If you’ve heard about Fox’s reboot of the Fantastic Four movie, then you’d know that it didn’t do too well at the box office (that’s putting it mildly) and if you had gone to see the movie, you’d probably wished for a refund or at least your time back.
I’ve seen my fair share of bad movies but watching the new Fantastic Four movie was the first time that I felt that it was torture to keep watching. I had read negative reviews prior to purchasing tickets but thought I’d give it a chance anyway, being a fan of the comics and surprisingly of the first two movies. That was a bad call on my part. Watching the Fantastic Four reboot was the first time I felt utterly bored in a movie theatre and wanted to walk out.
The most important thing that I felt the movie lacked was heart. There was no sense or indication of a close-knit bond of family amongst the four characters.
I had grown up with and idealised the notion of the Fantastic Four being Marvel’s ‘First Family’. Just as the original five X-Men portrayed the bonds of friendship, camaraderie and a true sense of being a team, the Fantastic Four, were not just a team of heroes, they were, first and foremost, family, and where the reboot seriously went astray was in the lack of any sort of true emotional bond between the characters.
Sure, it was clear that Reed Richards and Ben Grimm were the best of friends but other than the fact that they shared a last name and called the same guy, “Dad”, I couldn’t buy the fact that Sue and Johnny Storm were siblings. This was something the 2005 Fantastic Four movie did right. Both Jessica Alba and Chris Evans played the role of mature older sister and mischievous little brother well. That movie depicted moments where the two showed that they truly cared for one another, for example, in the scene prior to Reed Richards’ and Sue Storm’s wedding, where Johnny looked at his sister with awe and joy, hugged her and said something along the lines of “Dad would be proud”. You’ll have to watch it to truly get the point I’m trying to make.
Another thing to note is that Sue Storm was the glue that kept the team together, the team matriarch that kept everyone in check. Kate Mara, the actress that played Sue in the reboot, was emotionally lifeless in her role, apart from a couple of scenes where she laughed or smiled. I don’t recall there even being tears when Franklin Storm was killed.
The romance and flirtation between Reed Richards and Sue Storm was almost as flat. Personally, it seemed like Ben Grimm was a better match for Reed. Not to mention that Victor Von Doom showed a lot more believable interest in Sue.
On the note of Victor Von Doom, there was no ‘oomph’ to him being the villain. His downfall from Reed Richard’s rival to the evil Dr. Doom was clumsy and rushed and if I dare say, he felt more like the victim rather than a villain. The plot of the movie failed the character immensely and I was especially disappointed in the way the four heroes came together to save the day. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand what I mean. It was, essentially, “oh look, imminent disaster!” “Oh yes, we have powers now. Lets save the day” followed by a few seconds of ‘action’ in ‘battling’ Doom (battling is probably an understatement as Doom didn’t seem like a challenge at all) and within a blink of an eye, it was all over and everything was hunky-dory.
There was no remorse on the team’s part for their role in creating the problem in the first place, there was literally no grief over their father’s and mentor’s death and as soon as they ‘saved’ the world, the awesome foursome were given a whole new lab with thousands of dollars worth of equipment to perfect the ability to travel into other dimensions. Yeah, because their first attempt to create a portal and travel into another world went so well. Not to mention the cheesiest and graceless way the team decided on calling themselves the Fantastic Four. *Facepalm*
Finally, and this didn’t bother me too much, but why was Ben Grimm naked in rock form? At least the 2005 movie gave him pants.
All in all, as a fan of the Fantastic Four, I was left completely dejected after walking out of the cinema. In my mind, this movie doesn’t exist and I’m quite happy to wait for a reboot of the reboot, though perhaps a $20 trip to the theatres may not be in the cards.