Fantastic Four… why it failed to impress

19 Aug
Authors Note: I’ve not yet read the comics but I do have the Ultimate run to read as I travel the US in a couple weeks. I do have some knowledge of the FF but not much when it comes to the villains and supporting characters. Editors NoteWoohoo! Here’s an actual review of the recent Fantastic Four film. Poor Lee was so traumatized by it… I had to coerce him to write this just so we’d all understand why the Roger Corman film is better.

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I’ll start off with what I enjoyed because there’s not much.

Dr Doom
I really enjoyed Dr Doom; he was brutal, sinister and showed real threat to everyone while he was on Earth. Plus his murderous rampage was magnificent. Pity he only had about 15 minutes of screen time.

Now to the crapfest that was Fantastic Four.

Victor Von Doom
Whiny jackass with a crush on Sue and hates everyone on Earth and wants them to die.

Editing
The editing on this film was shocking, I’m sure there was once an actual film, with an actual plot, with actual character development but it’s now sitting on a cutting room floor somewhere.

The Fantastic Work Colleagues
The runtime is only 100 minutes (this includes the credits) so you’d expect the film to move along at a decent pace. It did not. There was a long build up to them getting their powers but during that time there was no character development with the exception of Ben and Reed’s friendship. Oh and Reed and Sue flirted for about 10 seconds. Apart from that you have no indication that any of them are more than just work colleagues. Even Sue and Johnny have zero chemistry.

Powers
I did like the way they handled why they get their specific powers. Reed was stretching to close the pod, Johnny was consumed by fire and Ben was covered in rocks as they came back from Planet Zero. So where’s the problem you ask? Sue Storm is where the problem is and the dodgy editing.

With the others getting powers to match their circumstance you have to ask why Sue became invisible and I can only assume that at some point it was written that when Sue finds out they left her behind she tells them how hurt she was by them not trusting her and now feels abandoned by those she felt closest to.

Kinda like the episode of Buffy where Marcie Ross was ignored and became invisible.

Turn tail and abandon everyone
45 minutes in they get their powers (could have been a little sooner but it just felt long) and Reed runs away, leaving his best friend and his other friends/colleagues with whom he has spent the last 6 months working with to fend for themselves. What an asshole.

Montage
We then get some short montages of Sue, Johnny and Ben learning to control their abilities with the use of suits given to them. Except Ben, he’s naked and murders hundreds of enemy combatants. Johnny is for some reason excited about being next up to go murder hundreds of people. WHY??

Reed has somehow managed to learn how to control his power without the use of a super suit. Why couldn’t the others when they were in a controlled environment and not being hunted like a dog like Reed was?

Our Leader Returns
He abandons you all in a government run facility after you suffer devastating side effects to an alien energy blast a year ago and you either apologise to him or hug him. WHAT?!?!?

I Hate people of Earth and want them to die…
…so I’m going to create my own world free from human pollution and in the process open up a wormhole and suck in all the shit from Earth including but not limited to trees, roads, cars and airplanes to litter this new world that I want to make.

WHAT THE ACTUAL?!?!?

Also, I know Dr. Doom has telepathic and telekinetic abilities but how the heck does he create and sustain a portal between dimensions with a circle of rocks?

The Big Battle
This was a let-down. It lasted about 5 minutes and was the first time they came together as a team but it was so anti-climactic. It was a nice sequence of The Thing being turned invisible by Sue whilst Reed distracted Doom, and then Thing upper cutting him into the wormhole/portal stream thing.

All in all it’s a terrible film. To improve it, turn it into a drinking game. The rules are simple. Take a shot every minute. This way you’ll pass out pretty quickly and won’t remember the tripe you just watched.

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