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  • Accidental Aesop: Do not make life-altering decisions whilst under the influence of alcohol.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The collective decision that led to the hijacking of the Quantum Gate goes beyond stupidity. That being said, Victor's actions are the most reckless in the group, but they're done in an emotionless, apathetic way. Seeing how since Victor's life has spiralled out of control since the government began to meddle with Baxter's projects (sabotaging the project and all that entails, living in complete filth), it's not hard to see his individual choice to hijack the gate and to act so thoughtlessly as fueled by suicidal thoughts.
    • Comes into Ho Yay territory, but Ben's near-idiotic choice to follow Reed into Planet Zero instead of stopping him from ruining his life could be easily interpreted as Ben being in love with Reed. If Love Makes You Dumb isn't enough of a motive, consider that the one time we see Reed contact Ben again after joining Baxter, Ben looks elated to receive a message from Reed. Early scripts had Ben join the army after becoming convinced Reed had forgotten him after joining Baxter. Maybe Ben considered that holding the Idiot Ball for just a few moments (he did urge the other three to be quick about it) could earn Reed's love back again.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Although the team being variously sedated/sealed away/on the run soon after the accident might be occupying their minds somewhat, no one, not even Franklin Storm, seems at all devastated by the apparent death of Victor.
    • Following on in that vein, the team does not take the death of Franklin Storm nearly as hard as one would expect them to, especially since he's the father of two of them and the mentor of another. Even after the climax occurs and the world is safe, they just seem to forget about him.
    • Ben Grimm goes from constantly angsting about his transformation and blaming Reed to suddenly coming to terms with his problems at the very end of the movie, without any real explanation.
  • Arc Fatigue: The characters don't teleport to Planet Zero and gain their superpowers until roughly halfway through the film. Following that, Doom doesn't even return and initiate his big evil plan until the last fifteen minutes. Amusingly, the lead-up to the expedition is widely considered to be the better part of the film, which may make this a Subverted Trope.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Reed somehow being able to function after Doom disables his suit, without any in-universe explanation for it, comes across as a Deus ex Machina.
    • Doom is essentially this trope incarnate - his return is barely explained, and his motives for trying to destroy the world, even less so.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise:
    • The director, cast, and crew promised a Darker and Edgier and grounded take on a traditionally more light-hearted, science-fantasy title, complete with Body Horror and a lack of teamwork/familial bonds between the characters. This was very contentious with fans, to say the least. The act of making the cast Younger and Hipper also did not sit well with some fans.
    • Using the Ultimate Marvel version of the series, which itself was already contentious, as a basis for the adaptation. Even among Ultimate Fantastic Four fans, all of them believed the movie was too different from that line to be considered a real adaptation (other than the nod to Reed and Ben working together as kids).
    • No matter what kind of movie 20th Century Fox was going to come up with, there was bound to be fan backlash toward them for making the film instead of Marvel Studios in order to keep the rights to themselves, thus preventing the Fantastic Four from appearing alongside other heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It didn't help that this film's production didn't start until the rights were about to expire.note . As noted below, the last time they did this resulted in one of the most reviled adaptations of all time, so the fact that this film felt like it was being handled similarly didn't help at all.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Attempted in post-production as a means of Pandering to the Base, but the effort generally failed with fans:
    • After the infamous amount of backlash against the response to "Victor Domashev", the character's name was changed back to Victor Von Doom over the course of the reshoots.
    • 20th Century Fox had to deal with the popular perception of them as micromanaging meddlers due to the reign of former CEO Tom Rothman and the Troubled Production of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Fantastic Four was intended to prove naysayers wrong and show that the company could be auteur-friendly, especially with one helming a big comic book movie. The effort unfortunately fell through due to auteur Josh Trank becoming a Prima Donna Director who wasn't prepared for such a huge project, and Fox had to bring in an accordingly huge amount of Executive Meddling in an effort to try and save the movie... which also failed to work.
    • Subverted in regards to the costumes; after the initial backlash against the "containment suits" and Thing being butt-naked, the people involved strongly implied that the team would wear more traditional-looking versions of their costumes at the end of the film. This didn't happen in the final movie, and Kate Mara confirmed that there were no fittings for different suits.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Bile Fascination: No Marvel movie has garnered such a negative reception since Elektra, leading many to watch the movie simply to see where and how Fox failed in adapting the source material.
