Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Fantastic Enough

And so we saw Fantastic Four this afternoon.

I liked this film. The only one of the recent Marvel movies that I'm sure was better than this one was Spider-Man. Others in a similar range would include X-Men 2 and Spider-Man 2. So I've got it somewhere in the two to four range, which is good company.

See, the FF (when it's good) has always been about family and that's what this film gives us a big dose of. We get Reed and Ben, who clearly love each other like brothers; Johnny and Sue, who are brother and sister and fight just like it; and Ben's (I'm your best friend) efforts to patch up the Reed / Sue relationship. And let's not forget Johnny figuring out how to play annoying little brother to Benjy, which provides some fine bits of comic relief.

Sam suggests that the script could have used a bit of Mark Waid's touch, as the writer who provided the best insight into Reed's motivations in 40+ years of publication, and I agree with him. It's not Reed who pulls the group together, but Johnny, which is a bit off, but justifiable given the way Johnny's handled in the movie. Yet every character is recognizable, every character is motivated, and every member of the FF learns to stand up for the rest of the family.

Is this the same Victor Von Doom that we've seen over the years in the comics? Well, no, it's not, but -- frankly -- the original Doom origin is far too cheesy for a modern audience, for all that it's been extended and worked with over the years. And while I've heard of the "nobility" of Dr. Doom, I tend to agree with Waid on this point -- Doom has never been noble, much as he might like to believe or try to convince others that he is. He's a rat bastard who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants and that's what we see here, for all the charm that he tries to display.

But the basics of Doom's origin -- being able to blame everything on Reed, without really being able to justify it -- are still there. And while the collapse of Doom's financial empire is a crock, as far as I can tell, it piles on to add to the motivation. And he makes a useful plot mover, as it's hard to imagine Reed being able to build a launch vehicle himself at that point in his career, while Mr. Finance clearly has orbital capability available. (Can I move over to that universe? Just for a while?)

The special effects are great, the Thing and Johnny steal the show, while Reed is nicely flexible and Sue is an Invisible Woman better suited to the new millenium than the one we first saw in the 1960s.

It works. And I'd love to see Subby in a sequel.
Tags: comics, movies, review

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