Despite my attempts to not see it, I finally caved into my son’s demands and rented Fox’s Fant4stic from the Redbox.
Yes, that is actually how the title is shown on the poster.
This isn’t a review of the movie, however. Well… it could be. Ready for it? It’s a terrible mess. A boring terrible mess with about 5 minutes of watchable footage that happens in the middle before things get terrible again. That’s my whole review. It made me miss the Tim Story versions. In fact, I want to rewatch the Tim Story versions to get the bad memory of this movie out of my head.
What I really want to talk about here is the issue of Doctor Doom and why FOX can’t seem to get the character right. It angers me, because Marvel Studios can take a difficult villain like Red Skull and make a 100% comic accurate version. Marvel Studios can take a 2nd-tier villain like Loki and make him a standout character that helps launch a career. Marvel can take any number of D-List badguys and at least make them WATCHABLE.
What is going on over at FOX that they can’t figure out how to bring one of the most iconic and recognizable comic villains – ever – to the big screen? Marvel’s Doctor Doom is like DC’s Joker. Everyone knows who he is whether or not they care about him. He is a pop culture icon. Yet nobody knows how to get Doom up there on screen in any way that services the bad Doctor. Is it because it just can’t be done? Doctor Doom is too difficult a character to realize?
No. I refuse to believe that.
I think the biggest failure to realize the character is twofold.
Origin. They always feel the need to tie him into the origin of the Fantastic Four. Nobody cares about that. Seriously. Does every villain need to be tied into the hero’s origin? Where did that even begin? I blame 1989’s Batman. Yes, Reed and Victor knew each other in the past. Yes,
sometimes usually Victor blames Reed for the accident that disfigures him. But why does that have to happen at the same time that the 4 get their powers? Why not just have Doctor Doom fighting Reed and in dialogue have it be revealed that Doom blames Richards for the accident that left him scarred?
It could be a nice “What?!” moment by Reed and begin to show how quick to take the blame Reed always is for any sort of problem… and how narcissistic and misguided Victor Von Doom really is – which leads me to the next point.
Grandeur. Victor Von Doom is the hero in his own movie. He does not see himself as an evil-doer. The things he does, he does for a noble purpose. Plus, Victor is pretty much super-great at anything he chooses to do. Study the dark arts? Bam. Becomes a master of it so he can save his mother. Wants to know how to science things too? Bam. Gets accepted into fancy school because he shows immense talent at it. After he blows himself up and goes even more bonkers? Bam. Takes over his home country by crushing the current evil ruling dictatorship. His subjects even love him.
I wouldn’t even introduce him in a first Fantastic Four movie. Doom wasn’t in the first FF comic… the
lameoid awesome (sorry Gregg) Mole Man was. The first Fantastic Four story should be about the four, and the threat they face should help showcase their powers and personalities. Shoe-horning Doom in there just makes things needlessly complicated. Slow burn it.
*sigh* I don’t even know why I’m even writing about this. FOX still holds the film rights to the FF, and it seems that plans are going forward for a sequel. I still hold hope that Doctor Doom can conquer the Silver Screen.
What do you think? What could be done to make Doom cool on screen?