I will be frank; I went into this movie with an open mind. For months I have been defending this movie, saying "oh, it will be good, don't worry". When the early reviews started to come out, I became a little skeptical, but then acknowledged that the critics were just being critics. I walked into the movie with a truly open mind. I had criteria that the movie had to meet (staying true to the characters, a good plot, etc.), but besides that I looked forward to seeing this new reboot.
It was good to start. There was a lot of background information on everyone, plenty of character development and relationships between each character. It made sense. Then the 'incident' occurred that gave everyone their powers and the emotional bond we had with the characters began to fade away. Eventually, it picked back up after a while. After the death of a particular character, I suddenly realized that I felt something for these characters.
Then the 'big' climax happened seconds after and I felt as though I was slapped in the face. Every moment after felt rushed, poorly made and cliched. I watched the characters I actually started to like become as in-depth as characters in a puppet show (note: most puppet shows don't have very in-depth characters). I was very disappointed. So, without further ado, here are 15 things that Fantastic Four got wrong in the latest reboot that, had they been done right, could have made this into a much better movie.
1. Reed's horrible character portrayal
Many people were angry over how much Johnny Storm's character was changed , but I managed to overlook that for the most part. What I was angry about was how much they changed Reed Richards. As the leader of the group, Reed is supposed to be strong, smart and confident. The movie adaptation of Reed made him smart, but that's it.
Instead of having him work 24/7 in order to fix what happened to his friends (like the real Reed Richards would have done), the movie version of Reed ran away from his problems for a year. I don't know why this movie confused Reed Richards with Bruce Banner, but it was appallingly horrible. Reed Richards is supposed to be confident and never denies his own intellect. He doesn't run away to South America when he makes a mistake; he works his butt off to fix it and is there for his friends!
2. The bond between Sue and Johnny
Another key character element that Fantastic Four was missing was the inseparable bond between Sue and Johnny. In the comics, they lost their parents at a young age and relied on each other to survive. This carried on into adulthood and they always still stuck together, constantly having each other's backs.
The movie made them almost estranged siblings. When the two of them began working together, it was apparent that they had almost no interaction beforehand and had just as much of a bond together as Reed had with Victor.
3. Johnny's care-free attitude
No, I am not referring to Johnny's race. I still respect the decision of casting Michael B. Jordan into that role as he is a very good actor. I instead refer to how much they butchered his classic, ladies-man character.
They certainly added his care-free mannerisms and how he embraces his abilities. However, his care-free mannerism was only shown in his opening scene. From there, it was briefly mentioned here and there, but really played no part in the rest of the movie. There was no flirting with girls (Johnny's specialty), showing off his powers or anything else the real Johnny Storm would have done.
4. What did they do to the Baxter building?
One of my favorite parts about the Fantastic Four team is their location: smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. It is always fun to see how carefully they live in the comic book Baxter building (a large apartment complex with the FF's head quarters at the top) to make sure not to anger the nearby residents. Plus, it's always fun to see the residents' reactions when something goes wrong.
This element was eliminated in the movie when they changed the Baxter Building into a strange cross between a major corporation and a school. Then, the team doesn't even end up in the Baxter Building. Instead, they moved to some secret complex in the middle of nowhere that will keep them out of the public eye, which takes away from the strong publicity the Fantastic Four has with regular people.
5. Giving Doctor Doom too much power
The 2005 Fantastic Four got Doctor Doom wrong by making him just as powerful (if not less powerful) as the members of the team, making him an easy foe to take down. It didn't provide much of a challenge or a strong enough climax. This film tried to make up for it by making Doctor Doom immensely powerful. Though it's true that he is very powerful in the comics, Doctor Doom did not have the ability to blow people's heads up just by looking at them.
It's an unreasonable change to one of Marvel's best characters that I did not appreciate. The true power of Doctor Doom is not his abilities, but his willpower and how he uses what he has to accomplish anything. This was not apparent in the film whatsoever as all we saw him do was wave his hands around and inexplicably kill everyone in his sight.
6. Giving Doctor Doom no reasonable place in the plot
The entire climax of the film was just awful. There was no true story for why Doctor Doom was evil. They just found him, he said he felt his world was threatened and then he destroyed everything. Then, the Fantastic Four came in and beat him in about two minutes, creating a very anticlimactic climax.
I get what they were trying to do in order to 'assemble' the team, but using Doctor Doom was in no way the right choice. He had absolutely no build up until that point. He felt forced, rushed and completely unbelievable. It would have made a lot more sense to have one of the other characters, perhaps Dr. Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) as Mole Man, become the final antagonist instead of resurrecting a forgotten character just for the sake of including him in the movie. From there, they could have had an after credits scene showing Victor still alive in the other dimension.
