Movie Review-The Four


Coming out April 9th

Review-Gordon Chan’s latest film I feel is his start to something he views as a franchise. This is one of those films that either people are going to really be into it and enjoy it, or people are going to be ready to talk about the many films it rips off and damn it. My feelings about this film are somewhere in between both places. This film in the opening minutes you just know it is going to try and be everything to everyone, and the bad part about a film that shoots for those high standards is that it will lose its identity and end up being nothing to no one. The Four tells us about the recent circulation of counterfeit money and how it landed the capital of the Song Dynasty in a very bad situation. The Government sends in The Department of Six Constabulary and Divine Constabulary to investigate this. They seem to be going nowhere when they each get into each other’s way. The Divine get suspended soon enough and now they are being led by a group that call themselves The Four, and they seem to be still working on the case. As you can guess that the Four seems to uncover a more devious plot that plans to overthrow the government and they are low on time and have to stop this from happening.

This film when I was describing it sounded way better than what the film actually offered and delivered. This film suffered from Chan trying to use so many ideas that felt unnecessary and really pulled the film down, like the romantic touches that felt so out of place, or the mutants and zombies that just tried so hard to fit in but they just felt so boring and horribly thought out. This film just felt like it was trying to steal from any film it could to make it more fun for the viewer. This film is way too creative for its own good at times, and at other times seems to be more underwhelming than maybe a viewer could have patience for. I know I am always preaching that we need more creativity and creative thinking in films, but I think this film overreached and it showed badly. I know Chan has his thinking in the right place as this film is more about the action, then the story or characters. This film quickly changes gear almost instantly from a crime feel to a fantasy film of mutants and fighting.

This film could be described best as a poor man’s vision of the Fantastic Four or X Men in a way. Case in point, a girl who is bound to a wheelchair who can read your mind with an X on her wheel, to a character who can turn invisible and create a force field. I hate to dislike this film because I felt it just needed more direction and maybe someone to tell Chan to scale back some of the stuff he throws at us. I understand his thinking where if this concept keeps going like it is rumored, that the story and characters will improve and that we can get behind this more. If that is the case, this is such a bad way to introduce us to this concept. This Chinese version of a Marvel film is so uninspiring and just flat out such a wasted opportunity. I did not hate this film, but I would not say I liked the film or loved it, I just tolerated it better than anyone else who will watch it. I am hoping that if we get more into this concept that I can maybe go back say around the third film and respect this a little more. Who knows, right now I have to say that this film is such a letdown and I was really expecting so much more from Chan.

4.5 out of 10