“Embarrassing in its own special way,” and “starring several overqualified actors.” Those could have described Tuesday’s first Presidential Debate of the 2020 election, but—as you may have guessed—they are actually excerpts from our A.A. Dowd’s review of Fantastic Four. The fourth attempt at a Fantastic Four movie was pretty much universally reviled by critics, and its prematurely greenlit sequel was canceled after the 2015 film made less than half its $120-million budget back at the domestic box office. (Though, for some reason, stars Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, as well as co-writer Simon Kinsberg still expressed interest in a follow-up movie. In related news: A month after the film’s release, star Kate Mara said she hadn’t even seen it.)
But that disaster wasn’t anything to the Donald Trump-Joe Biden screaming match “moderated” by Chris Wallace on Tuesday. Kinsberg’s Fantastic Four co-writer Jeremy Slater even went as far to compare it to his ill-received creation. “That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and I wrote FANTASTIC FOUR,” Slater wrote on Twitter Tuesday night.
Slater was just one of a chorus chiming in online about the disturbingly awful debate, which CNN’s Jake Tapper described as “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.” and saw Trump decline to denounce white supremacists and instead tell an organization we won’t even give the honor of being mentioned by name here to “stand by” rather than “stand down.” If the Commission on Presidential Debates doesn’t take pity on the American people and call off the two follow-up debates, we at least get a chance at some civilized discourse between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris during next week’s Vice Presidential Debate. If you have it in you to give that debate a watch, it begins at 9 p.m. ET next Wednesday, Oct. 7.