I just got back from Fantastic Four this evening. I’ve been keeping up on the horror stories that have come along with the production of the film and have learned some of the backstory about the history of the film franchise. I’ll delve into that a bit and talk about this latest iteration of Marvel’s original team.
I found out that Fox has a seven year contract on various Marvel characters. The contract was just about expired so Fox moved forward with this latest Fantastic Four film. There were some major script challenges and the latest headline suggests that Fox executives got into the editing room and ruined director Josh Trank’s vision. Sounds like this movie had quite the obstacle course to run before even being released. Yikes! On a separate yet related note, if I recall correctly the original and sequel were done in 2005 and 2007 respectively. There was a previous version done in 1994 and I’ve opted to include a picture to show where the bar was originally set.
The 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films were very juvenile in their deliveries. Also for no explainable reason, Galactus was a fucking cloud. That was a weird choice and clearly there were budget restraints that limited Fox from making a planet devouring giant. I guess there’s no accounting for taste. Silver Surfer was voiced by Morpheus and that also was a really weird choice. I guess the cast was too fucking white so they added in a black guy… He voiced a silver guy. Whatever. Neither movie was particularly good and they just fall into the pile of “what the fuck” movies from Marvel before their own studio really started kicking some ass by producing their pictures.
I don’t know that I can spend any more time ripping on the previous Fantastic Four movies. Take a stroll over to IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes to see what everyone has said about them. While you’re at it, you can see the skewering this latest version is getting put through as well. I think it’s at 9% on the Rotten Tomatoes scale and that’s pretty fucking low. Like super low.
Surprisingly, I liked the new movie. There was a lull throughout the movie because it suffered from “origin story” syndrome. The movie was spent developing the characters and their powers when it didn’t need to happen. Weirdly, they only explain how two of the four and Doom get their powers. Reed Richards and Sue Storm were just in the right place at the right time. Ah well. I might deviate from my positive review to make mention of how Doom’s eyes were too close together and he looked more adorable than menacing. Hopefully that will be rectified should a sequel come of this.
There was a bit of action, there were some special effects, and overall the movie wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Aside from Doom looking ridiculous and some of the powers not being explained when they clearly wasted the movie attempting to explain others, I only have one actual gripe. The movie starts in 2007 with a junior high aged Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. Jump forward to what I presume is the end of high school (as Reed is scooped up by the Baxter Foundation for his big sexy brain with a full scholarship) and the entire FF team is not even old enough to drink booze in America. That’s weird to me. I guess it’s similar to the Ultimates storyline and I’ve admittedly not read that. None of the actors could pass for under-twenties aged kids far as I’m concerned. They should have made less effort to address their ages. It would have been wise to focus on doing a complete origin as they attempted to partially cover or skip it altogether and assume that people know who the hell the FF are. Anyways, I digress.
I did enjoy Fantastic Four as an origin story and will be able to forgive the shortcomings should there be a follow-up film. I’d hope a sequel would explain what was left unexplained and give some more depth to the characters. I guess only time will tell on that. Minor Spoiler: There is no mid or after credits scenes and Stan Lee doesn’t make an appearance in this film which is super weird.