Movie Review: Black Panther (2018)

null

Summary: T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this movie and I might just touch on all of them because I can!
  • Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther. Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa is mourning his father’s death, while preparing to ascend to the throne. He becomes king of Wakanda, who also has enhanced strength by ingesting the Heart-Shaped Herb. T’Challa is definitely more comfortable now that he’s back home. He is aware of the responsibility that comes with being King and he’s worried about how he’ll handle it. He wants to be a great leader like his father. T’Challa is determined to uphold the values of Wakanda. He learns things as the film goes on which molds him into a great man and a great king. I think Boseman is a fantastic choice for T’Challa. His accent is believable, I’m not the leading expert on African accents but I believe his. He carries himself like a King, but also a young man trying to be great, fair and someone who his people can trust.
  • Michael B. Jordan as Erik “Killmonger” Stevens. I think it’s important to note that there might be spoilers but I think the trailer kind of makes it easy to tell some things about him. But Erik is angry and seeks to overthrow T’Challa. He has his own opinion on how Wakanda has been run and should be run. He’s very strategic, patient, well-skilled and trained to the point where he’s playing the long game. Erik is the type of villain who doesn’t really see himself as the villain, I don’t think, because he thinks what he’s doing is right but he’s also thoughtful. His plans aren’t outlandish to be honest. I like the updated look from his comic book counterpart, his hairstyle is modern compared to his long ones in the comics. Michael B. Jordan was great as the villain, this is the first time he’s played a character like this, at least whose a villain because you can argue that Adonis Creed was also very angry but this role is very different from that. He really steals pretty much every scene he’s in, I mean, he’s my husband so I know he’s a great actor, but I was very thrilled to watch him be like this. He’s so great.
  • Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia. She is T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend, she’s a War Dog and an undercover Wakandan spy. She is from the River Tribe and she’s a strong character. Nakia seems very different from her comic book counterpart, I can’t help but wonder if they’ll go in that direction, I hope not at least not without proper cause. But anyway, she starts the film out fighting for enslaved women in Nigeria which already gives her a noble personality. She is stubborn, thoughtful, strong and she KICKS BUTT! Lupita Nyongo’o is great and I’m glad she’d played a role like this as she hasn’t been in much and I think she’s a fantastic actress. The emotions she can portray shows she has extreme range, not to mention, she really has great chemistry with Chadwick Boseman. I believed that she could go toe-to-toe with him if need be.
  • Danai Gurira as Okoye. She is from the Border Tribe who is the head of Dora Milaje, the all-women special forces who serve as T’Challa’s bodyguards. She loves her country and is a traditionalist in that she is determined to serve her throne. Okoye is stoic, but she does have a sense of humor that when it comes out, it’s really funny. She has a big heart and she cares so much for her people that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect that. I’ve never seen Danai Gurira in anything, I know she’s Michonne, but this is the first time I’ve seen her in anything and she’s badass. First of all, she wears that uniform like it’s nothing, and her facial expressions, especially during the interrogation scene, fantastic. She’s great and I wish we got to see a bit more scenes between her and W’Kabi.
  • Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross. He is a member of the CIA and we met him in Civil War. Ross respects T’Challa but maybe doesn’t fully trust him as he doesn’t want him to get involved. He ends up going to Wakanda where he learns a lot and does some pretty cool things. I like the fact that he’s not just some CIA dude who is rude all of the time, nor is he just comic relief. He’s able bodied here and I think Martin Freeman is great in this role. He’s likable, funny when he needs to be and I think he fit into the world, strangely enough.
  • Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi. He is T’Challa’s confidant and best friend. He is head of security for the Border Tribe, who serves as first line of defense for Wakanda. They breed rhinos or something. He’s a sweet guy who has his own painful past, which they incorporate well into the film. I can’t say much without spoiling it. But I like Daniel Kaluuya, he has this likability about him that I can’t help but like him regardless.
  • Letitia Wright as Shuri. She’s T’Challa’s younger sister and princess of Wakanda. I’m not sure how old she is exactly, but M’baku calls her a child so I’m assuming she’s a teenager. She designs new technology for the country, she’s innovative and she wants to forge a new path for Wakanda as she’s in charge of the technological changes. She’s super smart and considering all that she’s done for the country, I wonder where in the Marvel Universe (the comics and what not) she stands in terms of being smart. Letitia Wright was great! She has a great personality as Shuri, she’s likable, smart, and funny and I’m interested to see if she ever puts on the Black Panther costume because she does in the comics. She’s definitely a young spirit compared to everyone else, but she is wise and I love her.
  • Winston Duke as M’Baku. He is the powerful, ruthless warrior who is the leader of the mountain tribe, the Jabari. They protest T’Challa being the new king. Their animal is an ape as he is called “Man-Ape” in the comics but I believe they just worship the gorilla gods. M’Baku believes in the past and that it’s important to know it in order to move forward. Winston Duke is a giant of a man, so him standing up against anyone in this film is quite entertaining because he’s so TALL. But he’s also funny when he needs to be, but at other times very much intimidating. I like him though lol.
