Fifteen-Minute Movie – The Fantastic Four (2015)

I didn’t pay to see this; I knew it would be very good and I don’t want to support bad movies.

or, “Why is it so hard to make a good Fantastic Four movie?”
or, “An Excellent Argument for Returning the Rights to Marvel.

Anytown Elementary School (the past):
L’il Reed Richards – When I grow up, I’m going to be the first person to build a working teleporter. I’m going to use my inventions to change the world. I even have a prototype in my garage.

World’s Worst Teacher – Look, kid, the assignment was to pick a real career, not blather on about some “Star Trek” stuff. Sit down and try again tomorrow. Weirdo.

Grimm Junkyard:
[[L’il Ben Grimm is sent out with a bat to investigate a weird noise and finds Reed scrounging for parts]]

L’il Ben – Okay, four-eyes, show me what you’re building and I’ll help you out.

The Richards’ Residence’s Garage:
L’il Ben – Okay, so that thing looks pretty cool. But does it work?

L’il Reed – We’ll find out. You should cover your ears because this might blow up again.

[[The teleporter does work, kind of, but also blows up, kind of; however, this is enough to establish a long friendship between Reed and Ben]]

Anytown Science Fair (the present):
Reed – Okay, so I’ve figured out the kinks in the teleporter. I’ll just borrow this model airplane because my partner forgot the model car…

Ben – Dude, I can’t think of everything for you.

Reed – Alright, let’s do this thing. It probably won’t even blow up this time.

[[The teleporter does not blow up, and in a moment the model plane returns dusty and worse for wear, but whole]]

Reed – We haven’t figured out where it’s going, but it did come back.

World’s Worst Teacher – You’re disqualified! This is obviously some kind of elaborate magic trick! [[huffs away with the rest of the judges]]

Ben – Dude, this sucks.

Dr. Franklin Storm – This is exactly what’s missing from the Quantum Gate. You do realize that you’re teleporting into another dimension, don’t you?

Reed – Um, what?

Sue Storm – We’ve gotten samples of the same sand that’s covering the plane. We bothered to analyze it and it’s not from this world.

Ben – Is that safe? I mean, should someone get that plane back from that kid? No? Okay, well, I’m not one of the geniuses here.

Dr. Storm – Reed, I’ll give you a full scholarship to the Baxter Foundation and give you the opportunity to build your teleporter to scale.

Reed – Aw, yeah! Wait, Ben?

Ben – Dude, you’re a genius. You deserve this. I’ll be back in the movie when you get into trouble.

The Baxter Foundation:
Reed – This place is amazing!

Sue – You realize that you could have ripped open the fabric between dimensions which would duplicate the effect of a black hole and destroyed the planet?

Reed – Um, well, that didn’t happen so we’re okay, right? Anyway, I like to read. Do you like to read? *crickets chirping* So, um, you like music?

Sue – I like pattern recognition, therefore I like music.

Reed – Um, cool. So, are you working on the Quantum Gate?

Sue – Yes. I’m developing the environment suits. Excuse me. [[she leaves]]

Reed – Did that go well? I can’t tell.

Baxter Foundation Boardroom:
Mr. Smarmy – You think a couple of genius kids have finally figured out inter-dimensional travel?

Dr. Storm – Yes. But I want to ask Victor to come back.

Mr. Skeptical – Victor Von Doom? Are you kidding? He’s a criminal! Nothing good can come from working with him.

Dr. Storm – I’m willing to risk it. What’s the worst that could happen?

Vic’s Lair:
Dr. Storm – Victor, I’d like to talk to you.

Vic – Whatever. I’m through with you and your corporate masters.

Dr. Storm – The project is almost finished. We found a kid who independently duplicated your design. If you’ll quit wallowing in self-pity, I’m offering you the opportunity to finish what you started.

Vic – Yeah, I guess, whatever, as long as Sue is there.

The Mean Streets:
[[Johnny Storm participates in an illegal race; while it’s clear Johnny has suped up his car, the engine blows out under the pressure and Johnny gets into an accident]]

Dr. Storm – What the hell, Johnny?

Johnny – I was doing 45 mph and the road was wet and I spun out.

Dr. Storm – *blink* *blink blink* Seriously? You know what, never mind. I paid for that car, so if you want it back, you work for it.

Johnny – Buuut Daaaaaaad…

Baxter Foundation:
Reed – Hi, I’m Reed Richards.

Vic – And?

Sue – Always so charming, aren’t you?

Vic – Susan. I’m glad to see you.

Sue – Whatever.

Dr. Storm – Okay, everyone, Johnny’s back to help.

Vic – With a broken arm?

Johnny – Ugh, that guy.

Dr. Storm – Victor, you know Johnny is a very good mechanic. Johnny, you know Victor helped start this project. I intend to see you get the first chance to cross the inter-dimensional barrier. Remember, we’re all in this together, and we’re better and stronger when we work together.

