Why the Fantastic Four Movie Didn't Do So Well This Weekend
This is a little embarrassing, because I haven't even SEEN the Fantastic Four movie! But @eatthelove made this request and it must be fulfilled. Here's the completely out-of-my-ass talking points I used in my conversation with an Apple Store employee about why the FF movie "underperformed" or "bomberooed" or whatever they said on Deadline.com.
- •Superhero movie fatigue
- •The decision to go with a "darker" takeThe darker take thing doesn't work for every superhero franchise. It works for Batman and Daredevil, because they're essentially "just guys," and an injection of reality makes it exciting and dramatic. It DOESN'T work with Superman, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, where the intrusion of reality takes away all the fun. (Guardians of the Galaxy got this so right!)
- •Dr. Doom didn't look like Dr. Doom!Only mega-nerds would really care about this point, but it does seem to speak to a core discomfort with the material (as opposed to embracing the silliness full-tilt... again, see Rocket Raccoon and Groot!). Dr. Doom is the greatest comic book villain ever! And the new version of him looks like "a crash-test dummy covered in gak" (to quote Instagram's brilliant @dailydrdoom).
- •Aging down the charactersAging down Reed Richards takes away what has always been at the heart of the Fantastic Four's appeal: It's a family, with a Dad and Mom and two "kids". That's why Pixar's "The Incredibles" is secretly the best Fantastic Four movie so far!
- •POSTSCRIPT: Again... I HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN THE MOVIE. And I will, this week, because I LOVED Josh Trank's "Chronicle," and FF was the only comic I loved enough to subscribe to as a kid. Isn't it incredible that I can do all this bloviating about a movie that I could be completely wrong about?!This is why I should really be standing in the back of a comic book shop arguing loudly and unashamedly over Dungeons & Dragons and Fritos. Thanks for the request, Mr. Lin!