  • Angela Bassett as Ramonda. She is T’Challa’s stepmother, and the Queen Mother of Wakanda. She is probably T’Challa’s most trusted advisors and probably the only one he really listens to. She is wise and has a lot of insights even if she’s not always right. She is supportive of her children, holds a definite amount of respect from everyone. Angela Bassett is always a win and Angela Bassett in a long silver wig with locs is ALWAYS a win.
  • Forest Whitaker as Zuri. He is the keeper of the heart-shaped herb. He is a religious and spiritual figure. He is the one who is in charge of the ritual where T’Challa becomes King. There’s a lot of information we learn about him and Forest Whitaker is always good, and he plays this role very well.
  • Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue. He is a South African black-market arms dealer, smuggler and gangster who is allied with Erik. He has an arm cannon that is an advanced piece of Wakandan mining equipment, it’s a sonic disruptor arm-cannon. He is a threat to Wakanda as he’s an outsider who managed to steel some Vibranium and has access to it. He also has a personal vendetta against T’Challa and Wakanda as he feels their solitude from the rest of the world is hypocrisy. Andy Serkis is always, always a win and I’m glad that he got to play someone in person because he’s great at it. His South African accent was great and he’s intimidating but also humorous. I love it. He was great.
The Villain. Erik Kilmonger is a great villain. He is a staple of Black Panther’s lore and rogue’s gallery, but in this film, they really give him a backstory and allow him to feel like a product of his circumstances. I think lately Marvel has some good villains and I think Erik fits right up there as their best. He’s young but he’s angry and his reasons don’t feel like “oh yeah he’s just mad” but that he has reasons and you can sympathize with him. Like you root for him too and that’s what makes him a great villain and what makes the movie so great is because you sympathize with both him AND T’Challa. He has some great emotional scenes and you can’t help but fall even deeper into the hole of understanding him. HE IS THE BEST MARVEL STUDIOS VILLAIN.
The Story. This is a story about growth, revenge, courage to do what’s right even if it’s hard, redemption and family. There’s a lot happening in the movie but at it’s core, it focuses on family and how T’Challa, Ramonda and Shuri now have to live without T’Chaka. Not to mention the secrets that are in the family that we learn, it’s quite powerful to be honest. There’s also politics but not only are they not ridiculously complicated but it says a lot about ruling a kingdom. The story I think is easy to follow, it’s emotional, it’s a strong story and that’s all I can say without spoiling. A lot of moments are so profound.
Costume Design. T’Challa’s first suit is the same one from Civil War, which is amazing and sleek in it’s design. His second suit that Shuri builds for him, is one that forms around his body was inspired by a similar design seen in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther comic book run. The purple you see in the design is kinetic energy which is cool. All of T’Challa’s outfits are ALSO amazing. That black hoodie he wears during Klaw’s interrogation scene is amazing and I want it. I want ALL of his coats. ALL OF THEM. Shuri’s clothes are amazing. Ramonda’s clothes, especially her headdress, and then that blue dress she wears, oh my gosh. Amazing. Also those white locs were fantastic on her and I’m still salty Angela Bassett was nervous back in the day of comic book movies that she turned down Storm. Nakia’s clothes… wow. The Dora Milaje’s uniforms are beautifully realized and the attention to detail in the clothes, wow. Erik Kilmonger’s clothes were also great, especially that black cloak thing he wears towards the end. Also, the detail with his bumpy ritualistic scares is really cool. Shout out to Ruth E. Carter who did a great job!
The Dialogue/Humor. It’s funny. It’s not like super funny or are you laughing the entire time, but there are definitely some visual cues that are hilarious and require laughter. Don’t expect Guardians of the Galaxy humor or anything, but there is humor. The dialogue can be funny and the way it’s delivered is great! Shuri’s great line in her lab referencing T’Challa shoes. Erik going “hey auntie…”, the scene where T’Challa sees Nakia, it’s some great stuff. I mentioned before in the story section that there is a lot of profound moments in this film and it’s true. The dialogue is so powerful, I think all of Erik’s lines are pretty profound. Don’t get me twisted, his execution was wrong but I can’t help but to understand him and in ways, root for him. But T’Challa also had some great lines, especially when he spoke to his ancestors and his entire scene with Erik at the end. Wow. Kudos to Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole for writing such a powerful script.
Visuals! Rachel Morrison is the cinematographer and she does a great job because the film looks great. Wakanda is a beautiful country, very vibrant full of colors and I think the scene where T’Challa steps into the pool of water and the people are standing on the rock wall formation, it’s amazing just how beautiful that scene was. The way some of the action scenes are filmed, especially in South Korea, that’s very cool. Not to mention, the use of technology in Wakanda, the little forms of communication they have, it’s a different way than how we’ve seen “holograms”. Or how Shuri can help T’Challa from her lab by being in a simulation. It’s super cool.
