Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Fantastic Four... Or Flop

The Fantastic Four! A name of a team that is so renowned in the world of comics that when you hear the name, your ears flinch and a chill goes up your spine. One of the original teams of superheroes that broke out and captured the imaginations of kids who either read the comics, watch the television series or played the games. The trailer for the remake of the famous franchise was released recently and all directions seem to point to this movie being a flop more than fantastic. Unfortunately when it comes to live action movies like most marvel properties owned by different movie companies, they just can’t get it right.

For those that don’t have a clue, The Fantastic Four is a group of superheroes that were scientists who went up into space and got caught in a cosmic storm that gave them powers. Reed Richards became Mr. Fantastic who can expand his body parts to certain limits, Sue Storm who plays the invisible woman and I guess you have an idea what she can do, Johnny Storm plays the human torch who is Sue’s brother and can set himself on fire by saying the famous phrase, “Flame on!” Then there’s my favorite, The Thing who goes by Ben Grimm. Together they face off against famous marvel villains but none so deadly then Dr. Doom. Arguably the most dangerous villain in the Marvel Universe because unlike most villains, he’s a king in his country and can’t be imprisoned for his crimes against others.

This allows for an endless feud between the team and Dr. Doom but sometimes it involves others but mostly Doom is involved with the Fantast Four. It’s Dr. Doom who again is the main antagonist in the reboot and while this trailer reveals a more serious direction for the superheroes, something is just off. As I looked at it, I thought I was watching a preview of a sequel to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar but only when you see a glimpse of the four in their new look do you think, “Oh the Fantastic Four.” Honestly I didn’t feel anything at the end of the trailer and while I like to keep an open mind, this movie is looking more and more like a disaster.

The word disaster fits well when it comes to the history of the Fantastic Four in the movies. The first try came in 1994 The Fantastic Four and it was done so poorly with cheap special effects and a terrible story that it went into obscurity immediately. The second try came in 2005 and that one was decent enough that 20th Century Fox was able to make a sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer but it was the final nail in the coffin. This time the four are a young cast and the origin is going to be completely rebooted in order to draw in a new audience and a fresher look to the team. The problem with new is that purists will have a problem with it and this reboot has left a trail of plenty complaints.

Josh Trank, the director of the popular film Chronicle was burdened with this reboot and decided to make a move that would send shockwaves through the Marvel Universe. Michael B. Jordan, a breakout star due to the success of the film Chronicle is African American and when it was decided he would play the Human Torch, fans went on the most enormous rant I’ve seen since Ben Affleck was announced as Batman. Now if you’re going to ignore this film because of the race issue then that’s pathetic, Jordan is a great actor and I know he could pull it off but changing the story around is where I can understand the pain that the purists feel. Johnny Storm, who is Sue Storm’s brother is now adopted and the synopsis reads that this film takes the scientists to an alternate universe where they gained their powers so clearly this film is completely taking things off the comics.

Again, I like to keep an open mind about everything but unfortunately I don’t see much to be excited about and it’s sad because this film will be the third strike for 20 Century Fox. For some reason they can get X-Men right but that’s mostly because of Bryan Singer and his direction for the team but that same magic can’t happen for the classic team. Hopefully things will look a little better as time goes on but as of right now, The Fantastic Four doesn’t look so… good. We’ll know more as the film comes closer to its August release date and more previews will be released. Until then, for all the fans of the Fantastic Four, I keep your fingers crossed and keep praying because it’s looks like we have another fantastic flop on the way. 

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