Up until a few days ago, I was considering going to see “Fantastic Four.”
Of course, my interest in the movie was pretty modest compared to my borderline mania to see each movie released by Marvel Studios – the official Marvel Cinematic Universe, of course.
But I was considering going to see the new Josh Trank “FF” anyway because Fantastic Four – along with the Avengers – was my favorite comic book growing up.
I might have gone to see it despite my misgivings about Trank’s efforts to turn Marvel’s most swashbuckling, space-spanning, goofy, good-natured comic into a “grimdark” spectacle.
But reading reviews of the movie turned me off, convincing me that the movie was not only a joyless experience but a throughly bungled one, too.
Trank himself trashed Fox and his own movie on Twitter the other day, saying that he had a good movie in the works before Fox took over and ruined it.
I don’t know who’s responsible for what is, by almost every account, a mess with awful characters, subpar story and effects and bizarre choices. I suspect maybe we’ll get a post-mortem sometime.
(And it’s funny that everyone thought the troubled production of “Ant-Man” was going to turn that movie into a disaster, huh?)
I just know that everything I’ve heard – from the botched storyline, the short shrift for Susan Storm – who doesn’t even go on the adventure, apparently, but gets her powers from an accident afterward – the penis-less Thing and the thoroughly screwed-up version of Doctor Doom – this is not a movie for FF fans from way back.
We’ve seen four movie versions now, not counting the best of them all, the unofficial version of a superhero family, Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles,” and I imagine Fox will still be cranking them out to keep its rights to the story.
And that’s a damn shame. Just think what Marvel Studios could do with FF.
The days of standalone superhero movies that are not part of a bigger universe are over. Sure, I thrilled at the end of “Iron Man” when Nick Fury showed up, talking about “the Avengers initiative.” It meant that if the movie succeeded, critically and financially, Marvel would cautiously build out its universe. The new “FF” movie couldn’t connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, of course, because it was made by Fox. But the claustrophobic nature of these narrow, self-contained worlds are done, done, done for me.
I want to see universe building, and, bizarrely enough, the most far-reaching, science-mad, adventuring characters of all, the Fantastic Four, won’t have a chance to build their universe until the rights are back in the hands of Marvel.