The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.
Fantastic Four (20th Century Fox)
Directed by Josh Trank
Fantastic Four (2015) reminds me of like when a foreign studio makes a knock-off version of an American title. There is nothing that is Fantastic Four about this movie except maybe the character’s names and their powers (and even then barely). They could have called it the Fabulous Four. I mean they would have gotten sued but it would have been more accurate. If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that one of my major pet peeves is when a comic book movie doesn’t respect the source material. This is a gigantic example of that. This might take awhile.
Firstly, in their desire to make them younger, they made them too young. I found myself asking, “Shouldn’t they be supervised? or “Are there no adults?” and finally, “No seriously. Franklin Storm is going to send both his children to another dimension? Could he be the worst parent ever?” Reed Richards is building particle transporters in his garage when he’s like ten years old because you have to start him that early to justify Miles Teller playing the part. It is way too much of a stretch (pun intended).
Secondly, they send them with Victor von Doom (his real name. And no. No one thought that with a name like that he would eventually become a super villain). And in doing so rewrite the character and his powers and his generally everything about him. I don’t know why they keep getting Doom wrong. But every time they do the FF they get Doom all wrong. Doom is awesome and he looks awesome. Keep the comic book look. No one ever wants to keep the comic book look. That ain’t Doctor Doom.
Thirdly, well this one I kind of like. They change the justification for the group each getting different powers. The comic makes it about their personalities but the Fantastic Four movie makes it more about how they are affected by the planet in the dimension that they go to. It’s actually interesting. Nothing else about the movie is. The planet keeps them alive by giving them the powers they get. Ben is pelted with falling rocks so they make his skin solid rocks. Johnny is on fire. Reed’s is interesting because he is trying to save Victor but can’t reach him and the planet gives him the stretching powers. Sue is hit with an energy blast of light and it gives her a force field and the ability to manipulate light. But of course this is my interpretation of the visuals. They don’t explain a god damn thing.
Here’s the main problem. The Fantastic Four origin story should be enough. But it’s never enough. There has to be some villain thrown in and it crowds the story. The origin story in itself is a great story. But they speed through it. The group learning to control their powers is a good story. But here they skip over it with the words ONE YEAR LATER flashed on the screen. And because of this there is no character development or character arcs. It’s a team. You can’t give them the same amount of screen time as a solo hero. So it’s hard to identify with them or even root for them unless you’re the kind of viewer who automatically roots for whoever they say is the hero. I didn’t care about them.
And Lastly, even though I knew this was going to be a bad movie. And I knew they would try to squeeze a lot of story into a short amount of time. Fantastic Four (2015) is still boring. I did not expect it to be as boring as it turns out to be. But Fantastic Four is a boring ass movie on top of all the other things wrong with it.
But wait there’s more…
Fantastic Four is the story of a family. You can make the Human Torch or Johnny Storm the adopted brother of Sue Storm (I have no problem with him being black) but if you fail to make them a family or to show any chemistry between the characters then it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t mean anything.
You can make Reed Richards younger but not this young. However you can still cast Miles Teller just age him. The character of Reed Richards is prematurely graying. And Ben Grimm is more than just some classmate of Reed’s who he decides to invite into space (another reason why they needed an adult by the way). Useless character.
Why does every origin of the Fantastic Four have to include some iteration of Doctor Doom? They have other enemies. It would be like the Joker being the villain in every Batman movie. But if you’re not even going to make the character be Doctor Doom from the comic then don’t use his damn name.
Reed and Sue is a love story. Ben Grimm is a tragedy. And The Human Torch is just the torch except that he’s family. He’s Sue’s brother. People knock the previous Fantastic Four movies but at least they got the characters right. You can’t change everything. You can’t change their very essence as well as their ages and their origins and their relationships.
That’s not The Fantastic Four.
Now I’m done.