I knew going into this movie that it had received a bad rap but I was definitely willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and tried to go in without any specific preconceived notions. I had heard that it wasn’t good but I didn’t know specifically what people were complaining about so to me it was very much a clean slate, perhaps even more so as some of the films that have been completely panned had some elements that I actually quite enjoyed – The Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds being a case in point.
That being said the ending of this film was simply atrocious and while I know I’m perhaps jumping the gun a little bit starting off with that versus covering all of the other elements I’m sure that other reviewers and viewers in general were just as frustrated with the ending as I was and it probably ended up coloring their view of the film too! However in the interests of fairness, I’ll start from the beginning.
The first half of the film I thought was actually done quite well. It was interesting, there was a bit of humor and the characters of both Reed and Ben were well introduced along with their longstanding friendship. While Sue and Johnny were less memorable, their introduction and the whole controversy about the fact that Johnny Storm was black really had no relevance or weight and went fairly smoothly. However, when Victor was introduced as a brooding twenty-something year-old, well that’s the part of the film that for me anyways, started to stink.
I realize that this movie isn’t based on the standard FF comics but is probably built around one of the Marvel Ultimate Universes or something like that … I’ll need to check and confirm and see if the storyline matches, but I’ll be honest at this time I’ve not bothered doing that … based on this viewing however … I’d have to say that it probably doesn’t as it’s quite atrocious and if it was based on a comic book, well that book shouldn’t have been published either as it just didn’t make any sense at all!
When they went through the portal to I assume the Negative Zone and were imbued with powers, the transfer of power to Sue was just stupid as it was simply a blowback from their return to normal space. However the greatest fault here is probably the transformation of Victor himself! His whole power and abilities upon his return being so magical in focus and scope simply due to his extended exposure to that location, with no bearing on his knowledge and love of science. Pathetic. In fact his whole reason and rationale for attacking made no sense at all … it’s not like Reed and the others forced him to travel through the portal … in some ways it was his idea and while they weren’t able to bring him back he really has no rational justification for attacking!
Doom’s primary strength and usefulness as a villain is that he’s an amalgamation of not just magic but also science. In fact this amalgamation is so strong that in some circles he is at a level similar to some of the gods of the Marvel Universe and in fact has in some books defeated these same gods! In this film however not only didn’t he utilize science at all upon his return, his whole reason for destroying the earth just didn’t make any sense. Logically speaking he would have preferred to be home and perhaps tried to take over the Earth versus canabilizing it to transform the Negative Zone.
The special effects considering the budget spent on this film are a joke. Doom’s look and overall appearance was sadly the worst but unfortunately it wasn’t the only bad thing. In all honesty aside from Mr. Fantastic and his stretching ability in one fight sequence, there wasn’t really anything else likeable. The Thing was OK, but Sue Storm was pretty pathetic … her primary abilities that were shown were the ability to create forcefields and almost no attention was paid to the fact that she can turn invisible. Johnny … well it was just CGI really wasn’t it? It’s been done better than this for a lot less money. All of that being said, though we really need to return to Doom though … my god what were they thinking!!
The sad fact is they actually didn’t really need to use Doom at all in this failure of a film. If they’d wanted to create a new universe to compete against the MCU they could have kept him on in a recurring role and let him gradually grow into the Doom that we really all do know and love while utilizing another villian from the Negative Zone. Initially in fact I thought this was the plan when they shipped the monkey over as he (it?) would have made an excellent Annihilus I thought! I have to be honest when this didn’t happen I was a little bit disappointed – even more so of course when I saw what actually did happen!
It’s quite sad but I unfortunately have to echo the rating of rotten tomato and the score that they’ve given this film which is a real petty as it could’ve been something decent and challenged some of the other films in the MCU bet that’s absolutely not going to be the case now.