  • Cliché Storm: In spite of Josh Trank, Simon Kinberg, and Jeremy Slater's efforts to make their movie seem original, one of the biggest criticisms levied toward the movie is that it's a lot like any other superhero flick — including the 2005 Fantastic Four movie — with too much of a focus on the origin story and not much else to allow it to stand out in its own right. The climax even has another sky portal.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • Victor's rant about how it's not "fair" that Planet Zero will be first explored by astronauts instead of the people who built the teleporters has a lot of this. He complains that maybe they're going to send in the CIA. The CIA, being an intelligence agency, would have absolutely nothing to do with the exploration of new planets. Their purview is more about already-established countries.
    • Victor complains about how everyone remembers Neil Armstrong and that nobody remembers the scientists that made the moon landing possible, and that the scientists deserved to go to the moon first. The audience is supposed to side with him, but multiple failures in research become apparent:
      • Anyone who has even the slightest idea of engineering, physics, and space travel would be aware of how extensive astronaut training is and how expensive it would be to put even one person on the moon.note 
      • Anyone with a knowledge of sociology and politics would recognize how urgent the US's space race against the USSR was at the time and that obviously, only a small crew could actually make the trip.
      • Anyone with a decent knowledge of history would note that a key scientific figure who made the Apollo 11 mission possible — Wernher Von Braun — was very famous at the time (having made several television appearances in the fifties, sixties, and seventies), and that his absence in the conversation is pretty conspicuous.
      • Critic Brad Jones, in his Midnight Screenings review of the film, pointed out two other flaws with Victor's claim: 1) Apollo 11 was built by a crew of over hundreds of thousands, not just four teen prodigies, hence why the astronauts got most of the fame, and 2) the astronauts themselves have been vocal about their gratitude to the engineers who kept them alive during their journey.
      • Furthermore, the research failure comes across as being particularly egregious based on who is saying it — since Victor is a genius scientist who has worked in a similar field, he should know all of this, as should Reed. At the very least, for what little credit they deserve, Victor's over-inflated ego has consistently been a problem for him across all versions of the character and all three of them are shit-faced drunk during the discussion.
    • Any kid can tell you that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea's plot is not about a man who builds a submarine which can go deeper than any other, since the 20,000 leagues refers to the distance traveled across the sea while under it, not the depth the submarine travelednote . Reed's words are especially confusing because in the book's universe, there is only one submarine, and the concept itself doesn't exist. Also, the ocean is only, at most, 36,000 feet/6.7 miles. 20,000 leagues is 60,000 miles, or almost 9,000 times deeper than the actual depth.
      • On a more thematic level, the movie has Reed claiming Captain Nemo as a hero and role model, and he's even called Captain Nemo as a joke. As any reader will tell you, Captain Nemo is the villain of the novel, and indeed his all-encompassing dedication to science over humanity is absolutely not the character you would want to equate Reed Richards with. If anything, the character that Nemo most resembles is the Doctor Doom of the comics, since both are Emperor Scientist Byronic Hero who are capable of being noble and cruel in equal measure.
    • More based on the behind-the-scenes area, but one of Josh Trank's more controversial moments was when he described the comic book version of Susan Storm of being a 'slutty secretary', to negatively compare her to his version which he tried to present as a progressive change to the character. Ignoring the insulting connotations such a description has, it's simply not true; beyond being attracted to Namor, she's only ever been with one man in the mainstream comics and, save for a serious out of character moment, always dressed conservatively.
    • Josh Trank cited Bryan Hitch's work on The Ultimates as an inspiration for the movie, particularly Hitch's rendition of Reed Richards working in his garage. However, Reed Richards was not a main character in The Ultimates (he only briefly showed up in Ultimates 2 and only became a prominent figure in the Ultimate Comics era as a villain) and Bryan Hitch did not provide the artwork for the actual series that image originated from, which was Ultimate Fantastic Four. At best, Hitch came up with the character designs and provided cover art.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: One of the most heavily criticized aspects of the film is that it's too serious and joyless, when the comics and previous adaptations were a lot more fun and lighthearted. Furthermore, the lack of any real bonds between the characters at the end of the movie — or the perception that the characters themselves are underdeveloped — have also been heavily criticized, as some critics argued that the Darker and Edgier tone would have worked if the characters were actually interesting or worth rooting for.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Reed ditches his friends for some reason and then has the gall to wonder why Ben is mad at him. There's no justification for this, as he could have simply done research from the military base where he was stationed (which ultimately would have solved a lot of problems).