*icy stares all around*

Reed – Um, hey, I could use some help welding.

Johnny – Alright, I’m your man.

[[Cue the A-team montage; also, no one has superpowers yet…]]

Vic – Hey, Reed, come here.

Reed – Do you need something?

Vic – Quit flirting with Sue, you nerdlinger, she’s my girl.

Reed – Your efforts to bully me just sailed right over my head. We just finished the Gate.

[[The board members are invited for the live test; shocking it goes very well although how the hell they get a real-time broadcast signal across dimensions is never explained]]

Mr. Smarmy – This is great! I’ll contact NASA and we’ll start training professional astronauts to explore this new world.

Johnny – But Dad said we could go.

Mr. Smarmy – Why in the world would we send untrained kids to go on a very dangerous exploration mission instead of professionals? Also, you’re pretty much the only people who can troubleshoot a mission if anything goes wrong.

Vic – That’s a totally valid point we’re going to totally ignore. Why don’t you bring in the military and start figuring out if you can weaponize this somehow? Corporate tool; you’ll ruin everything.

Dr. Storm – I’ll take care of this.

[[Later, the guys get drunk and resentful]]

Vic – The people who did the work to get men on the moon died friendless, unloved, and completely and utterly forgotten. I don’t want that to happen to me!

Johnny – Yeah, you said it, man.

Reed – Even though I told Sue I didn’t want fame and fortune, I totally get what Victor is saying. We should totally go ourselves, tonight!

Vic/Johnny – That’s a great idea!

Reed – [[Calls Ben]] Ben, Ben, wake up. It’s time to do something totally stupid! I mean, amazing!

Ben (phone) – Are you drunk?

Reed – No. Well, yes, but so what? The project is a go and because you’re my best friend in the whole world, and you need more screen time and nothing will go wrong!

Ben (phone) – What the hell.

[[So the foolish four load up in the teleporter shuttle and do not blow up; Sue is the only person paying attention and/or has access to the Gate system because oddly absolutely no alarms go off when it’s activated; she also has the good sense to call her father for help]]

The Other Side:
Ben – Did that work?

Reed – I’m not sure. Let’s find out.

[[They step out onto an alien world and of course they first thing they try to do is plant a flag; this results in a crack in the ground pulsing with green energy; of course they investigate the source, which is a giant green pool]]

Vic – It’s pulsing like a nerve ending. [[And Victor von Doom, certified genius, decides to touch the energy-goo; predictably, everything explodes]] That was totally not my fault! Run for it!

[[They run for it but the energy-goo catches up to them and grabs Vic despite Reed’s desperate efforts to save him; the others manage to get to the shuttle and luckily the unexplained cross-dimensional transmission function starts working]]

Sue – Guys, what the hell is going on?

Johnny – Sue! We can’t activate the shuttle! You’ve got to manually override the controls before we die!

Sue – I’m trying!

[[The shuttle gets heavily damaged before Sue overrides the system and there’s an explosion when it returns that blasts Sue into the wall]]

Area 57:
Reed – What the hell is going on? I’m all stretched out. Where’s Ben? He’s the only one I know survived. Where is he?

[[The sinister government officials elect to sedate him rather than answer him]]

Dr. Storm – Where the hell are my children?

[[It turns out Johnny is on fire but not dead and in containment, and Sue is now fading in and out of the visible spectrum]]

Dr. Storm – I want my children back. I want to cure them. I don’t want this government involvement.

Mr. Smarmy – Damn it, we don’t have a choice. They blew up a building and now they’re all changed. If we don’t try to work with the military, they’ll just take the kids someplace else.

Dr. Storm – I really hate it when you have a good point.

[[Reed wakes up again and manages to pull himself together (ha!) and goes in search of Ben, who is yelling for help; he crawls through the air vents until he finds the giant rock monster]]

Ben – Reed, is that you? Get me out of here.

Reed – I will, I will. I’ll fix this. I promise I’ll fix this. [[Alarms start to sound]] Oh, hell. I’ve got to get out of here! I’ll be back, I promise!

Ben – Reed! Reed!

[[Reed manages to escape]]

Mr. Smarmy – Mr. Grimm, we want to help you. Reed Richards has abandoned you. If you do some work for the military, by which I mean covert operations in which you kill people, we’ll research your condition and try to reverse it.

Ben – Sure, I’m totally cool with military assassination. That’s totally within my character.

[[One year later and Ben has been on numerous missions, Johnny and Sue have received nifty suits and training on their powers, and the military is about ready to send Johnny out for covert military operations]]

Mr. Smarmy – Turning the survivors into superweapons was a great idea that won’t backfire on us in any way! In fact, when we get the Quantum Gate rebuilt, we’ll send more people over to give them powers!