Awesome Soundtrack! I listened to the soundtrack a bit previously and I thought it was awesome but with it in the film, it fit so well into the film. Shout out to Kendrick Lamar for the original songs. Ludwig Göransson who also composed Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, he does the score and it’s beautiful. During Erik’s ancestral visit, beautiful and the score at the end with T’Challa and Erik was also beautiful. The music fits in the movie very well, it doesn’t feel out-of-place and I love the songs, but I also love the instrumentals where there are some quiet moments, like when T’Challa goes into the spirit world where all of the Panther ancestors were.
The Fight Scenes. Outside of one scene, I think all of the fight scenes are really cool, well filmed and well choreographed. The scene at the beginning where T’Challa drops from the sky, that whole scene was awesome because we got to see him in his element right from the beginning. Also, all of the scenes where he fights Erik, I think are all handled well. Their first fight in the water, it’s savage, raw and powerful. I think it’s clear that Erik is stronger and a better fighter considering… and it shows because it was pretty brutal. T’Challa’s fight with M’Baku was also a good one. The entire third act was also great. The scenes with T’Challa and Erik fighting respectively in their suits, was super cool and just the effects along with that, and how emotional and brutal it was. I think it was fantastic.
Emotional Weight. This movie has a lot of emotional weight going into it. It starts off with the death of a parent, husband and a monarch which is already tough on this world and the people in them. Not to mention, there are things we learn about the family as the movie continues that just makes you really consider how hard it can be to rule and be a good person AND a good ruler. I think Chadwick Boseman really sells the emotion in this film, especially the scene towards the end as does Michael B. Jordan. It’s amazing. You really feel for the characters and I think everyone has motivation for what they’re doing. You can’t help but to understand them.
Cons:
Awkward Fighting Scene. So, I wanted to make a comment about it, it was pointed out to me that some of the fighting scenes were a bit awkward. I did think this, but only about the casino scene in some areas. I don’t think throughout the movie this was a problem. But specifically in the casino scene, I do think there is weird choreography in there. There is also a mixture of shaky cam where you’re not sure what’s going on, mostly on scenes where there are some closeups. I also think there are some points, mostly when Okoye is fighting with her spear, where it looks like slow motion which does make it look odd but it’s not slow motion. It’s just real-time, I mean, these actors are human and can’t move super fast but it does make it not flow as seamlessly as it should. But it didn’t really bother me, I just wanted to bring it up in case someone else noticed and commented.
Overall, I LOVE this movie. I like, I can’t even begin to continue to sing its praises. It’s fantastic. It’s beautiful, everything in it is beautiful. The people, I mean, these actors are all beautiful people, the clothes, the music, the visuals, the story… everything is beautiful. The characters are all strong and different people to the point where you know who the are, what their purposes are in the film, and the cast is extremely talented and I can’t even. Chadwick Boseman heads up this film as T’Challa and he is great at his job. My husband Michael B. Jordan is a great villain, he’s sympathetic and he is understood even if he goes about things the wrong way. He is great. GREAT. Everyone is great. The soundtrack is amazing, especially the score, and the costumes are beautifully made. The emotions in this movie are strong and completely understandable, everything is felt because it feels so raw and organic. The fight scenes are handled really well. The movie is funny and the dialogue is profound! The only thing I can pull out is that one awkward fight scene in the casino but that didn’t really bother me. FOR THE CULTURE! WAKANDA FOREVER!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
flat800x800075f-u2Have you seen Black Panther? If not, what’s wrong with you?? lol I’m kidding but go see it! Let me know your thoughts down in the comment section because I would love to have a dialogue with someone about it, especially if you don’t think Erik is sympathetic.
There WILL be a spoiler talk coming up soon. I’m determined to finish this one since I have so many I started and didn’t finish lol.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more reviews!
Advertisements

How I Would Fix: Fantastic Four (2015)

Ways Fant4stic Could Have Been Better
If you read my movie review, it would be understandable why I felt the way I do. If you haven’t read it, then click here otherwise you’ll be spoiled. My plan for this piece is to offer alternatives, better ones, to what actually happened in the film. I think these alternatives would have made the movie better.

 

“It’s Clobberin’ Time”.
What they did: In the film, Ben’s older brother is a bully and uses this line before he starts to beat him up. Now, I understand what they were trying to do, they wanted Ben to take something with personal negative connotations and flip it around. To have Ben use it himself would show that he no longer is afraid to hear that phrase and that he wouldn’t be stopped anymore. I mean, I get it, but weird.
