The verdict is in for Fox’s reboot of the Fantastic Four, ultimately the overall reviews have been mixed. Before going to see the film I prepared myself by going in with low expectations as I was never a huge fan of the film’s direction from the start. As it stands the film is the worst reviewed Marvel film. Rotten Tomatoes has it at a 9% Tomatoemeter score with an average review of 3.4 out of 10. I know Rotten Tomatoes can be hard on films, however those review scores echoes the sentiment of many who have seen this film. When I heard that the film would go away from the traditional Stan Lee and Jack Kirby approach I was not at all that excited; however when they caste talented actors Miles Teller (Reed Richards), Michael B Jordan (Johnny Storm), Jaime Bell (Ben Grimm) and Kate Mara (Sue Storm) it gave me hope that the film would turn out to be a successful reboot. It was clear that by halfway through the film all of my fears would become a reality. Josh Trank and Fox should have gone with an older veteran cast, not the “Fantastic Four babies”. There is still hope for the franchise if it were brought back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU); the issues would easily be remedied by Kevin Feige and his talented team.
This film initially starts out pretty well, as it flash backs to Reed Richardson and Ben Grimm’s childhood, chronicling Reed’s desire to create a device which could teleport an item to a different location, however as the movie fast forward, it seems there is no build up to Richardson, Grimm, Doom and the Storms receiving their powers. The film took on the identity of being rushed, empty, unbalanced and emotionless. It also lacked the climactic battle you would think a film with five individuals with extraordinary abilities would have. Although I found Doctor Doom’s powers interesting, I did not know or understand what they were. The dynamic between Johnny Storm and father Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathy) was never fully explored; although it was teased, it was left to the audience’s imagination. With the casting of Michael B Jordan, it gave the film a wonderful opportunity to explore and capitalize on the relationship of he, Sue and the father, ultimately putting to bed the unnecessary criticism that Jordan and the studio took by casting an African American in the Johnny Storm role; there was a bit of build up tension between Sue, the adopted daughter, and Johnny, however nothing came of it. Another dynamic that was missed was the exploration of Grimm’s struggle towards holding on to his humanity despite his circumstances.
Have we, as movie goers, been spoiled by Marvel’s MCU films? Ever since Iron Man in 2008, all the way to last month’s Ant Man, Marvel has created such special products that seemly have us wanting more; but with that being said, are we excepting too much out of a film such as this or was it just that bad? I feel that it is more of the latter. With every film Marvel puts out, it continually raises the bar that much more for other films to aspire to, and if they do not, this is what they will get. This film seemed doomed from opening day when the films very own Director Josh Trank, took to twitter with the following comment:
This clearly just looks like Trank is attempting to save face on a project that did not work out. Needless to say he want be back to direct another Fantastic film, or another film such as this. He was trying to mix in the Fantastic Four Ultimate version from the comics with a whole new take that did not fit within what fans have come to know of the Fantastic Four. This is Marvel’s first family, one of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s early creations of heroes, when will studios get it right by following the source material?
The inclusion of the Fantastic Four within the MCU would allow it to become a part of something much more than their individual adventures. Being a part of that universe makes their solo films that much more entertaining, because at any given time any Marvel character could show up. It would be great to see Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner working together, sharing ideas and fighting alongside each other. It would also be great to see the Hulk and the Thing going toe-to-toe or Spider-Man and his good buddy Human Torch teaming up. The Fantastic Four have always been front and center within each of Marvel’s biggest stories: Civil War, Secret Invasion, Secret Wars, and Infinity Wars. Sony saw that it needed to allow Spider-Man to become a part of the MCU so that it could get the treatment a character of that magnitude deserves. I, for one, am excited to see their incarnation of the web slinger in Civil War as well as his solo film in 2017 which will no doubt feature cameos from other characters to show that he is part of something much bigger.
So what do you think? Would the inclusion of yet another property be great for the MCU, I look forward to hearing your take on this; do you feel it would be a deal similar to that of Sony and Marvel with Spider-Man? Stay Tuned!