Let's just get this out of the way before we get into it. I have been waiting for this reboot for at least a year since we were given our first casting information. It had the potential to be a great box-office hit with big stars like Miles Teller (Whiplash, Divergent), Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Jamie Bell. There were certainly moments where I was excited about what this movie could be. The Fantastic Four comic book series has a great premise and a great follow through.
So why did the movie fail in some people's eyes?
I still don't understand how it went wrong. The cast was incredible, Reg. E Cathey and the four mentioned up above, not to mention the plethora of noticeable side characters and Toby Kebbell playing Victor Von Doom.
Leaving politics with the studio out, the plot was a jigsaw puzzle, and some pieces weren't meant to go together. The time jumps within the movie were noticeable as well. It started in grade school, then skipped to 17-year old Reed Richards having built this incredible inter-dimensional machine.
We're introduced to Franklin Storm, and his daughter Sue (Kate Mara). And then we get an introduction to Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) in a drag race in backstreets. The start of this movie was promising, but as the plot progressed, it became obvious that the planning for the plot was less than clear.
In the 2005 series starring Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba and Ioan Gruffudd, they were given their powers in a freak electrical storm in space while they were on a mission to save the world no doubt. But this film? Victor, Reed and Johnny come up with the idea to embark on inter-dimensional travel when they get drunk one night.
Let me rephrase, they received their powers because of a drunk decision one night? And Sue was missing from this decision, but was caught in the crossfire of the boys' decision.
And then, when Reed discovers that he and his friends have horrific powers from their trip, he runs. Where? For a while, we're not sure. But he leaves for a year, and the other three are forced to get used to their powers. All of which, we don't see. The movie skips them learning to use their powers, learning to be a team.
That's something else the movie missed. These four weren't a team. Well, by definition they are but there were no bonding scenes, there was no mucking around or learning together. They were just four people with extra ordinary powers. Well, three for a large part of the film.
And then we're reminded of Doom. Victor fell into the green mist that turned the other three into monsters. If you cast your mind back to the original film, where Julian McMahon, is transformed into Doom with some pretty okay SFX.
And honestly, I don't know where to begin after that. His motives are unclear, though his capacity for destruction is inherently clear. They definitely set up his villainy quickly after we find out what happened to him. His plan seems like an afterthought, but the Fantastic Four's plan is even more an afterthought. We don't get any information, and these characters are unable to do anything until they suddenly are able to do something. And then they take Doom down wtih surprising ease. Arguably this is because they become a team and learn to use their powers together.
In summary, the cast for Fox's The Fantastic Four was incredible. They set themselves up for a serious hit by casting the right people. There were definitely moments where things were perfect, and we saw a glimpse of the greatness that was there. I'm not sure what Josh Trank's original plan for this film was, because there were politics involved with with studio, but if they're lucky enough to get a sequel, I seriously hope that it learns from this movie's mistakes and gives Marvel fans a Fantastic Four movie they deserve.
I would also like to take the time to mention that the makeup department took the time to copy Miles Teller's actual scars from a car accident a few years back, and give the child actor who played young Reed Richards, the same ones. I thought that was a nice touch.
So again, if you're a Marvel fan, stick around for the cast, because the cast was one of the things the film got right. The character arcs were great, but also, that it wasn't made by Marvel. Just something to remember. But it certainly has potential.