Giving Fantastic Four a second look

I know I trashed the recent Fantastic Four movie, but my buddy Rocco hadn’t seen it, wanted to see it, and I decided to tag along and give it a second viewing.  Right off the bat I will say that the movie was a lot better the second time around.  I have some theories on why that is, but I think the most obvious is that on the second viewing I had already processed all the stuff that annoyed me, and now I was left to focus on the good stuff.

There were, however, a few random things that really stood out to me the 2nd time through, some good, some bad.  I will try to keep these in order, but will probably towards the end just toss random stuff up in a standard nerd rage rant. So here we go.

When Reed and Ben are in the baxter building and ben is basically saying what he thinks will be goodbye to Reed, he gives him a swiss amry knife.  It was clearly suppose to be touching and kind of a call back to when they were kids, 10 minutes earlier, and he let Reed borrow his swiss army knife. I swear I am remembering that part correct.  All I know is when I saw that flash on the screen I thought “Ok, looks like they just introduced Checkov’s Swiss army knife. Obviously Reed will use this to save his or someone’s life later on.”

I was wrong. It never came up again. I guess one of the reasons I thought this was dumb is two fold. First of all, it felt really forced and didn’t land with anything close to being sentimental probably because Ben was just like “here” and that was it. No speech really. That is all fine if they had brought the knife up later, but they didn’t.  My other reason for hating on this is that using the screw driver on a swiss army knife sucks. It’s only an emergency situation thing.  There’s no reason Reed wouldn’t have a screwdriver in his childhood garage/lab.   It’s a small thing but just felt like it was a remnant from another draft of the movie.

When we first meet dr. doom he is acting all emo at his house, sitting in the dark, doing nerd computer stuff.  They are trying to portrait him as being anti social and pessemistic, while also arogant and elitest. So of course he is listening to classical music.  If you want to make someone seem like a nihlistic self important douche, what classical music song would probably the worst to have the character listen to in this scene? If you answere the  spring by vivaldi, then you and I think alike, and we also both greatly disagree with the people who made this movie and decided to drop that track into this scene.

There is sexual tension between Johnny Storm and Sue Storm.  Granted they aren’t blood relatives, but the times they tried to show love and affection between the two of them, it came off as near strangers who kind of maybe want to bone.

On second viewing the one thing that stands out to me is that the movie has some genuinely funny lines and moments.  Not enough to make up for the scene where Sue calls Viktor “Dr. Doom”, which drives me crazy, and I spent too much time writting about in the last blog post.

I didn’t catch this the first time but at one point Reed is asleep on a lab table and sue flicks reeds ear and he awakens and on instinct almost hits her….. just like the comics. I’m sure I am exaggerating that scene but my god how awesome would it have been if in a FF movie they committed to making Reed a total dick.

A third of this movie features people putting on or taking of sunglasses.

Three grown ass men get drunk from sharing a slightly undersized flask of some type of liquor. Unless that is romulan Ale or some super powerfull space aged 400 proof science vodka, those three should not be drunk, or even buzzed.  They didn’t try to portray them as being sloppy drunk, but they still had liquid courage.  Johnny Storm is an illegal street racer in the beginning of this movie. I’m sure he has had some alcohol before and can handle a third of a flask of .. whiskey? It was Viktor’s flask so since he is so pretentious that he listens to obscure classical composers like Vivaldi, I’m guessing that flask had either Crown Royal or Absolute.

Johnny storm is afraid of heights on planet zero… why? This is never addressed again and you think it would be part of his whole learning to fly story arc.  Man they really only paid lip service to most of the characters and just barely gave them any depth.  If he is a street racer, wouldn’t it be natural for him to be more fearless than the rest?  So why make it seem like he is either afraid of what they are about to do or afraid of heights?

Science 101, don’t stick your hand into an unkown green goo. Maybe if Viktor actually was a real Dr. Doom and had a PHD, he would know that whatever that shit was, could easily just melt your hand, or cause a random chain reaction where the planet seems to attack foreign invaders. Something else crazy about this scene, is that it was kind of in the trailer and is one of the many things they changed or left out. I think in the trailer the pools of alien magic stuff was red, but in the finished movie it is green. Why make that change?  Who the fuck knows.

Dr. manhattan special effects are all over this movie. Well maybe just the part with the power outage when they first come back from the negative zone…. I’m sorry, I meant planet zero.

Why are the doctors in this movie so shitty with their bedside manner. You have four 18 year old kids who have just been turned into monsters, and when they wake up all scared, you just either ignore them in a scary dark metal room or just don’t talk to them at all and ignore their questions.  Reed and the doctos behind glass basically have this exchange:

Reed: “where are my friends?”
Doctor number 1: “He is starting to get adjitated, should we talk to him soothingly and let him know every is going to be all-”
Doctor number 2: “Sedate him.”
Doctor number 3: “We could just say something reassuring to calm him down so this doesn’t keep happening, and maybe even get some usefull information out of him to-”
Doctor number 2: “Nahhhh, just sedate him.”

