Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fantastic Four

For our DVD night, we watched 'The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' together. I've seen it before, but not for a while. Since I have an affection for Marvel I want to like it, and generally it's a decent film, but I had my critical hat on and did have a bit of a problem with some of it.

Johnny, the human torch, is mysteriously affected by contact with the Silver Surfer, and swaps the powers with the others if he touches them. When this first occurs, he swaps powers with his sister. She panics completely when she is on fire, as well one might, but rather unlike the other superheroes in the group. When the Thing gets the power, he enjoys it and wants the opportunity to swap again. When Mr Fantastic gets that power, he not only keeps his cool (haha) but is able to control it immediately and save the day, welding the London Eye back together, ta-dah!

Susan, on the other hand, is helpless & screaming, swinging randomly in the air. And when their powers are swapped back she is, again*, naked in front of a gawping crowd.

In the first film, when Johnny first obtained his power and accidentally bursts into flame while skiing, burning off all his clothes and tumbling into a snow drift, is it a source of humiliation and voyeurism in the same way? I would say, absolutely not. He is out with a woman he is trying to impress and seduce, and his impromptu hot tub creation seems coded to succeed. He is not out in public, or vulnerable, exposed to the view of strangers.

In this second film, Johnny constantly wears his uniform under his clothes, in order to avoid ending up naked a lot. Susan however does not, despite like Johnny having a suit adapted to her powers. Since her ability includes invisibility, where to successfully use it she needs to remove normal clothing, it would seem to me that it'd be high on her priorities to wear her suit also.

* First film


Anonymous said...

Yes, but Ioan Gruffudd is in that film. All my powers of critical reasoning are melted away by Ioan Gruffudd, who is indisputably a god among men. :)

Mephitis said...

Well, he's alright if you like that sort of thing. :)