We weren’t expecting the first reviews for Fantastic Four until tomorrow, but a number of sites have broken embargo and dropped their verdicts on the reboot early. Simply put, they don’t have much nice to say about it! It’s worth bearing in mind that all but one of these come from the trades, and they always tend to be pretty harsh on superhero movies. However, these aren’t the same kind of mixed reviews we saw for Ant-Man last month; they’re extremely harsh, with only the cast really emerging unscathed. The direction, screenplay, and special effects unfortunately aren’t so lucky!
Once the reviewers were actually allowed to start spreading the word, it looks like Fox’s fears were well founded. 9% from Rotten Tomatoes , 1 1/2 stars from RogerEbert ( I always agreed more with Siskel than Ebert anyway). I find myself disagreeing with most critic reviews but even the general audience found it pretty horrible. 2.6 out of 10 from Metacritic. 4.1 out of 10 from IMDB. I wasn’t very excited to see it when I went into the theatre and I was pretty much less excited when I walked out. I think the beginning was OK. The changes from the comics were OK for the most part. Unfortunately, I always go into comic book movies knowing they are going to be changing things up. Although the Johnny Storm change was a disappointing and obvious pandering to diversity, I can live with that. The lead up to their powers in the first part of the movie was acceptable save for the inclusion of Doom in it. His character hurt that part of the story. After the machine was completed the movie just went down hill. The time spent with the army was ridiculous, Reed running away and not contacting the rest, the father figure of the movie and his actions…all of it was terrible. When they brought Doom back, it started getting worse, faster. I am so glad I didn’t pay full price to see this movie.
A bad review of the most recent Fantastic Four movie is not really what I wanted to write about. I want to pose the question of why have all the Fantastic Four movies been so bad? The first two were not as bad as this most recent one, but they were not very good either. It isn’t necessarily the acting that is so bad, although there are some bad actors, I think the script is much more of the problem. But the real problem that has plagued these movies is…Doom! Doom is the central bad guy and they handle him in such a poor way it destroys the whole film. Dr. Doom is such a well developed villian that it is criminal that whoever is writing these scripts can’t translate that to the movies. There is a ton of reference material for him beyond the comic books themselves so there is really no excuse for having such poor representation of him in films. Even the Dr. Doom of the Super Hero Squad is a better character than any in the movies.
A well written Dr. Doom would necessitate the FF to be better written than they have been up to this point or they would never stand a chance of believably defeating him. Besides which, if someone could write Dr. Doom true to his character, the FF would be a piece of cake, he is far more complicated than the rest of them combined.
I end with a plea to Fox, “Three strikes and you are out! I know that making comic book movies are like printing money, but you have screwed the FF up so badly it doesn’t look like it works for you. Pass the FF rights back to Marvel for a cut of the action and you’ll be making more than what you’ve done with the three you have failed with so far. Also…what is with bringing Galactus into the picture in such a pathetic way? You don’t bring out the big guy the second movie in the series and then kill him off, he is what drives the whole franchise if you do it right…. But that is the point, you aren’t doing it right. Let Marvel take their turn.”