I have rarely left a movie that was based on a comic book and thought, man, that was terrible and a complete waste of time. I’m wired in a way that it doesn’t happen. I can find something good about almost every comic book movie. Who didn’t like Colin Farrell’s Bullseye opposing Affleck’s Daredevil? Can you see what I mean? And while the Fantastic Four is being panned by many, there are things about the movie that the die-hard comic book fan will enjoy. So, if you are like me, then this review is for you… because chances are, a lot of people are not going to like Fantastic Four.
I’m not going to explain who the Fantastic Four is. You should know who Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and The Thing are by now. If not, Google them later.
My favorite comic book movies are usually the first in the series. I’m a big fan of introducing characters and showing how they got their super powers. This Fantastic Four differs from the previous film of the same name as it begins with a younger set of future heroes. This group first comes together as teenagers and begins working together to search for ways to visit another dimension. And of course, once they begin, all sorts of comic book shenanigans take place. Movie studios are targeting younger audiences, so it is no surprise that the characters are their younger versions. And I don’t have a problem with the ages they chose for this film or the reasons behind it.
I also don’t take issue that they cast a black actor (Michael B. Jordan) as Human Torch. A lot of people went nuts when they found out that a black actor would be playing the Human Torch, who is white in the comics. For some reason, it is easy for them to suspend their disbelief that a character can fly, pulsate with fire, and throw fire balls from his hands, but they can’t be persuaded that a character on the screen can look differently on screen than he appeared on paper. For those people, I say, get over it. For too long, white faces have dominated super hero screens. Changing up the character is a good thing. And yes, Sue Storm and Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) are brother and sister in the film — they changed that story up and it is okay. Take a breath. Sue was adopted in this film, and it works just fine.
All in all, I liked the movie. There were some things that could have been a lot better. The movie is 90% buildup and only 10% action, which is a small ratio compared to other super hero movies. I preferred this Dr. Doom to the one in the last Fantastic Four series and the special effects, of course, are top notch. The acting is good and the story line, although it could have been a lot better, is still a fun one. When I arrived home from seeing the movie with my kids, my wife asked what I thought. And I replied, “It was good and I’m glad I saw it, but it wasn’t great.” My 11 year old son felt the same way and wanted a longer and more involved final fight scene. My 9 year old daughter liked the movie the most out of all of us and looked at me throughout the film and laughed. She was also partial to Ben Grimm (The Thing) as well.
But what about the kids? Should kids see Fantastic Four? Is it appropriate for children?
Yes, I think for the most part, kids from 9 and up are going to be fine with seeing Fantastic 4. I would have suggested that even 8 year olds can see it if it wasn’t for one particular intense scene when Dr. Doom arrives. Not to get too graphic here, but the villain of the film causes quite a few soldiers heads to explode and it is disturbing at points – my 11 year old even commented that he thought the scene was a bit much. During this scene, I placed my hand over my 9 year old’s eyes. Dr. Doom is kind of a creepy character and might scare some younger kids as well.
There is some swearing – a few instances of people calling one another “dicks,” and a couple of “s” words and “a” words. There isn’t any sex or sexual innuendos in this film.
In a nutshell, I think the movie is fine for older elementary kids, and while the movie itself isn’t great, it isn’t horrible either. It is fun a movie to see and most super hero fans will enjoy the movie.
P.S. Don’t stick around for any post credit scenes, as there are none in this movie. Stan Lee is also absent from making a cameo in this film.