Friday, July 08, 2005

Fantastic Four...not so bad?


Okay, I think we've all heard how awful the "Fantastic Four" movie is, it really that bad? Well, I saw it opening day and was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was kind of good. Not to say that there wasn't a lot bad about it - there was, but overall, I liked the movie.
The pros:
- The characters were all depicted like I would have expected the characters to be like, with the exception of the Invisible Girl. Mr. Fantastic was a distracted over-thinker, Johnny is a hot-head who loves attention, the Thing hates what he is, but is selfless when it comes to people despite their reactions.
- The interaction between the characters feels genuine and is true to the source material (with the exception of the Invisible Girl's relationship to Reed, which was...weird and didn't make much sense). I particularly liked the fun-pranking relationship between Johnny and Ben, but I think Sue's getting between them was great as well.
- The characters exploring/discovering their powers was done well and I thought it they interjected humor with it nicely.
- I may be biased, but the actor playing Johnny Storm is hot and I loved how he was sexualized more than Sue.
- The scene where Johnny flames on and flies through the city to shake a heat-seeking missile (taken from the comics) was a perfect scene. Perfect. It's something we haven't seen before and it was just mind-blowing.
- I also appreciated the opening where the four are exposed to the cloud of cosmic...whatever they called it in the movie.
- The Thing crushing Johnny's car into a ball was awesome.
- Alicia Masters, although barely introduced, was very likeable.
- All of the actors did a good job (Face it, Jessica Alba wasn't given much. We must forgive her).

Okay, now like I said - not a perfect movie.
The Cons:
- Most glaring of all was Doom's motivation. Did he even have one? He just wanted to...kill the Fantastic Four? For revenge for the accident he caused? What? I think that if the writers hadn't been so lazy on this vital plot point, the whole movie could have been fabulous. Up to the point where Doom transforms the Thing back into a human, there were little mistakes. But after that, it was pretty awful. There was no big, epic superhero-worthy fight at the end on the scale of a big Summer blockbuster. It was completely lackluster. And it was so small-scaled! Doom should have had a plan to overthrow leadership of the planet or something, but instead he wants...nothing really except....I still don't know why, to kill the four. I'm assuming he went crazy from his change. It seems to be implied very subtly, but I shouldn't have to infer so much. Just like I shouldn't have had to infer that heat melts rubber and that was why Reed went all liquidy after coming out of the machine and after being hit by Doom's blast of...whatever.
- Invisible Girl isn't done right at all. She's completely underdeveloped as a character and her vital relationship to Reed doesn't make sense. And anger affects her power? Huh? Because she's a girl or what? Why doesn't this happen to the other characters? I think Sue got the short end of the stick with her defensive power before they threw that in reason.
- Did I mention yet how lame Doom is? He is the worst supervillain ever to be portrayed in a comic book movie. Completely underwhelming and absolutely absurd after he puts on his helmet. Up until changing the Thing into a human, he was fine though. But something went utterly wrong after that. The end of "Fantastic Four" is completely lackluster because they couldn't supe up the villain and find his voice!
- Latveria was thrown into the movie in a strange, off-handed way that was completely, glaringly, unnatural. Doom's invester says to go back to Latveria? Huh? And the hook to see the sequel? Wow! This lame villain is being shipped back to this country no one in the audience knows the significance of and doesn't care to.
- The Things turning human and making the decision to turn back into the Thing was a wasted moment and executed like crap.

But seriously, if the writers hadn't lost enthusiasm at the end of the film when there should have been a great epic climax with a cool Doom with take-over-the-world ambition, this would have had few mistakes! Sue wasn't flushed out, but it could have been overlooked. Latveria - just don't mention it please! Just...go watch the movie, but leave when the Thing turns human. Sound good? Good.

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