Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Not Even Close To Fantastic 4

You're a large movie company. You've attempted to create a profitable franchise out of a classic comic book. It didn't go like you planned. You're about to lose the rights to the characters. What do you do? Reboot and rush a film into production. Grab a young director and in typical Fox fashion, change too much about the source material. All of that happened and once again ladies and gentlemen we get the Fantastic Four.

    The character names are the same, but a lot has changed this time around. This was always considered a cheesy comic, but it was about heart and family. The characters are central figures in the Marvel Universe. Reed Richards and Dr.Doom are two of the greatest minds in the universe. The new movie gets that part right and that's about all it does right.

    It's a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy. (C) Fox

    In the comic, they fly into space and experience cosmic energy. This time they teleport to another dimension. This is an OK twist. It's acceptable. The science behind it is cool. The talents of the team are introduced and it is nice. It does a nice job of showing how the teams talents are all necessary. Wait a minute. Ben Grimm is just thrown in so no it doesn't. 

   The cast is really pretty good. Miles Teller is solid Reed Richards. Kate Mara is a serviceable Sue Storm. Jamie Bell has very little to do. He doesn't compare to Michael Chiklis as the Thing in the previous version. Chiklis captured the heart and voice of the blue eyed rock monster. Michael B. Jordan took a lot of fan boy bashing, but is a great Human Torch. Toby Kebbel is a very charismatic Victor Von Doom. All of them suffer from one problem. The horrible script and bad directing.

   The biggest travesty of this version of the Fantastic Four is Dr. Doom. He is one of the greatest villains in the Marvel Universe and once again he is bastardized. He is a brilliant, but ruthless dictator. He is powerful and merciless unless you watch this film. He is a smart, but jealous outcast who rather that wear armor gets fused in metal. He isn't dangerous. Just stupid in this film.

   What's worse is the film went though re-shoots. Early word leaked that doom was a computer hacker and the Internet exploded. I actually think Fox listened and tried to fix it. They failed. Again. If you watch, you can see that they did intend for him to be a hacker. I have said it over and over again. Superhero films are only as good as their villains and once again Dr. Doom is just Dr. Dumb.

    The costumes are stupid. The Thing needs pants. The film is saved by it's great special effects. Oh wait, no it's not. The effects are lame. They are cartoonish and no where close to summer blockbuster level.  Josh Trank was fired from directing one of the new Star Wars movies and after seeing this, thank God.  Marvel cancelled the comic book so that it didn't have to embrace this movie. That alone should tell you everything you need to know about this travesty. I hope Fox learns from this, but let's be honest. They won't. Maybe one day we'll see Marvel's first family get the treatment they deserve.
That day is definitely not August 7th 2015.