Since Fox announced that they were starting production on a reboot of it's Fantastic Four franchise, it's been met with nothing but vitriol. Which is funny because I for one cannot find any good reason not to be excited about this movie's upcoming release. Sadly, as I cruise the forums and message boards the crux of all the hate for this film stems from the casting of Michael B. Jordan in the role of Johnny Storm, a role last played by Chris Evans (who was awesome by the way). I continue to read about how people are all up in arms about how they’ve cast an African-American actor in the role that's normally played by a blond hair blue eyed Caucasian male. Now I’m not going to harp on how ridiculous these complaints are, that's not why I'm here. The purpose of this is to figure out - besides the whole “Johnny Storm isn’t black” issue- why all the negative feedback about a movie that looks loads better than the previous two installments; and to get YOU, the reader pumped for this movie, because it's going be a hit that no one expected. In the following paragraphs I’ll lay out all the reasons why you should be just as excited as I am for the movie's upcoming release on August 07, 2015.
This is the part of the movie I feel the studio has hit at least a triple if not a home run. This is a great cast that I feel is superior to the previous installments cast.
We first have Miles Teller as Reed Richards/ Mr. Fantastic, a star on the rise in the new crop of young Hollywood. Building off the success of Whiplash, he’s shown that he’s more than ready to be a leading man. While I’ll be the first to admit I’m very interested in seeing how he handles being in an effects laden movie, we've seen that he can handle any dramatic demands with his performance in the Spectacular Now. One thing I have no worries about, is the scenes he and Jordan will share. Based off the comedic exchanges we’ve seen between Jordan and Teller in 2014’s That Awkward Moment, we could rest easy when it comes to the comedy department. I'm looking forward to Teller playing the “straight man” to Jordan’s “arrogant guy who don’t take orders well”. When you think of Teller as Richards you can’t help but to compare him to Ioan Gruffudd’s depiction of the character in the 2005 version of Mr. Fantastic, I felt Gruffudd’s portrayal came off a little weak and sappy.
Next we have, Kate Mara as Sue Storm/ The Invisible Woman. Fresh off her stint on the Netflix Original Series House of Cards, Mara has some good movies on her acting resume but honestly I feel like she’s the biggest unknown out of the foursome. If Mara can at least do half of what Alba did the previous movies I’m sure she’ll be fine.
Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/ The Thing, I feel he has the biggest name out of the group and a really solid actor. In my opinion maybe suffered from a poor choice of movies but in every role he’s been cast in he brings. (Side note: Paramount will you please stop messing around and make another Tin TIn movie!!) When you think about Michael Chiklis’ version of Ben Grimm first thing that comes to mind is the prosthetic make-up he had to wear which hindered the showing of emotion, and to be honest didn’t look all that great in the first place. Chiklis did what he could with the cards he was dealt, so I really don’t hold it against him that The Thing was just “meh”. This time around Jamie Bell is afforded the luxury of doing a motion capture performance much like the one’s synonymous with Serkis; I’m excited to see what Bell does with the role. Based on the advantages of technology I’m going to say this comparison is a push; if Tim Story and Fox chose to go with CGI in the first movies it would be a fair comparison.
My sleeper for scene stealer is,Toby Kebbell as Victor Domashev (Victor Von Doom)/ Dr. Doom. If I had to choose who is going to be the dark horse of this movie, hands down I’ll say Kebbell. A great character actor last seen in American theaters as Koba in 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and best known for his scene stealing performance in Guy Ritchie’s 2008 Crime/Actioner, RocknRolla. He will has a lot to live up to since Julian McMahon’s turn as Doom was - along with Evans - one of few highlights of the film, it was like he and Evans were the only two to actually take the time to read the comics and get a feel for who their characters were. I know this seems like a cop out, but I’m not even going to compare these two, I’m going to just sit back and enjoy the show Kebbell puts on, look for him like McMahon to steal the show when the step foot on the screen.
We now arrive to the focal point of all the complaints, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch. Aside from Toby Kebbell, I feel Jordan will have some of the best scenes in the movie; he has the charisma and arrogance but at the same time can display sincere vulnerability, which we saw in Fruitvale Station to pull off the Johnny Storm character. With the potential success of this movie and his fall release of Creed, this could potentially be the year Jordan solidifies himself - along with Teller- as one of Hollywood’s future A-List. Now I honestly would have to take the “wait and see” approach when it comes to which Johnny Storm will be the better one, but if you’re going to twist my arm and make me answer now I got to go with Evans’ Storm. He was the total package, the look, the charm and the arrogance that is Johnny Storm, while I have the utmost confidence that Jordan can pull this off but I’ll have to see it first; at worst I think it’ll even.
The Writer Simon Kinberg
Sherlock Holmes (2009), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and the highly anticipated X-Men: Apocalypse due out next summer. These are the major features that Simon Kinberg has either written the story or the screenplay. Many have said X-Men:DoFP, righted that franchise's ship, clearing up the mistakes made in X-Men: The Last Stand. To be fair Kinberg did have a hand in X-Men: The Last Stand, but as I’ve stated before he more than made up for that debacle with DoFP.
The Director Josh Trank
Now with Trank, we don’t have much to go off, since this will only be his second feature where he’s at the helm. Based off the success of his first feature Chronicle, (he also served as writer) time around Trank with be sharing writing duties with X-Men:Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg. I have no reason not to feel as sense of optimism that he’ll bring a fresh, youthful take on the Fantastic Four and I’m sure that we’ll be treated to some awesome effect laden battle sequences; or as Trank said recently himself, "an epic, massive, huge, multipower slugfest".
So there you have it, I hope maybe I at least somewhat swayed your opinion of the upcoming release. I for one CANNOT WAIT!