What they should have done: Instead of using his brother’s catchphrase, it would have held more weight if Ben was into old comic books, or old action shows where the hero would use the phrase before fighting but Ben would never say it because, he never felt he was strong enough to actually use it the way the heroes would. Who could he fight and win against? Maybe he even tried to use it against his brother, or some other bully, or maybe he tried to protect Reed from getting beat up and said it, and they both ended up getting beat up. It could have been all of these things that led him to joining the Air Force, or taking boxing lessons (or something) so he could feel worthy enough to use it and fight back. That way, when he finally says it to the villain of the film, it would be a triumph for Ben.
Ben’s Inter-Dimensional Traveling Involvement.
What they did: Ben Grimm is Reed’s best friend, but the audience doesn’t get to know him, or connect him with Pre-Thing. He’s helped Reed build his small version of the dimension machine but couldn’t go to the Baxter Institute because he’s not smart like Reed. However, when Victor, Reed and Johnny decide to go anyway, Ben is called because Reed doesn’t want to go without him. Victor and Johnny have no problem with this.
What they should have done: In the comics, Ben joined the Air Force and became a skilled fighter pilot, test pilot and astronaut. Since they were young in the film, he didn’t have to be “skilled” just yet unless he was a natural, but instead of staying home and doing whatever it was he was doing in the film, he could have done this. So all the while, Reed is updating him about his progress, Ben would be doing the same. Sending photos of his first test plane, sending pictures of his awards, it would have been nice. So instead of building the machine to look the way it did, maybe it could have been a ship that someone would need to actually drive since they don’t really know the foundation of the other dimension. It would be smarter to have a vehicle that wouldn’t touch the ground until they deemed it safe. This would have allowed Ben an actual reason to be there. Since they snuck and travelled, Reed could have called Ben because he’s an actual test pilot, this also would have allowed Sue to be present, instead of Ben just taking her place because Sue SHOULD have gone.
Victor Doom going to “Planet Zero”.
What they did: I was actually fine with his characterization in the movie with being a younger guy. The oldest out of the group but still young. He was cynical, had feelings for Sue and seemingly smarter than Reed but Reed’s intelligence also made him extremely jealous. He gets left behind on the planet, his “space suit” is fused to his body and he’s granted powers similar to the energy on the planet. He later tries to destroy earth with vague and stupid motivations.
What they should have done: Dr. Storm still could have gone to him to get him to help, Victor could still have feelings for Sue, but whatever he looks at Reed’s work, he still could have tried to correct him but Reed would humbly say “Oh no, see this is what I meant…” because no matter what Victor is NOT smarter than Reed Richards. He could also be jealous due to Reed’s intelligence as well as his ease with Sue and how she has warmed up to him. So, when they’re told they can’t go to Planet Zero, they still go and if Victor has to go, then it should still happen the way it did. He touches the green energy, is grossly burned and still left behind. However, instead of having powers from the energy, he manages to find a way to escape on his own. Perhaps the monks he learns his mystic powers from could have found a way to save him he doesn’t show up again until the second movie and even then he’s not the main villain.
OR
Instead of him actually going, he could have done what Sue did, try to talk to Dr. Storm and the other people who wanted to keep them from going so he’s left out of the whole getting powers thing, which allows Sue to go instead. Now he’s really jealous because they all went, even Ben, an outsider, go to go and he didn’t and they all got powers even with them being locked in a military base. So he disappears to be with the monks or something.
The Storm Family/Adoption.
What they did: Nothing. They didn’t explore this dynamic at all outside of them seeming to not be on good terms all of the time. Johnny seemed angry at his father, he and Sue don’t seem to always talk to each other especially considering the lines when Sue goes to where Johnny is working on something (that’s not machinery) and she says “Hey!” “Hey…” “I got to say… it’s nice having you here.” “Yeah, well don’t get used to it, I’m only here to get my car back.” She nods slowly as he never turned to look at her, and she goes to leave and he says “It’s nice seeing you too”. It’s never talked about. We also don’t know who’s the oldest, Sue is more mature and it seems like she’s the oldest considering the way she and Johnny talked to each other at times but again… not explored.
What they should have done: Personally, I would have preferred a flashback instead of exposition because there’s a lot already but it should have been explored. After’s Johnny’s mother died in a car accident, his father throws himself into his work ignoring Johnny to a point where he took to being reckless, getting into trouble at school even though he is very smart. Dr. Storm had a best friend who had a daughter who was also smart. Susan. Her father/mother was also a single parent and something happened to them causing Dr. Storm to taking her in being that he was trusted by her parent. He brings her home and eventually officially adopts her and she and Johnny are opposites. He’s loud, she’s quiet, he likes being around lots of people and she is a loner, he likes cars and building things, she likes music and patterns. She connects with their father in a way that he couldn’t with Johnny which of course makes him jealous. So Johnny retreats into building whatever it is he likes to build. Susan watches him build something and she helps him perfect it using science creating a mutual respect between them. She tries to help him stay focused on school and everything but Dr. Storm still hasn’t connected with Johnny in the way he has with Sue which does not extinguish Johnny’s anger towards his father. This is not perfect, but it’s a way they could have let us know what the problem was in the Storm family.
