. . . and with that, the 1,000th play on the word "fantastic" has been made in reference to Fantastic Four.
Haven't updated in awhile, something I blame on the three-headed monster of humidity, sunburn, and the new Harry Potter book. So, to tide y'all over until I come up with something really interesting, here's my bullet point assessment of the Fantastic Four movie.
Five Things Worth Saying About Fantastic Four
01 – Bottom line, this is not a very good movie. It’s unfocused, it’s ordinary, it’s repetitive, and it doesn’t have those one or two “wow” scenes that are pretty much essential in an action movie like this. But, as I said before, it’s not nearly the wheels-off disaster that had basically been promised by the bad buzz which had accumulated ever since the project had been announced. I was actually disappointed it wasn’t worse. I mean, there’s not much you can say about a middling action film. But an unmitigated crap-fest? Now that’s good movie reviewing!
02 – One of the problems at the root of the movie is that the ostensible central hero – Reed Richards, AKA Mr. Fantastic – is such a ridiculous construction. And I’m not talking about the “emotionally stunted man of science” thing. That’s no more a clunky archetype than Johnny Storm (extreme sports cocksure glory hog) or Victor Von Doom (megalomaniacal . . . well, megalomaniac, really). The problem is his superpower. I’ve dealt with powers of heat and cold, of blind lawyer daredevils, weather control, and web-slinging. But the rubberband man? Laaaame.
03 – The biggest reason I can’t have too much of a problem with Fantastic Four is that, at its heart, it’s a kids’ movie. And as a kids’ movie, it’s not bad. It paints in some broad strokes and it’s got a shticky sense of humor, and the kids in the theatre I was in were eating it up with a spoon. I loved the dark undertones in movies like Batman Begins, but it’s also nice to see a movie like this act as training wheels for action blockbuster-loving youngsters. It’s like My First Comic Book Movie. Only later on will they realize how basic and uninspired it was.
04 – Did I mention that the flick is repetitive? I did? Well, let me mention it again. It’s repetitive. Repetitive. The movie is repetitive. Every plot point, every character trait, is underlined in triplicate. Did you know that Reed Richards and Sue Storm are ex-lovers, and that they’re relationship soured because he was emotionally awkward? You should, considering there are about five scenes that make the exact same point. I know I just said that it’s a good kids’ movie and that repetition helps kids understand stuff, but I’m sitting in the theatre, too, and I think I’m quite clear on the concept that Ben Grimm is a freak who cannot hide his genetic mutation like the others can. Which brings me to . . .
05 – Dear Kerry Washington: What’s going on here, girl? I know you play a blind woman in Fantastic Four, but in real life you can actually see, right? And even if you couldn’t, you’d be able to get a Braille copy of the script and deduce that you’re too good for a throwaway role in this third rate superhero flick, right? You’re kind of a kick-ass actress. If you were to deign to do any kind of comic book movie, you should have bumped Halle Berry out of the Storm role in X3 and gone for that. Pretending that your impaired sense of sight allows you to see The Thing past his igneous exterior is below you. Let Stacy Dash take these roles. Lord knows girlfriend could use the work. Yours, Joe.