Peter David: Fantastic Writer. Movie Critic, not so much?

A sci-fi and superhero writer, Peter David, liked the new Fantantic Four movie. As much as I respect and love Peter and his writing, I will not pay to see this flick. At least not full price. Why?

Cutting Reed Richards’ age in half was an incredibly bad idea. Mr. Fantastic is the mature intellectual, not Wesley Crusher. (Sorry, Wil Wheaton, you know I love you, right?)

The so-called controversy about Johnny being black? The only people who complained were dropped-on-their-head-at-birth white boys and DJs. I think he would be the only thing I could stand to watch in that entire flick unless Sue Storm does a gratuitous underwear scene. Good actor doing a young hot-head, that’s how you get Johnny Storm.

Was there some reason why Ben Grimm had to be bullied as a kid? Other than: Woe is me, life as a teen is so dark and grim cuz daddy won’t buy me a car.

Doctor Doom is handed superpowers AGAIN, and then his brilliant goal is I’m gonna destroy the Earth because petulance? No, no. NO!!! Doom craves power, not a burning parking lot. Why doesn’t Hollywood get the incredibly simple concept that Doctor Doom is the ULTIMATE self-made supervillain? That he clawed and fought and scratched for every last scrap of power he has, which is considerable? Including, as Stan Lee said, DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY! Hollywood, I’ll give you a theme for free: those who want power the most should have it the least.

Getting powers via dimentional rift? Why not an experimental space plane? That is close to the comics, and commercial space planes are being done in real life! Just add some unexpected radition, and boom, you got superpowers! Movie execs, to paraphrase Abbie Hoffman: Steal this idea, PLEASE!

And the final fight (also the only fight)? They throw rocks at each other. I guess that other world had nothing else to throw. I remember Peter having the Hulk hold up a Hulk toy which is holding up a toy boulder, and Rick Jones says the Captain America toy has a cool shield and the Silver Surfer toy has the cool surfboard, and the Hulk says, “I got a rock.”

This is another case of cement-headed movie execs saying, “Could you make it grittier?” Daredevil on Netflix is great 3 a.m. gritty, Fantastic Four is dysfuntional funny action-packed family. From what I have read, much of this movie is dark sepia. The director could not film light-hearted even if he was mainlining laughing gas.

P.S. Yes, the age thing bugs me a lot. I get asked about the age of the superheroine I am writing (will it be YA, huh huh huh?). Holly is mid-twenties, not mid-teens! A teenage girl is NOT going to write a Watchmen-esque best-selling graphic novel, not nowhere, not no-how!

P.P.S. I kinda liked John Carter. Just like Peter.


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