I might be the only one willing to say it, but I liked “Fantastic Four.”
The movie is ranked at 9 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and debuted with a skimpy $26.2 million over the weekend. But it isn’t as fantastically bad as the reviews say. Hating the latest reboot of one of Marvel’s oldest properties is just the popular thing to do.
“‘Fantastic Four’? Hardly. More like Pathetic Four,” said CNN. Here’s USA Today: “If you want a good Fantastic Four flick, watch Pixar’s ‘The Incredibles.’ This one is just fantastically poor.” And Rolling Stone: “The cinematic equivalent of malware.”
Critics are piling on about a movie that made fans uneasy from the time it was first announced. Comic book nerds didn’t want yet another retelling of “Fantastic Four,” especially one that wouldn’t be made by Marvel Entertainment but instead by 20th Century Fox.
And then there was the incredible backlash over the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. People could not get over the fact that the Human Torch would be a black man, while Kate Mara’s Sue Storm is white. Superpowers? Believable. Interracial siblings? Well that needed justification. Never mind adoption. Or half-siblings. My sister is white. I am not. We have the same white mama. It happens. Be smarter than this, America.
I’m prepared for the “You only like it because Michael B. Jordan is Johnny Storm” comments. Am I happy to see siblings like my sister and me? Yes. Do I believe in diversity? Of course. And sorry, trolls, he blazed the role. He was the perfect Johnny Storm. Flame on, Michael B. Jordan.
But I like this movie for reasons far beyond color lines. I saw it with a friend who is not of the Comic-Con fanboy and fangirl world. The biggest draw for her was the eye candy.
She doesn’t do superhero movies because she feels like you get dropped into a story that you understand only if you’ve read the comics. “Fantastic Four” didn’t pose that problem. It wonderfully explains how Marvel’s first superhero team came to be. She got it.
And as an engineer, she liked the focus on science. Maybe Sue Storm could be the newest face of the #ilooklikeanengineer movement. “Fantastic Four” makes science, math and teamwork look cool. And I love the friendship between Reed and Ben (Miles Teller and Jamie Bell).
It’s not one of the superhero movies we are used to that destroys cities with reckless abandon. Instead it’s a smart movie that takes its time re-introducing the story and setting up what could be an action-packed sequel. (We’ll see if that June 9, 2017, release date holds up.)
If people would get off the bash-it-all bandwagon and give it a chance, they might actually like it.
In the meantime, I’m not doomed to be the lone “Fantastic Four” fan. WNBA star Skylar Diggins tweeted that she likes it, too.