Johnny’s Involvement/Introduction:
What they did: Just like Ben, you could almost remove Johnny because his reasons for joining the team was forced. We first see or hear about Johnny because he’s car racing, he gets into a car accident, breaking his arm (I guess, I mean it’s in a sling but they don’t really say what happened) and his dad has to come and get him. Due to his recklessness (lol) his dad tells him he can’t get his car back and he has to help them at the lab, Johnny says he built the car with his own hands and when Dr. Storm brings him to the lab, he says he can build anything. We haven’t really seen that though.
What they should have done: Johnny should have definitely been involved, but his introduction should have been better. If they wanted us to see him doing something “reckless” or do something with his hands to help solidify that part of him, then they should have shown him actually working on the car, like it was shown in the trailer, maybe he tried to add an adjustment to help him win, something he knew could be dangerous but he wanted to win to get the money, or something, so we’re all like “ooo, this should be good”, he still spins out and crashes. Instead of suddenly cutting away to the hospital, we should have seen him go “whoo hooo!” and then pan away from the car and hear him mumble “ow” and then cut to the hospital. I mean, something more than what we got. Since he’s a hothead, we should have seen him get into an argument with another driver before the race, something more than him just being angry with his family showing us his temper. It also didn’t seem like he and Victor had a great previous relationship, Johnny joked about it but I wish we could have seen something that showed they didn’t care for each other. Victor sees him too immature and Johnny thinks he’s too high and mighty. Definitely seems like a dynamic that should have been explored.
The Plot/Storyline.
What they did: Basically they did a time jump and that ruined everything. Once that happened, I knew the movie was about to go downhill. After they return with their powers, Reed wakes up with his limbs stretched out and he’s asking about the others, eventually he freaks out and they sedate him. Switch to Sue and she’s shifting in and out of invisibility still unconscious. Johnny wakes up next and not only does he seem freaked out seeing these flames around him, it seems like it kind of hurts… and without trying he releases a fire blast and his father seems extremely distraught to see his entire body enflamed. When we see Ben, he’s stuck in a large rock mass and has to break out of it and all rock body (kind of cool), Reed sees this as he escapes through the air vents and he promises Ben he would help but he runs away and BAM 1 Year Later.
What they should have done: Instead of the year jump, they should have allowed us to see them in that year time frame. In fact, the last two acts of the movie should have been in that year time frame. So, instead of moving to when we see Reed wake up, we should have seen them and their blown up lab discovered. Dr. Storm finds Sue and he can feel her but he can’t see her as she is shifting in and out of her space suit (as she would have gone with them). They would hear Ben screaming for Reed, after he’s passed out from seeing his legs trapped under rock and that he was stretching and find that Ben is trapped inside rock. Dr. Storm would become aware that the table on fire is in fact his son and that his clothes are burning. That would allow us to see how other people reacted to finding them like that, I’m sure their first thoughts were not to take them away to a military base and study them. Maybe their second thought. Once they’re at the base, we should see tests being run, how they try to dig Ben out of the rock, slowly chipping away at it, how they can’t even get close to Johnny without him blasting unconsciously at them, or that they can’t even see Sue because she’s shifting in and out of visibility. Maybe Dr. Storm could have been trying to see them as they’ve been in the base but they wouldn’t let him due to it no longer being his problem so he spends his time trying to get inside to see them.
When Reed finally wakes up, maybe a few weeks later, that’s when things start getting interesting.
The Villain:
What they did: They made Victor Doom a villain for no reason at all. When they get back to Planet Zero, they find him and he’s all weird and stuff, and then he just starts killing people and trying to destroy the world because Planet Zero is now his home and then he’s defeated in a very lame and stupid way.
What they should have done: Honestly, they could have done so much more building him up to be a villain, a villain for another movie. We already see him as being cynical and not liking being told what to do when it comes to his opinions and science. We see him being jealous towards Reed, pining after Susan AND they could have had him and Johnny bump heads, as I said before, and Ben would just straight up not trust him as Ben wouldn’t. Reed wouldn’t say anything because Victor is older and smart but Ben would really dislike him. All of that would help make Victor more of a villain, and when he comes back in one of the sequels, he would be vengeful due to being left behind and that no one came looking for him (at least in the first movie).
The villain in this movie should have been the military, or the government or someone who would want to exploit them for their powers. To manipulate them into thinking they’re helping when they’re being used. Of course, as to not offend, it didn’t need to be a straight up villain but people who thought they were doing the right thing because they do not understand what they are now.
Sue’s Involvement/Introduction/Powers.