7. The absurd concept at the climax
The transition into the climax was horrible. One second they are mourning the death of a character. The next second, Doctor Doom is going to his other dimension and Reed is shouting about how it will create a black hole. Now I have one question. Why is this black hole concept just now being brought up?!
There were very few cases beforehand in the movie of them even mentioning a black hole, and none of these were at all memorable. Suddenly, something happens to cause this briefly mentioned black hole and everyone knows what will happen just because of some forgotten theory? Then, to top it off, the entire group is lifted into the air and fly in Sue's magical bubble to the other dimension. I get trying to take the climax to another level, but that just makes no sense. Then, instead of facing any more difficulties after defeating doom, they fly back through the portal perfectly the same way they came. There was no difficulty or sacrifice plays at all. It created no tension and in no way got me to the edge of my seat.
8. The rising conflict and resolution between Ben and Reed
My favorite part of the movie was the relationship between Ben and Reed. I even started to feel for the characters when they turned against each other. I was looking for a strong, emotional conclusion to their conflict. And you know what we got? A cheap line from Reed after Ben asks him if he's going to run away again. And then suddenly their relationship is totally fine after a year. How realistic!
9. How the team just managed to assemble perfectly
One second everyone on the team is mad at each other about something, but then take them all to some other dimension and they stand in a perfect circle as if they had all fought together before? No, I'm not believing that for a second.
Then, there are no apologizes made to reconcile their differences, even during the resolution. Reed had turned them all into monsters and then abandoned them, but he came back just in time to stop a bad guy, so he's back to being their best friend again? No. That's not how life works.
10. The special effects
[Quick note: I could not manage to find any stills (images) with bad effects because Fox never released those in the trailers for obvious reasons. But the scene above was filled with awful CGI in the movie itself.]
The scenes in the other dimension (with the green energy) and many scenes with the Thing were done horribly. It was ridiculous. It seemed like an 80s space movie's effects and it made me cringe when I realized how much money was put into this movie just so they could have crappy shots like that.
11. The cliched lines that they clearly stole from other movies
There were so many lines in this movie that were clearly either cliches, or total rip offs from other movies. There was one in particular about how family is important that I'm pretty sure they stole from Lilo & Stitch. Then there was another one where Doctor Doom said the line "There is no Victor, only Doom."
It was not only the stolen ones, but the crappy, cliched lines you'd expect to hear like:
"I can't leave without him"
"Don't let go!"
"I guess that's something we both agree on," etc...
12. The lack of a public response
As I briefly mentioned earlier, one of the big things about the classic Fantastic Four team is their publicity. They don't hide their identities or what they do. Instead, they publicly protect people from threats and receive mixed reactions from the public that almost always have an effect on the plot. This was not apparent here. In fact, we saw zero reactions from people outside of the Baxter Building and the government.
13. Taking great actors away from better projects
Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan are all phenomenal actors. None of their acting abilities were displayed in this movie. It would have been done just as well had they taken a bunch of junior theater actors and cast them for the same roles instead of wasting the time of some amazing actors that could have used their talents for other projects they could have legitimately helped with.
14. Why was there a hidden base in a rather active looking area?
This one I will go over briefly. So they have this hidden Area 51-esque base that is supposed to be in the middle of nowhere. Yet, during the 'climax', we see that it is near a packed highway and a city. How could a base this large with so many ships go unnoticed for all of this time when there is so much life going on around it? Sometimes it's the little plot holes that make movies ridiculous just as much as the big things do.
15. That "fantastic" ending
If you saw the movie and managed to stay until the very end of the resolution, you know what I'm talking about. The new "team" goes over some crazy banter trying to decide on a name and they come up with it in the cheesiest and most expected way possible. Then, just like Age of Ultron, they cut the movie right when they are about to say the words you would expect them to say. Copy cats.
I understand that many of my arguments here are over how horribly the movie portrayed the comic book it was based off, and many may argue that this is acceptable because Fantastic Four is supposedly breaking off to tell a new story, redefining everything. But if that was the case, new characters should have been made instead of luring everyone into a theater promising them one story, then completely changing everything. Many people get mad when books are radically changed when they are made into movies. Well, this applies for comic book movies as well.
This movie was did not live up to expectations. It had a few good parts, but there were many factors that were done wrong as well. Do not expect too much from Fantastic Four like I did. I defended this movie for months, and I realized it was all in vain when the predictions of the critics came true.