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Monday, November 24, 2014

Doctor Doom Or How I Learnt To Stop Worrying And Love The Fantastic Four

Note: The following is an editorial... And the has nothing to do with the title, I just thought it sounded dope.

I have not been writing articles for a while, but recently, I have seen a rise in Fantastic Four hatred, so I decided, it was time for me to come out of my metaphoric shell. The Fantastic Four are one of Marvel’s most beloved teams, from their adventures in the 1960s, to their stories of today, the team has overcome years of adversity, and still, remain as one of the coolest aspects of the Marvel Universe. So… Why is everyone so against the new film from Fox? Well, that my readers… That’s an interesting question. Part of me thinks it is because Fox is making the film, part of me thinks people are just angry, so come with me, we will journey through all the reasons why people are so against this Fantastic Four film.

Now, I am not the biggest Fantastic Four fan. I never read the books growing up, and I actually liked Fox’s first two Fantastic Four films. I recently started reading Mark Millar’s Ultimate Fantastic Four, the series is said to be a source of “inspiration” for the latest film, and honestly? It’s pretty good! Sure, the characters are younger than their mainstream counterpart, but it is a cool, unique and different take on the Four. As I said earlier, I am not the biggest fan. I am sure if my Dad showed me Fantastic Four when I was three, as oppose to Spider-Man, I am sure I would love the mainstream books more.

So I have heard people complaining that the film will not be based on any currant comic books. This annoys me. Time and time again writer/producer of the project, Simon Kinberg, has stated how the Ultimate Fantastic Four, as well as previous superhero films including Chronicle, Spider-Man (2002) and Iron Man inspire the film. Kinberg has also referred to the film as a “celebration” as oppose to a straight up adaption. Recently, Toby Kebbell, the man who will don the iconic mask of Doctor Doom, revealed some interesting new details regarding the character. Kebbell is an extremely talented dude, if you have seen Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, you can clearly see how scary and evil he can and will be. Anyway, no longer is he Victor Von Doom, but now, Victor Domashev. Honestly? Not a big change, his name was not Von Doom in the Ultimate books, so whatever. He also revealed that Victor is now a programmer, and apparently, that pissed a lot of “fans” off. Do not understand why, when in the comics, he did dabble in programming. In the Ultimate comics, which inspired this film, Victor “reprogrammed” Reed Richards’ teleporter to the N-Zone, which resulted in the Fantastic Four receiving their “powers.” A lot of people are complaining that Victor obtains his powers at the same time as the Four but, again, this happens in the books. But this is just one of the many criticisms of the latest film, allow me to continue.

The cast of this film has also come under intense scrutiny from fans for unknown reasons. I feel as if most of the complaints are not because the actors are not talented, I mean we have a BAFTA Winner, an Emmy nominee, and two Independent Spirit award winners. And that is just the actors who compose the Fantastic Four, not including their supporting cast. When Michael B. Jordan was cast as The Human Torch, a ton of stuff happened, I am not interested in going into what happened with that, but all I am going to say is that he is an awesome actor, and will deliver an awesome performance. I am more interested in the other three, Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (The Invisible Woman) and Jamie Bell (The Thing).

I had the amazing opportunity to check out Miles Teller’s latest film Whiplash, in which he plays a young jazz-drummer. The film is insane, brilliant performances, and extremely well shot. And yet, Miles Teller stands out. Teller is one of the best actors under 30 working today, staring in the best high school film of the decade, and one of the best ever, with The Spectacular Now, Miles showed a dramatic side to his acting, showing how he can be funny and bubbly on the outside, but a torn individual on the inside. I have spoken to a ton of people about his casting and the ones who have actually seen him act say the casting is “brilliant” while the people who refuse to watch him act call him a “douche.” Amazing how that works, huh? Seriously, if you have not seen the guy act, please, please, please check out his role in the upcoming indie Whiplash, or, if you do not want to go out, The Spectacular Now is on Netflix as we speak.

Earlier this year, I started watching David Fincher’s House Of Cards. While Kevin Spacy’s turn as Francis Underwood amazed me, I was extremely surprised by Kate Mara’s performance. When looking at Mara’s upcoming films, and the talent involved, it is pretty amazing. Mara is working with one of the best directors of all time with Ridley Scott, as well as one of the best up and coming directors in Josh Trank. While I respect Jessica Alba for her stunning looks, her acting is not… How do I say this? Good… However, we are very, very lucky to have such a talented actress in Mara portraying Susan Storm.

I remember watching Billy Elliot when I was like ten, and I found the kid funny. Six years later, that “kid” is playing Ben Grimm, better known as The Thing. Bell is an awesome talent; the dude won a BAFTA, one of the most coveted awards in film, at eleven years old. Eleven years old! One of Bell’s most well known films, Jumper, was a box office hit, and as poor as the film was, his performance was solid. Even further, Bell has worked with Steven Spielberg, as well as Edgar Wright, in The Adventures Of Tintin. Spielberg in fact hand picked Bell for the role of Tintin. If his performance in that film was anything to go by, his performance as The Thing will be nothing short of legendary. I have also heard rumours regarding The Thing, and his ability to transform at will, this is in both the mainstream and Ultimate comics.

As stated earlier in this piece, the film will be inspired by the Ultimate storyline; this means that the main roles will be significantly younger than their mainstream counterpart. Like the film, Reed, Susan and Victor are all invited to study at the Baxter Building/Institute. Recently spread rumours regarding the film’s storyline may in fact be true, but I still doubt them. The film has also been described as "deep" by Miles Teller, who has said that he "signed on because of the script." Anywho, I feel as if this film has a lot going for it and yet, people are still finding bizarre reasons to dislike it. I am not joking; someone Tweeted that they "would rather get Ebola than watch this.” That… That is a little over the top, do you not think?

The director of this film, Josh Trank, is one of my favourite up and comers. His film, Chronicle, not only sparked the career of Dane DeHaan, but also gave Michael B. Jordan some more exposure. Despite only directing one film, I feel as if from that one film we can tell a lot about Trank’s talent. He handles action sequences rather well, as well as handling characters. Trank has also been given a Star Wars, I repeat, Star Wars film to direct. Something tells me Disney has seen some of his upcoming Fantastic Four film, and something tells me they are pretty impressed with it. There was a fake Twitter account made, which had some people convinced it was the real deal, the Twitter account did a “fantastic” job at making people have zero faith in the film. There was a rumour going around that the film would be found footage, but Reed Richards himself denied that rumour. This film will mark the fourth team-up between Fox, Marvel and Mark Millar. Since Millar has joined Fox, we have had X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine and the best superhero film of the year, X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Kinberg also wrote and produced two of those three films, and guess who is writing and producing the upcoming Fantastic Four film… Yep, it is Kinberg.

So what was the point of this article, you ask? Well, I do not know. Part of me thinks it was written to try convince people to look forward to the film, and part of me wrote this just to vent my frustration with “fans.” Take Charles Xavier's advice, people, all we need is "hope." But honestly, I am happy people are brutal towards this film, I really am. Because after all, who does not love an underdog story?

                                                                                             Note: Which it totally does.

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