With the dearth of negative reviews of the latest Fantastic Four movie, it’s time to look at what went wrong. When the FF debuted in 1961, Stan Lee did not dwell in any detail about the four. We knew Reed and Ben were friends in college, Reed and Sue were a couple and Johnny was Sue’s brother. They flew in an experimental rocket ship that Reed help build and got bombarded by cosmic rays which gave them fantastic powers.
This is where this movie and many other origin movies fail. They spend so much time on the wrong backstory that we don’t get to see anything of the characters. The FF movie spent too much time showing a team of engineers and scientist building their machine and very little time about the Four using their powers. The story should have pitted the FF right away against some throwaway monsters from Monster Isle or creatures in the Negative Zone so we can see the FF grow as a team, as a family.
Bringing in Dr. Doom was a mistake! His character is too big, too complicated to share time with the four; he should have been introduced in the second or third movie. And for crying out loud get his look and his abilities right!
Other misses: Amazing Spider-Man; Peter Parker’s parents! We don’t need to know anything about Peter Parker’s parents. Superman, Man of Steel; I may be in the minority here, but again who his parents were is unimportant; they, along with his planet are long dead. Get over it. Green Lantern; Hal Jordan is a cocky test pilot, not a morose loser, filled with self-doubts. His self-assurance should be his strong point. Daredevil never really spelled out his desire for justice.
The hits were: the first Ironman movie; the film told us quickly the Tony Stark was a misogynistic genius, Steve Rogers? Patriotic little man, Thor? Arrogant demigod. Do we need to know anything about Tony’s upbringing, or what Steve did for a living, or what was Thor’s first adventure? No, show us who they are and then get to the story and see how challenges change them. This is why these movies knocked it out of the park.
Here’s hoping that Dr. Strange gets his origin right, arrogant surgeon who injures his hands and turns to magic to get them healed. Wonder Woman, warrior princess as an emissary to man's world. Aquaman, a man of two worlds and a King in one of them. I can't wait to see how they are realized on film.