Dr. Storm – That wasn’t the deal. We’re rebuilding this to fix my kids.

Mr. Smarmy – Riiiiiight.

Dr. Storm – Sue, if we don’t find Reed, we can’t finish the Gate. If we can’t finish the Gate, the military is going to send your brother into combat.

Sue – Alright, I’ll find Reed.

[[Of course, with her mad pattern recognition skillz, she figures out where he’s hiding in a matter of hours; Reed’s been secretly trying to rebuild the Quantum Gate and has apparently learned a few tricks with his powers; however, while this is enough to take out the military guys, it’s not enough to stop Ben, who captures him]]

Reed – Ben, I’m so sorry. I’m going to fix this.

Ben – You ran away. We’re not friends any more and you can go to hell.

Reed – Wow, that seems sudden and out of character.

[[Reed manages to complete the second Quantum Gate in ten minutes; the government is ready to send professionals to explore the other dimension]]

Reed – That’s weird. The landscape changed.

[[A hooded and cloaked figure stumbles across the barren plain and falls down in front of the explorers; they are ordered to immediately return]]

Reed – It’s Victor!

[[Vic is taken to quarantine where he appears to have partially bonded with the environment suit and is glowing with the alien green energy]]

Mr. Smarmy – Victor, we can help you. But we need to know what happened to you and how you survived in that dimension.

Vic-ihilus – That dimension merged with me and gave me power.

Mr. Smarmy – What kind of power? Like, awesome superpowers? I mean, I need to know for strictly research purposes.

Vic-ihilus – You want to send people over there to take that power and take over this world.

Mr. Smarmy – Um, no, of course not. Heh heh, that’s silly.

Vic-ihilus – I’m not going to let you. I’ll make sure you can’t ever go back to my world by destroying this one. It’s the only way to be sure. And I’m going to start with you.

[[He explodes his head with presumably telekinesis powers; no one is sad; and goes on a killing spree through the complex, which triggers the evacuation alarms; Dr. Storm meets Vic-ihilus in the Gate room first]]

Dr. Storm – Victor, please, we can help you.

Vic-ihilus – I don’t want help. I’m going home, and I’m going to destroy this world.

[[He only fatally wounds Dr. Storm instead of popping his head so he can have a touching death scene with his children]]

Johnny – Dad! I’m sorry!

Dr. Storm – Take care of each other. *dies*

[[Reed and Ben show up; Vic-ihilus breaches the Gate and everything nearby starts getting sucked into the other dimension; Johnny just turns his flame on and Sue protects the others with her force field]]

The Other Side:
Reed – We have to stop him!

Johnny – Leave it to me! [[Flies off]]

Ben – I’ll pound his head in. I’ve had a lot of experience with that. [[Runs off]]

Sue – I have an idea. [[Turns invisible]]

[[Ben and Johnny’s separate attacks fail to even phase Vic-ihilus, who contains them; Sue’s effort to block the energy stream with a force field works better until Vic-ihilus finds her and contains her]]

Reed – Victor! Please, stop this!

Vic-ihilus – There is no Victor any more. [[smushes Reed to the ground]] Your world is doomed. Also I think you’re a snotty know-it-all.

Reed – That was a random revelation.

[[Vic-ihilus tries to crush Sue, but this distracts his control long enough for Reed to break free and save Sue which in turn allows the others to escape]]

Ben – We can’t beat him! He’s stronger than any of us. We should totally give up now, because that’s totally in character!

Reed – No! Remember what Dr. Storm said; we’re all in this together, and together we’re better and stronger. I have a plan!

[[This plan involves hitting Vic-ihilus with an invisible Ben, which is actually a good plan; Johnny smashes some stuff and short-circuits the reaction which disintegrates Vic-ihilus but conveniently leaves the portal open long enough for them to get back to Earth]]

Military De-briefing:
Colonel Generic – If you continue to work for us, we’ll let you continue your research. Agreed?

Reed – No. If you continue to let us do our research, we’ll consider possibly undertaking missions we want to.

Colonel Generic – And if we don’t agree?

Ben – *cracks knuckles* You really should.

Research Center:
Reed – Okay, it’s time to actually act like the Fantastic Four fans were expecting so we can get a sequel.

Sue – What, now, in the last five minutes? Do you think people will really buy that?

Ben – And won’t it be inconsistent with the tone of the rest of the movie? I mean, I totally killed people!

Johnny – Dude, the logo doesn’t even look right.

Reed – Dang it. Sounds like we’re headed for another reboot.

–fade out on the FF logo except it’s rectangular instead of round–


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S. J. Drew is an aspiring writer who finally entered the blogosphere to shamelessly promote that writing (as evidenced by the title of the blog). Whether or not this works remains to be seen, but S. J. hopes you are at least entertained. And if you're actually reading this, that's probably a good sign.

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