Sunday, September 13, 2015

Why 2015's FANTASTIC 4 bombed.

So everyone seems to hate the new FANTASTIC 4 movie. But why?  Its not a bad film at all.  Read my review here. I didn't think it was going to be any good either but I went and saw it out of morbid curiosity and gosh dang it I liked it.  I think it is unfair how maligned the film has been received. Nobody went and saw it yet everyone talks about how bad it is.  The professional critics have been extremely negative but when have they had any integrity?  So what is the deal?  Why all the hate?  I figure I would use this post to try explain the poor performance and hostility toward the FANTASTIC 4.  I don't think it has anything to do with all the supposed behind the scenes troubles.  All productions have problems. I could be wrong but I do believe that those stories didn't come out or become big until the early word was that the film fantastically sucked.  The studio had already announced a date for the sequel indicating FOX had high hopes for the franchise.

The Fantastic 4 franchise maybe big in the old days in the comic book format but nowadays the mainstream audience probably doesn't even know what a Fantastic 4 is.  The Marvel Cinematic Universe started off strong by casting Robert Downing Jr. as Iron Man.  His appeal spreads across two major demographics in the mainstream audience.  I am not talking about fans of comics or movie fans.  I am talking about average movie goers that simply want entertainment.  He is sexy for the ladies and funny for the guys.  Chris Evans as Captain America is sexy for the ladies and an action hero for the guys.  The same can be said for the male leads in THOR and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.  THE HULK doesn't have a sexy funny lead and that movie didn't do so well.  Its a shame really.  Now look at the new FANTASTIC 4.  Miles Teller is not the macho sexy funny actor with the broad mainstream appeal.  He is an excellent actor and despite his youth is the right choice for Reed Richards.  He got snubbed for an Oscar nomination for WHIPLASH which is an excellent film by the way.  Also in today's world the powers of the Fantastic 4 may not be as appealing.  Having the powers of a Stretch Armstrong seems a little silly.  Being able to turn invisible or flaming into a human torch and being able to fly is kid stuff compared to today's more deadly heroes.  The Thing is another name for Hulk as far as mainstream audiences are concerned.

The entire approach to the new FANTASTIC 4 is all wrong.  We do not need a down to earth, realistic as possible origin story of these characters.  We already have an origin story.  When Spider-Man got rebooted it did not do so well as the originals.  It was too soon and audiences didn't want to slog through the same old origin story hooplah.  Who wants to see the same movie twice?  We want to see our heroes at the height of their careers.  There seems to be endless build ups to potential bigger stories that never come to fruition.  The newer Spider-Man films are examples of that.  It took two movies to tell a love story of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy with a hint of things to come.  Those things never came.  The new FF movie spends almost the entire run time on their origin.  Only at the end do they become the Fantastic 4.  It is too forced with Dr. Doom making an appearance only to be killed off too easily and quickly for a villain that has such a huge reputation in the comics.  FOX doesn't care. Only name recognition matters. The movie seems to be ashamed of the comic books opting for a more realistic approach.

The biggest contribution to the FANTASTIC 4's failure is the Marvel fans themselves, the very people FOX supposedly wants to see this film.  There appears to be a concerted effort by the Marvelites to push for the supreme failure of this film.  I have seen Marvel fans implore people on Facebook and message boards to boycott the film in hopes of it's demise forcing Fox Studios to give up the rights to the film version.  Even without the geek-roots social media campaign there seems to be a desire for all comic book fans, myself included, to see Fantastic 4 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Just the thought of the movie's failure to possibly get FF into the M.C.U. is more than enough temptation to avoid the theaters like it were the D.M.V.  There is no need to get into the bland marketing campaign.  It wouldn't matter if the advertisements dazzled and amazed.  No one wanted Fox to put the movie out.  They wanted Marvel Studios to do it.  As of the writing of this post the "Tomatometer" at Rotten Tomatoes has a score of 9%.  That to me is extremely unfair.  Me thinks that people rated it low without seeing the movie first.  I can't prove that of course but the Fantastic 4 is a far better movie than WOLVERINE or THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.  Heck, BATMAN AND ROBIN has a score of 11%!

Maybe people shouldn't rely on a score to tell if a movie is good or not.  Just see it for yourself and decide.  Be a movie lover and not a coward too scared to like something the cool kids may not like.