics on display in The Four, it ends up being an overly dense shrug of a movie. There’s a bunch of stuff going on within this crowded narrative, but none of it is worth giving a rip about. Maybe – seeing as this is the first of a planned trilogy – further installments will flush things out a bit.