Marvel always tends to do phenomenally with all of its movies - except for one unfortunate superhero team. The Fantastic Four are some of the most beloved superheroes in the comics, yet all four of their film adaptations have managed to get a negative response, especially the most recent 2015 version:
Last summer a new, darker version of Fantastic Four hit theaters with a horrible fan reaction. The cast of the film was amazing and a lot of hard work had been put into the project, but something went wrong during production to make the film's quality abruptly drop. Whether this drop in quality was at the fault of FOX or at the fault of director Josh Trank, we really can't tell. The fact is, the movie flopped.
Though the movie did lack throughout, particularly the ending, I would be lying if I said that it did not carry some good elements. In fact, I was rather impressed by one factor of the film in particular: how well they developed the characters.
The previous reboot of Fantastic Four from 2005 threw the characters into the radiation right from the beginning of the movie, forcing the audience to get to know the characters as they gained their abilities. The 2015 version, however, gave the audience time to get to know the characters, and then gave them their abilities a while after.
This gradual progression into getting to know the characters was actually my favorite part of the film. It gave the filmmakers the opportunity to establish what the Fantastic Four are like without their abilities. This meant we were able to see the relationship between Sue and Johnny, the growing feud between Reed and Victor, the friendship between Ben and Reed, and even the gradual romance between Reed and Sue, before they even gained their abilities.
This is something that neither the first movies nor the original Fantastic Four comics gave us, and it is something I certainly appreciated. It made their transition into being superheroes more powerful and even heartbreaking. In the previous movies, it was hard to feel for Ben Grimm becoming the Thing because we never got to know the character personally. This version of the movie, though, really made us feel for Ben as he realized his life would never be the same.
Though some may say that the 2005 Fantastic Four was more accurate to the comics, the 2015 version managed to be accurate to the comics while keeping the entire feel of the film realistic. Instead of taking a classic superhero approach to the film, FOX decided to make the movie more of a sci-fi thriller.
This decision to be a sci-fi film is what caused the problem with fans. Those who looked at the movie like it was going to be like the previous Fantastic Four films did not enjoy it at all, while those who looked at it for what it was – a realistic sci-fi thriller – thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
The biggest part of setting up the characters that I personally enjoyed was the relationship between Reed and Ben. In previous movies, we knew they were friends, but we never really had a chance to see their relationship before Ben became the Thing.
In 2015's Fantastic Four, Ben and Reed's bond was very well built up, allowing us to see when they first met and their friendship thereafter. This build up made Ben's sudden transformation into the Thing even more heartbreaking because we could feel the rage and betrayal Ben felt after his best friend of so many years abandoned him.
Though the movie gets a lot of hate, Fantastic Four does have some rather good elements to it. The movie was not meant to be an action packed superhero film, which is why the villain Doctor Doom did not receive as much attention as he could have.
Fantastic Four is far from the best movie of all time, but it certainly got many things right. The final battle of the film was rushed, but the character development leading up to it was spot on.