What they did: Crapped all over her. She’s not that interesting to begin with, she has a thing for patterns and music and apparently is very smart. She seems independent with a good relationship with her dad and a rocky one with her brother. She never even interacted with her Ben. She stays behind to chase after her dad about not letting them go, tries to help them by manually overriding the reentry and is blasted by the field that brings that back. I mean I get how she got her powers but such a cop out. Then she basically is a quiet voice, she seems to be less learned with her powers compared to Johnny and Ben and she dislikes seeing Johnny being so willing to work with the government. She believes they’re using him (which I was glad for her being the smart one lol) and then that’s about it. In the fight, she’s kind of useless, like they all were so meh.
What they should have done: She should have been feisty first of all, give her a personality and allow the audience to actually connect with her. Have her always listening to music or something, have her have a rapport with everyone, witty conversations. Show a relationship with her and her father and her brother. He may feel some way about her but how she does feel about him at this moment? We see a little bit of conversations between them “What happened to your arm?” “What?” “Were you racing again?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about” stuff like that was good, there should have been more. She can still make the suits but she should have gone with them, she would be the one who could read the signs, tell them when things are unstable as that was her job. Like how Ben was pelted with rocks and Johnny was caught on fire, there could have been a strange cloud that shot lightening through her glass window (if we stick with the pod idea) or something to indicate she was affected. When she’s actually learning to use her power, show that it’s hard to control but that it’s strong and when she’s fighting, she should surprise everyone by kicking ass because even though she doesn’t like being locked up and tested, she’s learning on her own.
So these are just a few things they should have done instead, it would have made the movie stronger, more interesting and cohesive. I still don’t think the movie was bad, it had loads of potential but it was wasted on trying to make it “dark” but it got lost in everything. They could have still made it darker and grittier, but they didn’t handle that well. These characters are interesting, seeing younger versions of them would have been even more interesting as they don’t all have it figured out yet but we can see the potential in them of what they would become later. Characters should have been developed, story should have been thought out more… honestly, I should have been involved lol.
I hope you enjoyed this piece. Please, I would love to read comments, agreements, disagreements, your thoughts on what should have happened. Lastly, I’m writing a “fanfiction” type piece for this as well, just you can see in more detail, how I was rewriting this movie in my head.
Keep an eye out for more!

Ways Fantastic Four (2015) Could Have Been Better

Ways Fant4stic Could Have Been Better

If you read my movie review, it would be understandable why I felt the way I do. If you haven’t read it, then click here otherwise you’ll be spoiled. My plan for this piece is to offer alternatives, better ones, to what actually happened in the film. I think these alternatives would have made the movie better.
“It’s Clobberin’ Time”.
What they did: In the film, Ben’s older brother is a bully and uses this line before he starts to beat him up. Now, I understand what they were trying to do, they wanted Ben to take something with personal negative connotations and flip it around. To have Ben use it himself would show that he no longer is afraid to hear that phrase and that he wouldn’t be stopped anymore. I mean, I get it, but weird.
What they should have done: Instead of using his brother’s catchphrase, it would have held more weight if Ben was into old comic books, or old action shows where the hero would use the phrase before fighting but Ben would never say it because, he never felt he was strong enough to actually use it the way the heroes would. Who could he fight and win against? Maybe he even tried to use it against his brother, or some other bully, or maybe he tried to protect Reed from getting beat up and said it, and they both ended up getting beat up. It could have been all of these things that led him to joining the Air Force, or taking boxing lessons (or something) so he could feel worthy enough to use it and fight back. That way, when he finally says it to the villain of the film, it would be a triumph for Ben. 
Ben’s Inter-Dimensional Traveling Involvement.
 What they did: Ben Grimm is Reed’s best friend, but the audience doesn’t get to know him, or connect him with Pre-Thing. He’s helped Reed build his small version of the dimension machine but couldn’t go to the Baxter Institute because he’s not smart like Reed. However, when Victor, Reed and Johnny decide to go anyway, Ben is called because Reed doesn’t want to go without him. Victor and Johnny have no problem with this.
What they should have done: In the comics, Ben joined the Air Force and became a skilled fighter pilot, test pilot and astronaut. Since they were young in the film, he didn’t have to be “skilled” just yet unless he was a natural, but instead of staying home and doing whatever it was he was doing in the film, he could have done this. So all the while, Reed is updating him about his progress, Ben would be doing the same. Sending photos of his first test plane, sending pictures of his awards, it would have been nice. So instead of building the machine to look the way it did, maybe it could have been a ship that someone would need to actually drive since they don’t really know the foundation of the other dimension. It would be smarter to have a vehicle that wouldn’t touch the ground until they deemed it safe. This would have allowed Ben an actual reason to be there. Since they snuck and travelled, Reed could have called Ben because he’s an actual test pilot, this also would have allowed Sue to be present, instead of Ben just taking her place because Sue SHOULD have gone.
Victor Doom going to “Planet Zero”.
What they did: I was actually fine with his characterization in the movie with being a younger guy. The oldest out of the group but still young. He was cynical, had feelings for Sue and seemingly smarter than Reed but Reed’s intelligence also made him extremely jealous. He gets left behind on the planet, his “space suit” is fused to his body and he’s granted powers similar to the energy on the planet. He later tries to destroy earth with vague and stupid motivations.