Why is no one watching reed? like there should be 24 hrs surveillance on these guys.  Reed wakes up, does some mumbling, slips out of his restraints, very slowly, and slides disgustingly into the air vents cause he loves Die Hard. Were all the personnel at this highly militarized, very secure compound? Are they all out on a smoke break? Maybe they just got bored of staring at a sleeping teenager with the frightened screams of a rock monster echoing in the background, and decided “Fuck this, lets take a look at that dude who is literally constantly on fire. It is fucking sweet.”

“reeds gone your friend isn’t coming back.” wouldn’t the thing think he’s dead after hearing that? Maybe Ben would at least be confused or just not accept what he said immediately.

“I’m not going to be a tool” – sue storm. how about weapon, or tool for destruction. “I’m not going to be a tool!” She sounds like someone trying to justify their placement in their group of friends. “I’m totally kickass. Your just jelly cause I’m so awesome and sexy.”

A government guy says to Dr Storm that “Subject two is ready” when referring to Johnny storm. And Dr. Storm is like ..”Yep”.  Have some balls dude. Maybe dr. storm should have said something about subject two being his son and his son has a name, it’s johnny, and he may be afraid of heights but we don’t really know.

music to help sue concentrate during the internet search for reed is the type of music you would play in a comedy where and idiot was pretending to be a genius. I really hate this whole scene.  Why not have her find Reed but refuse to turn him in and maybe do some computer stuff to keep him hidden, and then have him get found some other way?  In the movie’s version of events, Sue uses her special gift of pattern recognition and knowledge of Reed’s favorite book to find him, thereby betraying him. What is the consequence of that? Nothing. When they meet up again for the first time, Sue is like “I had to do it” and he is like “No prob.”  It meant nothing.  They are all best friends again.  Why not use my idea, have her show her devotion to him, and thereby give the audience a legitimate reason to think of these two people as being a family, or part of a family, or maybe even being capable of loving each other one day?

I just realized it only take 10 minutes for reed to fix everything. Literally. Only 10 minutes.  He says there is a few lines of code that are in the wrong order and he can fix it in 10 minutes, or maybe less. Holy shit. There is no way the person who wrote this gave any fucks that day.  First of all, they were able to build and create everything they needed to recreate the transporter technology from what they did at the Baxter building…. except for some lines of code were out of place. Think about that.  How is that possible?  They make it sound like the only way they could get the thing working again is Reed, and when he gets there all that was wrong with everything they did, was a copy and paste error in the computer code they had copied from back up servers somewhere.

This is infuriating.  It was only the second time through this movie that I realized that when Reed returns to the group, it is literally only a matter of maybe a few hours that he is there before every conflict is resolved almost instantly.  Sue, Johnny, and Reed are all friends. Reed gets the machine working. I guess there is still the issue of fixing Ben, but… seriously, watch this again and realize how little movie time takes place from when Reed is brought back to base to when they defeat Doom and save the world. It is insane how quickly that all goes down not just in real time but also in terms of the movie.

When reed is looking at the feed from the red shirts they sent to planet zero he says the landscape has changed. A government military guys asks the reasonable question; “How?” His response: “i don’t know” ummmm maybe everything isn’t green. use your words reed. You are a god damn super genius. I’m sure you can use just a few ounces of concentration to get that big brain to remember what is different. Peoples lives may be at stake.

The slimey guy that was kind of the boss of Dr. Storm was supposed to end up being the mole man. Doom kills him Scanners style. So two of the FF’s biggest all time villains die in this movie and are given no shot at being in a sequel.  Why not at the end have Johnny Storm shoot a fire ball into the air to celebrate and have it fly off into space and hit and kill Galactus, knocking him over so that he falls down and lands on, and kills, annihlus.

I didn’t mention it before but isn’t it is kind of fucked up that dr. storm dies. Like for almost no real reason. I don’t know what it added to the story, especially at that moment. Maybe if there was another act in this movie it would have had some more impact and his children would have had a chance to react, but that’s not what happened.

Reed’s speach at the end is up there with independents day president speech.

“you always thought you were smarter than me.” “I am smarter than you.” Nice come back Reed.

One other thing I just remembered. Why is Sue holding her breath while floating in the invisible bubble at the beginning, well, middle of the movie, and then when her and Reed and Ben are in the bubble, she doesn’t say anything to them about holding their breath. It kind of seemed like it would have been a somewhat long enough journey through that worm hole that they should be informed that oxygen would be at a short supply and to breath accordingly.

Man, I just don’t know.  There are so many ways, and reasons, this could have and should have been a really good movie, but it just falls so flat. I think this one may actually be worse than rise of the silver surfer.

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