I remember when the reboot to the Fantastic Four movies came out, within 24 hours, the world rang with cries of rage and disgust, calling this movie an abomination and unfinished crap and other derogatory things. I finally got around to seeing it myself, and I have got to say, it is not nearly as bad as people say. People were freaking out about how bad it was, as if they took it as a personal insult, like the movie slapped everyone’s mother and kicked their pets in the face.
Now, I am not saying this is a good movie. But it’s not bad. It’s just okay. Though this is coming from someone who never goes into anything with any real expectations and just enjoys everything for what it is and does not dwell on what I wish it was or could be.
That being said, I also should mention that I find most superhero movies very mediocre at best. Since I am talking about a Marvel movie, I will focus on them. I don’t really like many Marvel movies. Most of them I can consider watchable, but border on being bad, and are far from good. Fantastic Four fits right in with this.
So why is this movie so hated? My guess is because movies like the Avengers and Captain America have set the bar very high for what makes a good superhero movie, and I mean very high. And it even came out a few months after the second Avenger’s movie! That isn’t something too easy to follow up! So I guess maybe people were expecting an edge of your seat action movie with amazing fight scenes and all that fun stuff.
But no, instead we get an origin movie! Boy howdy! These origin movies are never that good, except for Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, and of course Captain America. But movies like Iron Man and Thor are crap. In fact all the movies in those series are garbage, but everyone loves them! The trouble with these origin movies is that they spend 3/4 of the movie explaining how they got their powers and then learning to control them and what not. At the same time, a villain has to be introduced, developed and also equipped with unnatural powers and then do something that must be stopped by the confused people who just got powers of their own. The line from Spider Man, “with great power comes great responsibility” is a wonderful line, because this is something virtually every hero learns and allows them to shape what type of hero they are, even including their abilities, name and costume.
Fantastic Four fits right into the typical origin movie, but as I said before, the standards of movie making are much higher nowadays. If this came out 10 years ago it would be a hit.
Think back to the old style of Marvel movies. There was one villain that did stuff, and maybe encountered the hero in a small fight, with more threats and plan revelations being thrown than punches. Then the suspense would build up for a final climatic battle, where both villain and hero really come into their own, learning the true limitations of their powers, with the hero always coming out on top. Then the hero would realize what he/she could do for the world thanks to these newly received powers, and they officially become a proud guardian of wherever they live, taking pleasure in the fact that they are using their powers for good. The movies always end on this high note.
That is the basic premise, throw in a love story, and day to day struggles, and you’ve got your movie. They were very simple, but had a nice charm to them. Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, X-Men, basically every movie made before like 2008 fit this bill.
Nowadays, there are groups of heroes, combining their powers and talents, fighting multiple villains or other people or things every 3 scenes in amazing action sequences with countless explosions and all that great visually appealing stuff. Their might be a love story crammed in their somewhere, but overall, they are much more action based and crazy, keeping you on the edge of your seats for most of the movie.
Both styles are great in my opinion. Trouble is, most people probably find the older style very outdated and boring nowadays. But to me, they are easier to follow and understand, and like I said, there is something charming about them.
That being said, let’s talk about the sequencing of Fantastic Four. It spends most of the time explaining how they got their powers, then they struggle with them, both in being unable to control them at first, then struggling in life with them or how to live with them…a love story kind of blossoms, a villain gains powers and tries to do something the rest of the world doesn’t agree with. The heroes accept the responsibilities their powers give them, learn to utilize them instead of being ashamed of them, and then in the end, there’s a climatic battle where they learn to use the full potential of their powers to stop the single villain.
Afterwards, they unite as a team and get their feeling of self-worth, proud and happy that they can make a difference in the world.
So which style does this movie sound like? That’s right, the older one. And actually, for an origin movie, this one is pretty interesting. I like the depth they go into showing how everything came about.
Like I said, it’s not a bad movie, but it’s not good either. If I had to guess, the reason why everyone hates this movie is because there is one real fight scene, the final battle between Dr. Doom and the four. This is disappointing for sure, since the reason anyone wants to see a superhero movie is for the action, but it doesn’t necessarily make a movie bad either. It shined in other ways to redeem it a bit.
So overall, it is far from the best movie out there, but far from the worst. People should really give it a chance, just because it is not like the Avengers, doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed.