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Fantastic Four

D: Josh Trank / 100m

Cast: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson

Telephone call from Fantastic Four director Josh Trank to Marvel head Stan Lee:

Trank: Hi, is that Stan Lee?

Lee: Yes. Who’s this?

Trank: Hi, it’s Josh Trank, I’m directing the new Fantastic Four movie.

Lee: How’s it going?

Trank: It’s going very well, very well indeed. I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.

Lee: That’s good. I hear you’ve made some interesting casting choices.

Trank: That’s true, but I think Toby Kebbell will be the definitive Victor Von Doom.

Lee: Ah, that wasn’t what I meant… Anyway, what can I do for you?

Trank: Well, I was calling to find out when you can come out to Louisiana to film your cameo role.

Lee: I’ll need to get back to you on that. I’m really snowed under at the moment. By the way, can you let me see any footage if you have some?

Trank: Sure, we’ve got some great early footage of Reed and Ben as grade school kids, and then seven years later when they’re played by Miles Teller and Jamie Bell.

Lee: Seven years? Okay… Well, if you could let me see it, that would be great.

Trank: Okay, I’ll get it sent to you.

Lee: Great. And I’ll let you know about the cameo.

Trank: Terrific. Well it was great talking to you. You take care now.

Lee: You too. Bye.

Trank: Bye.

Fantastic Four - scene

E-mail sent from Stan Lee to Josh Trank six days later:

Dear Josh – Thanks for sending the early footage, it was… illuminating. I don’t think I’ll be able to find the time to film a cameo, though.

Rating: 3/10 – when your superhero team only works together as a team out of narrative necessity, and the actors portraying that team appear to have all the chemistry of fire and water, then you know you’re in trouble – unless you’re Josh Trank, writers Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg (and Trank), and the executives at Twentieth Century Fox, in which case you plough on hoping that no one will notice just how bad the reboot you’re making really is; an appalling mess that features a badly rendered Human Torch to add insult to injury, Fantastic Four is enough to make viewers pine for the 2005 and 2007 movies that should now be reassessed in the light of this movie’s failure to provide anything other than an incoherent plot, dreadful dialogue, even worse characterisations, and one of the all-time worst superhero movies ever (seriously, even Roger Corman’s 1994 version is more enjoyable than this farrago).