What they should have done: Dr. Storm still could have gone to him to get him to help, Victor could still have feelings for Sue, but whatever he looks at Reed’s work, he still could have tried to correct him but Reed would humbly say “Oh no, see this is what I meant…” because no matter what Victor is NOT smarter than Reed Richards. He could also be jealous due to Reed’s intelligence as well as his ease with Sue and how she has warmed up to him. So, when they’re told they can’t go to Planet Zero, they still go and if Victor has to go, then it should still happen the way it did. He touches the green energy, is grossly burned and still left behind. However, instead of having powers from the energy, he manages to find a way to escape on his own. Perhaps the monks he learns his mystic powers from could have found a way to save him he doesn’t show up again until the second movie and even then he’s not the main villain.
 OR
Instead of him actually going, he could have done what Sue did, try to talk to Dr. Storm and the other people who wanted to keep them from going so he’s left out of the whole getting powers thing, which allows Sue to go instead. Now he’s really jealous because they all went, even Ben, an outsider, go to go and he didn’t and they all got powers even with them being locked in a military base. So he disappears to be with the monks or something.
The Storm Family/Adoption.
What they did: Nothing. They didn’t explore this dynamic at all outside of them seeming to not be on good terms all of the time. Johnny seemed angry at his father, he and Sue don’t seem to always talk to each other especially considering the lines when Sue goes to where Johnny is working on something (that’s not machinery) and she says “Hey!” “Hey…” “I got to say… it’s nice having you here.” “Yeah, well don’t get used to it, I’m only here to get my car back.” She nods slowly as he never turned to look at her, and she goes to leave and he says “It’s nice seeing you too”. It’s never talked about. We also don’t know who’s the oldest, Sue is more mature and it seems like she’s the oldest considering the way she and Johnny talked to each other at times but again… not explored.
What they should have done: Personally, I would have preferred a flashback instead of exposition because there’s a lot already but it should have been explored. After’s Johnny’s mother died in a car accident, his father throws himself into his work ignoring Johnny to a point where he took to being reckless, getting into trouble at school even though he is very smart. Dr. Storm had a best friend who had a daughter who was also smart. Susan. Her father/mother was also a single parent and something happened to them causing Dr. Storm to taking her in being that he was trusted by her parent. He brings her home and eventually officially adopts her and she and Johnny are opposites. He’s loud, she’s quiet, he likes being around lots of people and she is a loner, he likes cars and building things, she likes music and patterns. She connects with their father in a way that he couldn’t with Johnny which of course makes him jealous. So Johnny retreats into building whatever it is he likes to build. Susan watches him build something and she helps him perfect it using science creating a mutual respect between them. She tries to help him stay focused on school and everything but Dr. Storm still hasn’t connected with Johnny in the way he has with Sue which does not extinguish Johnny’s anger towards his father. This is not perfect, but it’s a way they could have let us know what the problem was in the Storm family.
Johnny’s Involvement/Introduction:
What they did: Just like Ben, you could almost remove Johnny because his reasons for joining the team was forced. We first see or hear about Johnny because he’s car racing, he gets into a car accident, breaking his arm (I guess, I mean it’s in a sling but they don’t really say what happened) and his dad has to come and get him. Due to his recklessness (lol) his dad tells him he can’t get his car back and he has to help them at the lab, Johnny says he built the car with his own hands and when Dr. Storm brings him to the lab, he says he can build anything. We haven’t really seen that though.
What they should have done: Johnny should have definitely been involved, but his introduction should have been better. If they wanted us to see him doing something “reckless” or do something with his hands to help solidify that part of him, then they should have shown him actually working on the car, like it was shown in the trailer, maybe he tried to add an adjustment to help him win, something he knew could be dangerous but he wanted to win to get the money, or something, so we’re all like “ooo, this should be good”, he still spins out and crashes. Instead of suddenly cutting away to the hospital, we should have seen him go “whoo hooo!” and then pan away from the car and hear him mumble “ow” and then cut to the hospital. I mean, something more than what we got. Since he’s a hothead, we should have seen him get into an argument with another driver before the race, something more than him just being angry with his family showing us his temper. It also didn’t seem like he and Victor had a great previous relationship, Johnny joked about it but I wish we could have seen something that showed they didn’t care for each other. Victor sees him too immature and Johnny thinks he’s too high and mighty. Definitely seems like a dynamic that should have been explored.
The Plot/Storyline.
What they did: Basically they did a time jump and that ruined everything. Once that happened, I knew the movie was about to go downhill. After they return with their powers, Reed wakes up with his limbs stretched out and he’s asking about the others, eventually he freaks out and they sedate him. Switch to Sue and she’s shifting in and out of invisibility still unconscious. Johnny wakes up next and not only does he seem freaked out seeing these flames around him, it seems like it kind of hurts… and without trying he releases a fire blast and his father seems extremely distraught to see his entire body enflamed. When we see Ben, he’s stuck in a large rock mass and has to break out of it and all rock body (kind of cool), Reed sees this as he escapes through the air vents and he promises Ben he would help but he runs away and BAM 1 Year Later.
What they should have done: Instead of the year jump, they should have allowed us to see them in that year time frame. In fact, the last two acts of the movie should have been in that year time frame. So, instead of moving to when we see Reed wake up, we should have seen them and their blown up lab discovered. Dr. Storm finds Sue and he can feel her but he can’t see her as she is shifting in and out of her space suit (as she would have gone with them). They would hear Ben screaming for Reed, after he’s passed out from seeing his legs trapped under rock and that he was stretching and find that Ben is trapped inside rock. Dr. Storm would become aware that the table on fire is in fact his son and that his clothes are burning. That would allow us to see how other people reacted to finding them like that, I’m sure their first thoughts were not to take them away to a military base and study them. Maybe their second thought. Once they’re at the base, we should see tests being run, how they try to dig Ben out of the rock, slowly chipping away at it, how they can’t even get close to Johnny without him blasting unconsciously at them, or that they can’t even see Sue because she’s shifting in and out of visibility. Maybe Dr. Storm could have been trying to see them as they’ve been in the base but they wouldn’t let him due to it no longer being his problem so he spends his time trying to get inside to see them.
When Reed finally wakes up, maybe a few weeks later, that’s when things start getting interesting.
The Villain:
What they did: They made Victor Doom a villain for no reason at all. When they get back to Planet Zero, they find him and he’s all weird and stuff, and then he just starts killing people and trying to destroy the world because Planet Zero is now his home and then he’s defeated in a very lame and stupid way.
What they should have done: Honestly, they could have done so much more building him up to be a villain, a villain for another movie. We already see him as being cynical and not liking being told what to do when it comes to his opinions and science. We see him being jealous towards Reed, pining after Susan AND they could have had him and Johnny bump heads, as I said before, and Ben would just straight up not trust him as Ben wouldn’t. Reed wouldn’t say anything because Victor is older and smart but Ben would really dislike him. All of that would help make Victor more of a villain, and when he comes back in one of the sequels, he would be vengeful due to being left behind and that no one came looking for him (at least in the first movie).
The villain in this movie should have been the military, or the government or someone who would want to exploit them for their powers. To manipulate them into thinking they’re helping when they’re being used. Of course, as to not offend, it didn’t need to be a straight up villain but people who thought they were doing the right thing because they do not understand what they are now.
Sue’s Involvement/Introduction/Powers.
What they did: Crapped all over her. She’s not that interesting to begin with, she has a thing for patterns and music and apparently is very smart. She seems independent with a good relationship with her dad and a rocky one with her brother. She never even interacted with her Ben. She stays behind to chase after her dad about not letting them go, tries to help them by manually overriding the reentry and is blasted by the field that brings that back. I mean I get how she got her powers but such a cop out. Then she basically is a quiet voice, she seems to be less learned with her powers compared to Johnny and Ben and she dislikes seeing Johnny being so willing to work with the government. She believes they’re using him (which I was glad for her being the smart one lol) and then that’s about it. In the fight, she’s kind of useless, like they all were so meh.
 What they should have done: She should have been feisty first of all, give her a personality and allow the audience to actually connect with her. Have her always listening to music or something, have her have a rapport with everyone, witty conversations. Show a relationship with her and her father and her brother. He may feel some way about her but how she does feel about him at this moment? We see a little bit of conversations between them “What happened to your arm?” “What?” “Were you racing again?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about” stuff like that was good, there should have been more. She can still make the suits but she should have gone with them, she would be the one who could read the signs, tell them when things are unstable as that was her job. Like how Ben was pelted with rocks and Johnny was caught on fire, there could have been a strange cloud that shot lightening through her glass window (if we stick with the pod idea) or something to indicate she was affected. When she’s actually learning to use her power, show that it’s hard to control but that it’s strong and when she’s fighting, she should surprise everyone by kicking ass because even though she doesn’t like being locked up and tested, she’s learning on her own.
So these are just a few things they should have done instead, it would have made the movie stronger, more interesting and cohesive. I still don’t think the movie was bad, it had loads of potential but it was wasted on trying to make it “dark” but it got lost in everything. They could have still made it darker and grittier, but they didn’t handle that well. These characters are interesting, seeing younger versions of them would have been even more interesting as they don’t all have it figured out yet but we can see the potential in them of what they would become later. Characters should have been developed, story should have been thought out more… honestly, I should have been involved lol.
I hope you enjoyed this piece. Please, I would love to read comments, agreements, disagreements, your thoughts on what should have happened. Lastly, I’m writing a “fanfiction” type piece for this as well, just you can see in more detail, how I was rewriting this movie in my head.
Keep an eye out for more!