Cuz that’s how we spell that, right?
“Every moment of this life which has tried so hard yet failed to break me … I could not forget them if I tried.” – Victor Von Doom, Fantastic Four: Books of Doom #1
Public Service Announcement:
So, the people next to me brought like their 5 year old boy to the movie, and he was scared to death like half the thing. There’s a good deal of body horror and shit, and lots of gloominess. I have no idea what the rating was, but that kid was clearly unhappy. He started off by covering his eyes with his hand, but he ended up straight turning around and just burying his face in his chair. He even whimpered a bit when all the green stuff went nuts.
Yeah, I’m not a parent, so it’s not my job to give advice, but as your kid crying distracted me, I’m doing it anyhow: Get a babysitter next time OR don’t go see movies too mature for your 5 year old.
This is an origin story for the famous Marvel First Family, the Fantastic Four. If you don’t know who they are, congrats, you’re on the internet and I just gave you a link to the Marvel wikia! Click it! Also, holy crap, where have you been since… forever!
Deviations from the standard story are, instead of taking the well-known characters from Marvel’s more traditional 616 Earth, that they drew more heavily from the Ultimate Fantastic Four series origin. Like using younger characters and dimensional travel as opposed to older characters and space travel.
The most important and terrible deviation is the neutering of Doom, aka Victor Von Doom. AKA this guy:
Doom is one of Marvel’s most powerful villains. During the Secret Wars event in the 1980s, he beat* the Beyonder, a beyond superpowerful cosmic being, more powerful even than Galactus. In the current Secret War (2015) event, Doom is the God King of Battleworld, ruling over everything and everyone.
And his origin isn’t as impersonal as “maybe the world deserves to fail” or whatever. His origin is deeply rooted in his family, in demonology, in fear, and in hatred. By changing Doom, they seriously screwed this movie. If they did everything else perfectly, their Doom would have ruined it for me, and they did not do everything else perfectly.
So, yes. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and Victor Von Doom, with the help of Sue Storm and Johnny Storm crack inter-dimensional travel. Then the government takes over and decides that they’re going to send adults through, and Reed and Doom say “fuck that” and the boys – plus Reed’s old friend Ben, who helped build the prototype – go through without supervision. Shit goes wrong, Victor Von Doom gets left behind, Sue has to pull them out from our side, Ben’s container can’t close properly and some rocks get in with him, same with Johnny and some fire, and explosion when they return hits Sue with a massive blast of the shield energy that holds the matter stable for teleportation.
Thus why they have different powers. And that was pretty much the ONLY thing the movie got right.
Then you get about 15 minutes of body horror, Reed, Ben, and Johnny screaming, Sue unconscious. Reed escapes. The government offers Ben a chance at a cure but only if he’ll do some heavy lifting (ie breaking shit) for the military in the meantime. A year passes, Johnny’s considering doing military things too, Sue and Mr. Storm don’t want their brother/son to risk his life so she tracks down Reed so that the portal can be fixed and they can really try to find a cure . Instead they find Victor Von Doom, who looks like a dying green glowstick, and they fight for a few minutes before a bullshit win is achieved.
They strongarm the US government and get their own research center. They name themselves the Fantastic Four. It’s really stupid. The end.
There are scenes in the Negative Zone, or as the movie calls it Planet Zero to be concerned with. Glowing green light that sparks. The sound in there also gets wonky. There’s a blue pulsing light in the final fight at Planet Zero much like the one in Man of Steel and Avengers.
Micheal B. Jordan does a good Johnny Storm, but not a great one, and he’s the highlight of the cast. Even with the grrrrr I’m an angry young adult not living up to my potential! stereotype. Everyone else is monotone as hell.
Miles Teller was depressingly boring as Reed Richards, Doom even complains how Reed acts like he’s smarter, but Miles didn’t even show that much personality. Most you got was some Oh WOW SCIENCE eyes and stereotypical “look pretty girl flirt say stupid shit about book” bullshit with Sue.
That stubble was awful. Just awful. Don’t do that.
Kate Mara did fine as Sue Storm, but I think they used wigs on her hair like half the time and it was amazingly distracting. The part seemed so fake. It would change length from shot to shot. At one point her earbuds were out and then in her ears and surely that was just me blinking and not seeing them go in?
(I’ll give some props for liking Portishead, though. Been a fan since high school!)
Jamie Bell was so boring as Ben Grimm that I don’t even have an opinion on him. He was there.
Toby Kebbell as Victor Von Doom… he didn’t write it. That’s what I have to keep reminding myself. He didn’t write it. As far as acting goes, he did a good job. With what he was given, he was second to Michael B. The part where he laments what he and Sue could have been in the future was well said, I thought, and a bit interesting, considering their current relationship in Battleworld.
Reg E. Cathey as Franklin Storm … has a nice voice. The only time I felt any real emotion from him was when he was yelling at Johnny.
Tim Blank Nelson was Dr. Allen, the government liaison. I wanted to punch him in his stupid face every time he was on screen. Not because he was evil, but because he was chewing gum. Like the wig and the stubble it was too damn distracting. Maybe it was supposed to illustrate character or something, but fuck that. I wanted to rip it out of his mouth, and his tongue along with it. That would have given that poor little boy sitting next to me nightmares.
Pitiful. Most of it looked like it was done 5 years ago if not more. The costuming was drab as hell, and had tons of random shit on it that – again – was just distracting. Sue’s wig, Reed’s back-woods stubble, Doom’s dying glow-stick… none of it looked like a modern-day superhero genre flick.
You had moments that worked. Reed jumped a rail at one point, that worked. His little fight in the woods worked okay. Sue floating alone in the empty room worked okay. Johnny flying was fine. Ben looked bad, all the time. Doom looked bad, all the time – except the cape. The cape was great.
The final destruction as caused by the blue glow looked fan-made by someone on youtube. The cars being pulled up? Fake fake fake.
Interesting to Note:
As a teacher, that asswipe at the beginning of the movie who tells young-Reed to consider a “real” job needs to be sent to some sort of training. Maybe let the kid know how hard it can be to get a job in certain science positions, but you don’t flat out say “it’s impossible for you to create teleportation, you stupid little brat.”
What a jerk.
Yup, it’s pretty bad. On the plus side, it’s short. On the negative side, everything else. Given multiple chances and failing at adapting one of the most awesome villains in modern comics, I really wish 21st Century Fox would – at the very least – loan Dr. Doom out to Marvel. Doom is an antagonist for more than just the Fantastic Four. For example, the upcoming Dr. Strange movie… Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom are often at odds with one another.
Also, a suggestion, until the 10th is over (that’s Monday 10th of August), Comixology is having a sale on their Fantastic Four books, which includes Fantastic Four: Books of Doom, telling the story of Victor Von Doom, for $3.99. In fact, Fantastic Four: Books of Doom #1 is free at the moment!
Do yourself and read that instead. Much better origin story. (I am not in any way affiliated with Comixology…I just like the site and would rather read Books of Doom than watch that movie again.)