The recent reboot of the Fantastic Four on film has received a lot of negative criticism and yes, some of it is warranted. Overall, the movie is decent, no less worse than the two attempts to bring it to the big screen before it. It started off good and remained so for most of its running time, but just like the picture from ten years earlier in 2005, it fell off the rails the moment they introduced Doom. It was not the civilian character either, though he could have used a little work, but the super-powered villain he would become and it makes you wonder just how they could have gotten it wrong not once, but twice.
Doom has a very simple origin, one which involved a workplace accident that scarred his face horribly and one in which he blamed Reed Richards for, ensuring a lifelong enmity between the two, or at least from Victor towards Reed. From there, Doom would use his genius to build himself a suit of armour and look back to his roots to learn a little magic to complement the genius tech he built. In both films, the filmmakers decided to change it up and essentially overcomplicate things to make him ‘appeal’ to the masses, or so they thought. In both cases they failed and adding to the fact that the actors who played Doom did not have that menacing quality needed and coupling that with special effects that were simply not up to par, it made Doom a laughing stock, something the character himself would more than likely seek revenge upon if he were real. If they can make Iron Man and his armour look as real as anything using today’s special effects, than why not Doom?
The other character that is usually poorly portrayed and it can be argued that it is all of them, is The Thing. In this film the special effects were actually quite decent except for his eyes which seemed really strange and out of place on his rocky frame and Jamie Bell was good, though he had little to do or say for the most part. The rest of the cast which included Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Kate Mara as his sister Sue and Miles Teller as Reed were really good and nailed the personalities of our heroes exceptionally well. The obvious chemistry between Sue and Reed was played out really well and you can see the buds of their future relationship starting here. Whether we ever get to see it is another matter entirely, but it is quite doubtful. It is usually hard to say what kind of performance you are going to get out of Teller, but after Whiplash and now this picture, you have to give the guy some credit, even if this movie failed horribly.
The plot was good for an origin film and it kept things largely intact except for the cosmic rays which gave our heroes their powers. Perhaps interstellar flight is not the draw it once was and thus the reason for the teleporters, but the fact that it was changed to reflect a different type of technology was fine. All comic book films have been taking liberties with the source material and you cannot blame Josh Trank or any of the writers for changing a thing or two here and there. If the director’s cut were to ever get released, which is highly doubtful as most films that do poorly rarely ever get one (or even films that do, a la Carrie from 2013), it might show us what Trank’s original vision would have been and thus quite possibly, a far superior film.
While what we got was not quite the solid movie that everyone envisioned or hoped for, especially the fans, it was fairly entertaining until that aforementioned moment when Doom came back from Planet Zero. Giving the man the powers of a god and essentially being able to create a black hole-type object to destroy the Earth and use its resources to add to his own planet was just too much for anyone to swallow. It was great to see our heroes come together in the end to battle the monster that Doom had become as it featured some really good teamwork between them and in how they used their powers, but it might have worked better if it had been any other situation. The ending of the film was a bit of a letdown as well, as those who are fans will tell you, but overall, it was not as big a stinker as many claimed it to be. It may not have been as good as any of the recent Marvel movies, but it was better than its predecessors and if Fox learned anything out of this debacle, it is to let Marvel buy the rights back or at least become a partner in making the eventual next chapter as they know the property best.