First of all, let me jump start this review off by stating that no I was not paid or endorsed by Fox or Marvel to actually give a positive review for Fantastic Four and no, I’m not riding the Marvel/super hero train even though I love Marvel and DC Comics. This review is my honest opinion of the film and my perspective on Fox’s take. Now let’s get to the actual review.
Yes, there are problems with the film. What are those problems you might ask? Well, let me name a few: there’s an incredible lack of action, it attempts to touch on character development in an almost cringe worthy way and a fantastic – pun excused – lack of motivation for me to fall in love with any one character. Oh, did I also mention how much I hate the new looks for the Human Torch and Doctor Doom? Yeah…
Writers Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg did their best to pull together a film with over 5 major character, but ultimately, they suffered from what all comic book writers that work on a super hero team book suffer from. They were asked to shove a great deal of super heroes into a short book (or in their case, film). In a comic book like Justice League, writers are forced to somehow include more than 5 heroes and a story into 22 – more or less – pages. In a film like Fantastic Four, Slater and Kinberg had to somehow had to shove 5 characters into 100 mins.
Now people keep approaching this film like every other Marvel film, but you really can’t be doing that. If anything, we’re completely spoiled by the other films that Marvel/Sony/Warner Bros. and Fox have been producing and that’s just simply unfair. Let’s look at the facts. Films like Iron Man, Thor or Captain America only had to deal with one major character and then gave themselves that full hour and a half to devote to that one single character. Hell, it took Marvel multiple films before they finally brought the Avengers on screen because they finally thought they had released enough films to set up for an acceptable team film.
Fantastic Four, on the other hand, bands together 5 characters into one film right off the bat and tries to tell all of their stories in one film. The problem with that? Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Victor Von Doom are incredibly complex characters with an even more complicated history between characters that you really can’t shove into a film. If you watched the film, you would/would’ve noticed this too. Slater and Kinberg tried to force a great deal of underlying themes and relationships dynamics into the film such as Sue and Reed’s budding romance, Johnny’s motivation for why he’s the way he is, Ben’s resentment towards Reed because he blames him for his transformation and more. The film was completely rushed, there’s no denying that.
But you know what? Through all these problems and many more – like an insane margin more – , I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Yes, it was a huge set up for a sequel film, but that’s the point. How do you tell the incredibly complicated story of Marvel’s First Family in an hour and 30 minutes? That’s just the point. You can’t. There’s practically no real way for them to do that without falling victim to such films as Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, and forcing us to have Fantastic Four: The Origins Part 1 and then a year later, Fantastic Four: The Origins Part 2. Bottom line? Yes, the film suffers from a great deal of problems but I’m incredibly hopeful for Fantastic Four 2. I appreciated that Slater and Kinberg took the time to set up the different dynamics of relationships between the characters, but I just wished there was a bit more. Perhaps that’s due to my deep hatred of origin story problems, but call me an optimistic – I’m hopeful for the sequel.
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