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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fantastic Four (2015) - review

I tend to like movies even if everyone else hates them. I grew up watching the classic Transformers animated series. I loved the show so much that I have the full set on DVD (along with Beast Wars and Beast Machines). And yet, I still enjoyed Michael Bay's Transformers movies. Classic TMNT cartoon? Yep. Most recent TMNT movie? Yep. Superman Returns? I wanted a sequel. Same for Green Lantern. What does any of this have to do with Fantastic Four? Be patient, I'm getting there.

We've covered that I am fine with movies that most die-hard fans hate.  Well, what about reboots? Spider-man vs The Amazing Spider-man? Don't make me choose. I enjoyed them both. (But Spider-man would win because of Raimi.) Batman (1989) vs Batman Begins? They were both great for their time, and I refuse to say that one is better than the other. Superman (1978) vs Man of Steel? Same.

And then we have Fantastic Four. (spoiler warning)

I liked the 2005 version with Chris Evans and Jessica Alba much better. With this new incarnation, it's almost as if someone at Marvel sabotaged the movie so that 21st Century Fox would be willing to give up the movie rights.  This, to me, is an example of wasted potential. I really thought that the cast was great, but something was holding them back. They didn't have the on-screen chemistry that the 2005 cast did.

We all know that The Thing gets the raw end of the deal, right?  The 2005 movie shows him being rejected by his girlfriend, so you feel sorry for him. He's manipulated by Doom into blaming Reed, but then realizes Doom is the bad guy and goes to save his friend.  There's a whole arc for his character. That's just one example of what's missing here.

Ben Grimm is barely part of the team and is brought in just in time to be transformed into the The Thing. He feels betrayed by Reed, but it never really feels like the betrayal is resolved into forgiveness.

Overall, I'd say that the sense of fun is gone in this version. That, and the special effects budget. What the hell? Can you believe that a movie made 10 years ago had better special effects? The Thing in this version looks like some creature out of Return To Oz (1985). The Human Torch looks like someone from Ah-Ha's "Take On Me" video that was colored orange, and Doom is an all-powerful Hot Topic mannequin.

This is one of the few times you'll find me agree with negative reviews. I hope that Fox loses the rights and lets Marvel do this franchise right. I really hope a sequel doesn't get made. If it does, I'm sure I'll go see it... just to see if they learned anything from their mistakes.

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