Reviews are now in for the latest Fantastic 4 movie, and by all accounts, the movie is…doomed. (Sorry/not sorry) Did it have to be doomed? No, but Fox Studios made some fundamental mistakes. In this article we will look at four things that Fox could have done to make a better movie. A future article will propose four movies they could have done with the Fantastic 4 that could have done more than draw flies.
Four things that that could have saved the movie:
1) Worry about making a good story, not diversity
Whenever I hear that a product went out of its way to satisfy SJW types, the more assured I am that the product will suck, as it means that what they should have concentrated on will utterly fail. Now, changing the race of a character does not make a movie bad…both Daredevil with the Kingpin and the MCU with Fury had excellent casting of black men for traditional white roles. But choosing the Human Torch to be black with a white (adopted) sister was lazy diversifying. If you had to have a black lead, the Thing would have been a better choice. Here would be a character already used to discrimination, and then gets a different discrimination for being a rock monster. The backstory of Ben being a football star makes sense, and being drawn to being a pilot afterwards would work. The only real problem would be that the Thing is one of the few widely-known Jewish characters, althro there are Black Jews, so you could still have that going on. Of course, do you really want your monstrous one to be the one to represent diversity? There’s a way around that…
…Instead of pandering to diversity by having a random black lead, why not a Hispanic. Name me an Hispanic superhero, especially one in a Marvel or DC movie. Don’t feel bad; I can’t think of one either. The only Marvel Latino superhero I came up with off the top of my head was the Living Lightning, althro looking online I came up with only 4-5 I had previously heard of. Why not make Reed Richards a Latino? OK, maybe given him a more Latino last name. Reed Ricardo? I know…Reed Rodriguez. (in-joke) You want to inspire minority kids, then why not inspire them to be a superhero that is supposedly the smartest one in the world (Mr. Fantastic) instead of one that’s a hot head or a misunderstood monster. A lesser idea (althro still not a bad one) would be to make both Sue and Johnny Storm Hispanic, giving Hispanics of both sexes something to shoot for, althro Reed is the better life goal for the previously-stated reasons.
2) Don’t make Doctor Doom your first villain.
It is is easy to understand why you want to make Doctor Doom your main villain. All four Fantastic Four movies has had Doctor Doom in them. However, it has also meant that movies have had to put Doctor Doom’s origins be tied to the Fantastic Four’s, and there is already enough going on with the FF origins. Doctor Doom is arguably the greatest Marvel villain…he is not an opening act, he’s the main event. Leave Doctor Doom for a future movie. The 2005 FF movie was a decent flick, but it became hated for a good reason…they made Doom suck. Doom’s origin needs to stay away from how the FF got their powers. Keep the story from the comics that he was Reed’s college rival, and then in the movie where you finally debut him show how he combined science and magic in a doomed attempt to rescue his mother from an extra-dimensional threat, a threat that caused him to have his face “ruined” (not necessarily a bad injury, but some slight scar that plays up his vanity more).
3) Play up the wonder
I am so sick of superhero movies that want to be “dark and gritty”. The most popular Star Wars and Star Trek productions avoided dark and gritty for the most part. They showed a wondrous environment that would be fun to daydream being in. Bring that sense of wonder onto the silver screen. The FF are perfectly positioned to go to parallel dimensions. The FF are perfect to go find new alien creatures on far away galaxies. Heck, the FF are perfect to find lost civilizations on our very planet. Keep the sense of wonder; make the movie viewer wish they were there. You have the Skrulls, Mole-Man’s monsters, and various evil geniuses like the Wizard and the Mad Thinker to work with…to use wrestling parlance, you don’t need to job Doctor Doom in the opening act.
4) Respect the source material.
From the reports we read, the actress who portrayed Sue Storm was going to read some Fantastic Four comics to get a better idea of the character, only to be told not to bother by either the producer or director. This is bad. While you don’t want to be slavish to the material (the comic only sold 35,000 copies a month, and that probably counted a bunch of extra issues just lying around comic stores), you don’t want to totally disregard the source material either. Reed Richards was never portrayed as a youth in the comics, but as someone who had seen the world, even if in the eyes of a bookish scientist. Ben Grimm was already an accomplished pilot. Even movie experts I personally respect the opinions of who desperately tried to cheerlead for the new FF movie called the cast the Fantastic Four babies. While every fanboy could buy ten tickets apiece to watch the movie and the movie would still fail, these fanboys can be a free source of advertising on social media. The movie as this article is being written has not yet been officially released to the mainstream movie-going public, but we already know the movie sucks. Why? Because we already heard from internet connections from around the world who saw it yesterday that it was bad, We live in the internet age. Ten busybodies on Twitter can start a madness to boycott anything they wish just by making enough noise and have companies bamboozled where all the hate came from. Satisfy the fanboys. The 2002 Spider-Man movie took liberties with the character (shooting webs from the arms being the most notable), but it was still loved by the fanboys. Source material is like the Constitution..something to be your guide, not to reject.
There you have it, four ways that a Fantastic Four movie could be good. Instead of producing a movie just to keep the film rights, try to make a good movie. The Fantastic Four is ripe with possibilities for a good movie. Work harder.
BTW, we at Icygeek say you should disregard the naysayers and go buy a copy of the [amazon text=2005 Fantastic Four movie&asin=B00005JNTU] on Amazon. Other than how badly they screwed up Doctor Doom, it is not a bad movie at all.