I Say, Holmes, This New Fantastic(?!) Four Movie Really Is Quite Dire!
“Now, let’s not jump to conclusions. We need much more scientific evidence before we can say that” – Reed Richards.
“First things first, Watson. Inform Mrs. Hudson that it’s about time for afternoon tea.”
“Certainly, Holmes!” I replied. I could tell by his furrowed brow that the World’s Greatest Detective had found a most perplexing case upon which to cogitate.
“Now, upon my return to our beloved home at 221B Baker Street this morning after wrapping up that most bothersome Case of the Missing Characterisations, I received a most curious telegram; it outlines a most perplexing case-“
“Aha! Thought so, ho ho!”
“…Ahem. Here, I shall dictate, thus:
“Why, oh why. Stop. When Captain America, Iron Man, the Avengers et al consistently produce such splendid sequels, absolutely no one can make a great Fantastic Four movie? Stop. Please, please, please, make them. Stop. J. Whedon Esq.”
“By Jove! Now, that- that is a frightfully complicated conundrum to elucidate!” I blurted. “Gad, that should keep you occupied for a jolly long time!”
“Indubitably, my good man,” he huffed, rather world-wearily. “Although let it be known that I am about to embark on a most trying venture, so it will be anything but jolly, I’m afraid.”
“Of course, I’m sorry, Holmes.”
“I shall acquire your help too, old friend; I will need to summon all the powers at my command. My fortitude. My resilience… and some tea. Make it so.”
“Wow, Dr. Phil, that’s deep. Let’s think about that. You got Victor: more money than God, Stud of the Year. And you got Reed: world’s dumbest smart guy, worth less than a postage stamp. That’s a real toss-up” – Johnny Storm.
“This new Fantastic Four movie, Watson – more needless “origins” pap. What do you make of it, old chap?”
“Hmm, not much to write home about I’m afraid, Holmes.”
“Precisely, Doctor… Often cited as the greatest team in comics, with a 54-year history of stories to call upon, and yet this charmless cinematic curio offers nothing in the way of wit or worth. Already, it has fallen woefully short of its predicted Opening Weekend Haul-“
“You mean it received a clobbering! Oh, ho ho ho-!”
“Watson, for goodness sake…”
“Sorry, Holmes… It received a paltry single-figure total on Rotten Tomatoes… Not much of a Marvel-“
“AH, WATSON!” Holmes yelled, making me jolt so irksomely that I almost fell off the arm of his plush leather armchair.
“That is precisely the point, my dear Watson! Not… a Marvel. Not a Marvel… at all. It’s produced by 20th Century Fox, wouldn’t you know, but… those stupendous X-Men movies were done by Fox, so it’s no fault of the change in studio… Hmm, there is one quintessential fact about the Fantastic Four that these so-called film-“makers” have overlooked: the comic’s wholesome nature is derived from the fact that – as two of them are siblings, two of them are married, two of them are constantly bickering with each other – they are a family unit, so cue a happy, frothy formula: one that has thrived for decades; not this dark, brooding nonsense currently clogging our cinemas, for pity’s sake! …And so, what next…?”
“Hey, you think you got problems, you take a good look, pal!” – Ben Grimm.
“Oh my giddy aunt…”
“My thoughts exactly, Holmes (ahem),” I spluttered.
“What is the meaning of this- this trainwreck?!”
“Well, as far as I can gather, this 1993 version was made primarily by Constantin – the studio best remembered for churning out that Resident Evil nonsense – purely as means to retain the rights to the franchise.”
“Yes, there was a time when Marvel Comics were collapsing – at the brink of bankruptcy-“
“Oh no, perish the thought-“
“Oh yes, Watson, it was – I can assure you – a very long time ago, but all unbelievably true… They sold the rights of various superhero titles; apparently, Marvel had proposed a Fantastic Four movie as early as 1983, but – having sold the rights to The Human Torch to Universal in 1977 – they had to wait until 1986 before any plans could be developed!”
“Ah, this version never got released, and was never intended to, either.”
“Ha! Just as well! Huzzah for small mercies, eh what? This abomination was doomed to tank anyway. Anybody could see how elementary that is…”
“Any more bright ideas? Why don’t you strip down and have a hundred people stare at you?” – Susan Storm.
“Now, some people cite the 2005 movie as awful. Really, this effort wasn’t half-bad.”
“It had the ever-delightful Jessica Alba as Sue Storm. Why, on Earth, would they want to make her invisible…?”
“Weh-heh-hell, I count my lucky stars I was never hired to figure that one out, thank the Lord!”
“And you know, the sequel: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (from 2007) featured yet another extraordinary performance by Doug Jones as the Silver Surfer!”
“Good call, Watson! Yes, the Silver Surfer: the iconic fan fave. Hard to believe that comicbook movie is treated with equal disdain!”
“Delightful Stan Lee cameo-“
“Exactly! There is no reason to vilify this sequel either! No, really, Watson, these two movies should not be condemned to the extent that they have been. Too lightweight, underwhelming, mayhap, but simple, decent entertainment compared to this latest travesty nonetheless. Just look at these good points: you have Julian McMahon as a suitably menacing Victor von Doom; great comic relief between Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) and Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis); great special effects as always; and Jessica Alba. Taking her clothes off… These are not the traits of a dud movie-”
“No shit, Sherlock… Ha ha ha! By Jove, Holmes, did you see what I just did there? Ho ho! My, I’m in fine jest, this day-!”
“Really, Watson, don’t. Milk. Your part. Actually, speaking of milk: WHERE’S MY BLASTED TEA?!”
4 times the action! 4 times the fantastic…! Ah, nuts to this: 4 times the trainwreck, 4fs…