Friday, July 31, 2015

The 4 reasons I will NOT see the new Fantastic Four movie

In a week, the Fox's newest attempt at launching the Fantastic Four license will hit theaters. Despite seeing damn near every comic book adaptation on the big screen, I have decided not to see for four reasons. (And no, one of them is not that they cast a black guy as Johnny Storm.) They are as follows:

1. If the movie bombs, Fox will probably give up on the franchise and let the film rights revert back to Marvel. Let's face it, the Fantastic Four belong with Marvel. I feel like they have the best chance of making a successful adaptation of the team for the big screen. Much of my reasoning for not seeing this new Fantastic Four revolve around the benefits of Marvel getting the license back.

Do you really want to see a series of Fantastic Four films without the rest of the Marvel universe involved? Their universe becomes pretty limited after a while. They have the obligatory fights against Dr. Doom and Galactus. They get an ally in Silver Surfer. I hear Fox has already set up a sequel involving Mole Man (more on that later). Realistically, what more is there? Skrulls? Puppet Master? The Fantastic Four have many villains, but how many are really movie-level threats? I suppose with the Negative Zone you can have Annihilus and Blastaar. You get no interaction with Spider-man or the Inhumans (which debuted in the Fantastic Four comic). You have no epic brawl of Thing versus Hulk. No Illuminati. It's really just going to be Fox either trying to tell us the same stories they already did in the previous two Fantastic Four movies or attempting to make a lesser known villain a huge threat in a pretty limited world. Imagine the Skrull's "Secret Invasion" with just the Fantastic Four. Lame.

The biggest complaint against the Marvel films is that their villains tend to leave us wanting more. With the exception of Loki, who didn't really become his great self until the first Avengers film, most Marvel villains lack sufficient back-story, motivation and, as George R. R. Martin pointed out, they tend to be evil reverse versions of their heroic counterparts (Yellowjacket, Iron Monger, Venom). If the Fantastic Four goes back to Marvel, consider the villains that come with them! As I said before, you get Dr. Doom (possibly Marvel's greatest super villain), Galactus , Annihilus and, as we learned recently, Kang the Conquerer! (That last one really irritates Jonny and I; Kang is an Avengers villain!)

Also imagine the great storyline that could be done on film correctly! The coming of Galactus would be epic if the Avengers made a cameo to try in vain the stop him, or fight his herald Silver Surfer. In speaking of heralds, Marvel's space universe could also add other former heralds of Galactus like Terrax, Firelord (who was originally a member of the Nova Corps.), Morg, and Tyrant! Assuming the Skrulls are part of the Fantastic Four license (I had heard a rumor that they were part of the X-men for some reason) they would help expand Marvel's space universe. Also, can you imagine how awesome an epic movie adapted from the Annihilation storyline would be?

2. Fox doesn't really care if you like the film or not. This is a bold claim, I know, but look at the facts. Long before anyone even saw a trailer of the new Fantastic Four movie, Fox had green lit a sequel. That's right, a controversial reboot to a franchise of mediocre films with lackluster reviews got a sequel before the public even saw a second of footage. See, Fox wants to make the kind of bank Avengers has made for Disney. They want to expand their mutant movie-verse to include the Fantastic Four and eventually make some sort of bizarre crossover film. The dollar signs in their eyes have blinded them to the fact that fans are leery of the new film and it's direction. Instead of letting the fans judge for themselves, Fox has clearly decided that they don't need movie-goers to approve of the new movie. The sequel was approved before the this new movie was even completed! Does that sound like a movie studio that respects the opinions of viewers or one that just assumes comic book fans will watch anything superhero related that are thrown their way?  And apparently what is being thrown our way is a movie about Mole Man... yawn.

3. The new Fantastic Four movie looks a hell of a lot like the previous one. Just by going off of the trailer, it seems like the only real differences between the current reboot and the last reboot are as follows: The team gets their powers in another dimension, not outer space; instead of going public as superhero celebrities the government captures them; Doom is a hacker or something dumb like that and the cast is a bit younger... mostly.

What looks the same to me? The film tells the origin story of 5 people (the future Fantastic Four and a fifth guy who becomes Dr. Doom) that do a science experiment that goes wrong, giving them powers. While the Fantastic Four have to come to grips with their new lives, powers and being different, the fifth guy goes all evil and becomes a threat to the whole world, or at least New York City. Realizing only they can stop him, the four band together to face Doom. However, Doom's lightning based powers give the team a run for their money until they learn to work together to defeat him and thus the Fantastic Four is born.

Sounds pretty familiar, right? For as different and unique as the movie wants to claim to be, it sure looks similar to the last origin film. I guess if you loved the last films, this is right up your alley. For me, the trailers just show that Fox gave the same old jalopy a paint job. Here, look for yourself:

While the new one looks less hokey, the plot seems very similar and the dialogue is just as stiff and wooden as the 2005 version. Even the Human Torch's lines aren't as funny. 

4. Doom looks like crap! Yes, this is a reason unto itself. Dr. Doom is one of my all-time favorite villains, yet on film he comes across hokey, weak and looks about as threatening as a poodle. This new version of Doom looks worse than the predecessors! He looks like terrible cosplay! Hell, if it was cosplay, I doubt I would even recognize that it's supposed to be Dr. Doom! It looks like they took a scrawny guy, wrapped him in dirty tin foil! Just look:

bad ass
Are you friggin' kidding me?

Victor Von Doom is supposed to be a massive threat. He runs his own nation as a dictator. His genius parallels Reed Richards, making him a master of all things science related, but her also became a master in the mystical dark arts! In this movie, his real name is Victor Domashev or something like that. I guess he's a computer hacker that goes by the screen name of Doom. So there's your lesson kids... internet trolls are only one botched experiment from being super villains. If only all super hero movies took such liberties with beloved, time-honored characters.

How about if Iron Man was actually a cyborg from the future come to save Tony Stark but merges with him to save the Stark's life after an explosion or something? What if Thor was a lonely emo kid that built himself a hammer for some reason that one night, during a thunderstorm, was struck by lightning and it gained super powers, so the emo kid fashioned a costume based on the Norse god. Maybe Batman should be the result of a horrible experiment where a bat was given irradiated stem cells and grew to become an anthropomorphic mutant "bat man" that has to learn to live among humans. Oh, and the scientist in charge of the experiment? He splices his genes with that of a hyena and becomes The Joker! Why the fuck not?

Usually I try to refrain judgment on a movie without having seen it, but in this case I am making the exception. I will not be paying to see the new Fantastic 4 movie. Maybe I'll watch it on Netflix or cable, but I don't want to give Fox the money so they can continue to butcher the franchise and lord it over Marvel's heads. I want the new movie to fail, I want the license to go back to Marvel and I want good Fantastic Four movies with an awesome Dr. Doom and a space universe with Galactus and Silver Surfer and Skrulls.

I just hope there are enough people who feel the way I do to make it happen.

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