Monday, July 11, 2005

I Enjoyed The Fantastic Four

I almost titled this post "STFU," but I figured it'd be too vague.

It's no fun to write a positive review for a movie like Fantastic Four, so I considered making stuff up to hate about it. When I think about it, there are a number of things to complain about, but complaining about plot holes in this movie is like kicking a little kid. Sure, it's a lot of fun, but there's no real challenge, and the kid didn't mean to steal your balloon.

It's a fun movie. I refuse to even qualify that by going, "It's fun but brainless." I fucking liked the movie. In some ways, it showed up Batman Begins by being unapologetic in its comic-book cheese. Doom walks into a storage area looking for stuff and finds a box labelled "Heat Seeking Missile" and another that reads, "Hyper Coolant Device." Then he goes, "Ohh yeahhhh...." I half-expected to see "Invisible People Kill-o-tron" and "Anti-Rock-Guy Explosion Device." Then Doom sets up his diabolical plan, which is to shoot at the F4's home building with a missile. Brilliant!

If anything, the big complaint is that Dr. Doom is fairly crap. I mean, Johnny Storm can heat himself up to nearly the temperature of the sun, and Sue Storm can apparently contain that much heat in her forcefields, but Dr. Doom essentially shoots lightning from his hands and has the power of Wardrobe. Oh, and he's made of metal, which is cool.

The awesome parts are when Doom and Reed Richards get into science-geek battles. "You know what happens to rubber when it gets cold?" asks Doom of Reed, several times, just to set up Reed's AWESOME LINE: "Do you know what happens to metal when it cools too quickly?" AWESOME YOU ROCK DUDE. Cue wailing guitars.

The Thing and the Human Torch rock the movie, because they have a genuine brotherly rivalry going. Torch keeps playing pranks on Thing, and meanwhile, life shits upon the Thing every chance it gets. Michael Chiklis does a great job of getting shat upon, and his Thing outfit doesn't look nearly as bad as it could have. In fact, it's quite convincing except around his neck where it looks too much like skin.

The thing that rocked most about the film is that it wasn't overly self-aware. It didn't try to hide its comic book origins or go completely campy to apologize for its inherent dumbness. It presented the subject matter the way it's always been presented: with love, fun, and action. There's a reason why I and others read comics, and it's not to be assaulted with angst and realism and hard times. We like to be entertained, and that's the sum of it.

You may or may not like it, but this isn't about you. I enjoyed the hell out of the film and soaked up all the dumb crap, chalking it up to traditional comic-book storytelling. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 75% of film critics disgree with me, but film critics suck anyway. Especially that one in San Francisco with the hat and the leather jacket. He sucks.