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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Quick Review: Fantastic Four

Well, another Fantastic Four reboot turned out to be a dud. The Fantastic Four is one of the Marvel properties not under control by their own (as well as Disney) movie studios. 20th Century Fox still has the film rights. This issue hasn't stopped most of the X-Men films from being at least pretty good, but FF turned out to be almost schizophrenic in tone. Whether due to scenes deleted from the script before filming, or re-shoots after -- you can find the reports of the issues with the studio and director Josh Trank if you care -- there are times where a little wit and humor tries to make its way in, only to be smothered by the gloomy reboot of how our heroes got their powers and how they're treated afterwards (in this iteration, the evil forces known as corporate greed and the United States military are heavily involved). That would be pretty shabbily, until they're needed to save the world from Doctor Doom, and how that happened was pretty shabby as well.

Besides that, there was a lot of stupidity over the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. It basically went like "OMG YOU CAN'T CAST A BLACK GUY AS THE HUMAN TORCH!" Yeah. In 2015...and 2014, when he got the job. (The cast, including Miles Teller, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara, is pretty much wasted, thanks to the script.). Mara, decidedly not black, is Johnny's sister Sue. And what harm was done? None. But I was bothered by one thing. The film also featured their father, played by Reg E. Cathey, an African-American. I thought to myself, early on, "This is nice. They're not making it an issue." A few minutes later it had to be explained, as conversation turns into plot exposition, that Sue was adopted. My grade: D-plus.

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