If, like me, you’ve already seen the new Fantastic Four (see our review), I have only one thing to say: I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.
As much as I hated the flippant sexism and cheesiness of Fox’s first go at the F4 franchise back in the 2000s, Josh Trank and co. somehow managed to make it even worse.
But pretty much the only good thing to come out of both versions was Johnny Storm. I mean, what’s not to like? The character in the comics has always been a fan favourite due to his charisma and hot-assedness (yes, that’s the technical term for being good looking).
There’s been a lot said about the casting of Michael B. Jordan as the new Johnny Storm, but how exactly does he measure up to Chris Evans? Did passing on the torch (hurhur) to a new actor make Johnny Storm a better character?
Evans: The first time we see old Torch, he’s racing in on a motorcycle while making out with a bimbo. He was a womanising frat boy writ large who seemed to get away with everything.
Plus, he picked on Ben Grimm all the time, and when the animosity between them devolved into a stupid prank war, it got really annoying.
Jordan: The first time we see new Torch, he’s…drag racing on the highway in a souped up car. If anything, new Torch really personified the hothead part of Johnny Storm, but only because he’s basically an angsty, rebellious teenager with daddy issues.
He’s so rebellious and hotheaded (ha!) that he doesn’t wanna fulfil his potential because it’s not what matters to him. Because we haven’t seen that before in any other media. Yawn.
Winner: Tie. Both Torches were equally one-dimensional. Neither of the characterisations did anything for me. The best thing I can say is that they were both the least worst thing in their respective movies.
Evans: He was a jerk and a cheesy walking cliché, and yet it all somehow worked. He actually made the movie somewhat fun whenever he was onscreen.
True, the womaniser schtick did get old really fast, but at least he made me laugh.
Jordan: Jordan’s Johnny Storm is a lot more intense, no thanks to the daddy issues.
Once or twice, there were glimmers of Jordan’s normal charm and likeability, but most of his one-liners fell flat.
Winner: Evans. I watch the Marvel movies for their humour, and even the X-Men movies managed to find some lighthearted moments when they were dealing with some seriously heavy issues.
So if you present me with a Nolan-ised version of the Fantastic Four that’s dark and gritty FOR NO GOOD REASON, I’m going with the annoying frat boy over the bland “edgy” rebellious teenager.
Hot or not?
Evans: Let’s just say the first time I watched the old Fantastic Four movie, the one thing I took away from it was “Johnny Storm is freaking hot like fire” (literally).
While I hated that the old movies had Jessica Alba running around NYC while naked a lot, it also had a lot of naked Chris Evans, so it kinda balanced out.
Jordan: There was a tiny glimpse of Michael B. Jordan’s chest when he first wakes up in Area 57, but he was also on fire at the time, so the audience couldn’t get a good look.
In fact, the shirtless picture of him used above came from another movie that he also coincidentally did with Miles Teller. Booooo.
Winner: Evans. There’s a very good reason Peggy Carter was so distracted in the middle of WWII.
VERDICT: Chris Evans ftw. I rest my case.
And thank you Marvel Studios, for seeing the potential in Chris Evans and giving him a second chance at playing a superhero.
Which Human Torch burned brightest? Tell us your thoughts!