After a lot of bad buzz, Fantastic Four has finally hit the big screen, and it’s official: The summer movie season is officially dead.
Despite the large negatives that isn’t too say that Fantastic Four is a complete bust. They are soon joined by Storm’s son Johnny (Jordan) and former protégé Victor Von Doom (Kebbell), and together they work to build a device capable of teleporting humans to another dimension, specifically a realm dubbed Planet Zero. Also, Sue is white. You wanted an African-American main character…but did Trank and the producers/editors go to “Stupid School” to cast such a character this way? Miles Teller is likable and sympathetic as Reed, and could grow into the role if given the chance – same for Michael B. Jordan (still complaining about his casting…chill!). He is also a hot head with huge father issues. There the group is changed physically, with each developing unique powers.
Yet as the action-in particular, the transformed quartet’s fight against the enraged Victor-kicks in, so does Trank’s distinctive visual imagination, a quality that inflects even a walk down a hospital corridor with a mnemonic flair but that bursts out with surrealistic glory in such visionary excrescences as Johnny’s majestic flame-ups, his body engulfed in the fire that he exudes from within and that renders his eyes and mouth as blindingly bright blanks. Sue has invisibility and a force field she creates. Now that the landscape has been established with an origin story hopefully the not-to-blame cast will get a better outing to sink their super-powered teeth into next time around. Fox conversely shows us time and again they don’t get these characters.
So what is my problem?
We do a disservice to the Fantastic Four by focusing on their superficial attributes while ignoring the actual substance of what makes them unique. Thus, because of studio interference, “Fantastic Four“, for all its formidable merits, has become both a critical flop and a commercial disaster. The movie does well with this idea. Which brings up another point of contention. Comic books are derivative of a patently absurd universe, where people fly around with their underwear on the outside. He is not so much homicidal as ego driven. What motivates Doom is how he can make himself look better than Reed. Well, apparently you can do all of those things, and in one movie no less, but the result is going to be downright terrible. “Even I probably did the movie for the wrong reasons”.
Shame on you, Josh Trank, for directing this slap in the face to those who adored the Fantastic Four (like I did, growing up), and to all who produced and edited this obvious, bad mistake. According to five confirmed sources culled by Hitfix, the studio is enforcing a strict “no jokes” policy for their DC movies, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice acting as the proving ground for the rule. What got served was a plate full of stink they called a movie.
I am sad because I believe there will never be a fully fleshed out telling of one of the great comic book series in history. Sam Mendes revived the Bond franchise with the unbelievable Skyfall after the dismal Quantum of Solace seemed to make everyone lose interest in Agent 007.