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Fraudulent Four: It’s time to sue 20th Century Fox for Fantastic Four

A hopeless mess without discernible form, sympathetic characters or clear narrative structure

[dropcap style=”font-size:100px; color:#992211;”]I[/dropcap]’M CONSIDERING SUING 20TH CENTURY FOX


Because they tricked me into spending eight English pounds (senior discount) on the new FANTASTIC Four movie

I may be old but I’m not stupid. When I was young perhaps it was a different story. I remember seeing the number one issue of Fantastic Four on a spinner rack with its pale washed-out cover featuring an off-the-peg Jack Kirby monster threatening four shabby looking figures, one of whom was on fire and another who seemed to be made of rocks.

I treated it with disdain having been groomed by the classy Carmine Infantino/Murphy Anderson science heroes who always operated with impeccable logic and looked radiant and sparkling due to the higher production values of DC Comics.

It wasn’t until a couple of months later that I thumbed through the last wrinkled copy of FF 1 still on the rack. It wasn’t quite the riot of action, character and sheer fun that Marvel Comics were poised to deliver over the next decade, but my thirteen year old self finally realised that there was something going on beneath the comic’s cheap exterior. I bought the damned thing for six pennies.

In answer to your unspoken question: no I don’t still have it. My dear departed mother gave my entire collection to charity a few years later. When, with tears of rage in my eyes, I enquired why she would do such a thing she replied smugly ‘They attract moths.’

May she burn in hell.

But enough of my cheery reminiscence and on with the possible legal dispute. I was initially interested in the project when I heard that Josh Trank was writing and directing. His movie Chronicle is a terrific slow-burn slacker take on super heroes that builds inexorably to a terrifying climax. Then I began to hear that Fox were less than impressed with his work on the FF and had scheduled reshoots and additional digital effects. It smelt like a farrago and I had decided to give it a miss.

Until I saw the trailer

It contained one stand-out sequence wherein The Thing (the man made of rocks) is dropped from a stealth bomber in order to attack a terrorist camp. It changed my mind and took me immediately to the Rich Mix in Shoreditch despite the fact that the cinema always smells damp.movie-theatre

Unfortunately the scene is not contained in the film itself, hence my feeling of being cheated out of my hard earned. If the film was just crap then I couldn’t have complained, after all you pay your money you take your choice.

The movie is in fact a hopeless mess without discernible form, sympathetic characters or clear narrative structure. The special effects are risible (people in the cinema actually laughed out loud at scenes that were intended to evoke pathos). Trank himself claims that he had a much superior product a year ago, before prying hands fumbled at it, and this may be so, but…
…I want my money back because I was conned.

A film trailer is an advert for a product and there is an Advertising Standards Authority to ensure that we gentle lambs are not tricked in our sleep by the false promises of large corporations. However, if I do complain to the ASA they might just give Fox a pathetic slap on the wrist and say don’t do it again. Instead I am asking other dissatisfied customers if they would like to join me in a joint legal action against the film company for obtaining money by deception.

Is anyone out there game? Contact Trebuchet and if there are enough of us then who knows? Perhaps we can prevent further trickery and sleight of hand in future film trailers.

It would certainly be fun to try.


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