    • At the end of the movie, the Fantastic Four themselves have an unheroic moment where they threaten the government with what is effectively a terrorist demand. This is Played for Laughs, and the Protagonist-Centered Morality present in the situation is not brought up at all.
  • Designated Villain: The US Government, which employed and funded Franklin Storm; allowed Franklin to hire his children and chose their other teammates; who gave Reed, Sue and Victor the funding for their experiments; who quite reasonably wanted to hire trained professional astronauts to explore the new dimension; who continued to work with Sue, Johnny and Ben after they gained their powers through no apparent coercion (Johnny is very happy to work with them); and saw the experiment result in Victor killing a lot of people and causing a lot of destruction. And at the end of the movie, Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny act like total dicks to them and demand more resources and funding.
  • Eight Deadly Words: Nearly all the characters in the film are so dull and one-dimensional and have such little dynamics with each other that, whether you hate them or not, a lot of viewers will not care if either good or bad things happen to them.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Reg E. Cathey has been praised for his performance as Franklin Storm. It's helped by a number of viewers recognizing him as Freddy.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: From a narrative standpoint, the heroes saving the world is a pretty standard happy ending - but from a character standpoint, the Fantastic Four end the movie as broken people who have barely bonded at all. Sue and Johnny have lost their father. Ben and Reed's relationship is still strenuous at best. Johnny barely knows Reed and is a dick to Ben for no reason. Sue's not Reed's biggest fan either. The family dynamic more closely resembles a Dysfunctional Family than an actual surrogate family. In the movie's defense, a lot of this is in fact true to the comics, or at least it was in the early days - Ben disliked Reed for his transformation, Johnny was constantly pranking and insulting Ben, etc. In fact, their (relatively) dysfunctional relationships were one of the most notable things about them back then, before everyone started doing it in one way or another. The movie just takes it way too far.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: From Marvel Cinematic Universe fans: Do not insinuate that this movie is connected to Marvel Studios or the MCU in any way.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fanon: After Toby Kebbell revealed that his Victor/Doom is introduced as an anti-social computer programmer and blogger known as "Doom" online, a number of people took this to mean that he would be a hacker and/or an Internet troll based on his very limited wording and a lack of official information. Of course, it's not helped by the fact that Victor is introduced in the film as being a Basement-Dweller.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: This version of Doctor Doom wears a robe that looks like it was made out of garbage bags. This, combined with his face, earned him the nickname "Trash Test Doomy".
  • Fight Scene Failure:
    • At the end of Ben and Reed's brief scuffle, Ben headbutts Reed in a manner that looks extremely stilted.
    • The battle between the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom is seen as the absolute worst point of the movie by critics, featuring a lot of CGI that is pieced together incomprehensibly in a weirdly-choreographed and forgettable climax.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Hulk because they are Marvel films with intense tones that had backlash during its release.
  • Genre Turning Point:
    • Though not necessarily in the kind of way that you would think. The movie's Troubled Production and widely-criticized period of silence for news released during that time seems to have affected the marketing strategy of other superhero movies from that point onward. Nearly every production of any superhero movie made after Fantastic Four has been a lot more open about showing information long before the movie's release date. Disney/Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War and Suicide Squad (2016) from Warner Bros. are two examples. This even extends to 20th Century Fox, who revealed a good amount of information about Deadpool (2016) and X-Men: Apocalypse, in stark contrast to their previous strategy of keeping quiet about their marketing until the movie is about half a year away from release.
    • Upon release, the negative reception and dismal box office performance destroyed any hope for another Fox-created movie in the franchise or an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover, effectively bringing an end to the planned Fox-Marvel Cinematic Multiverse before it even began. However, the X-Men Cinematic Universe has continued to do fine, with Deadpool even initially rumored to have earned a sequel based solely on the extremely positive reaction toward its trailer (when the actual movie turned out to be a huge success, it was quickly confirmed that work on the sequel's screenplay was well underway). Furthermore, no major announcements about a Fantastic Four franchise were made after it was released in all of its markets, while the plans for the X-Men franchise continued to grow by expanding into television.
    • This movie's critical and financial failure, along with the underperformance of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was similarly criticized for its overly dark and bleak tone and unlikeable characters), appears to have finally put the nail in the coffin of the unnecessarily Darker and Edgier superhero movie in the wake of the Christopher Nolan Batman films, with the contemporary popularity of much lighter and goofier Marvel films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man proving that making a comic book movie "grounded and realistic" is only a box-office asset when that was what the particular character was originally like in the comics. Fox seems to have learned their lesson with this movie, with the next superhero movie to come out after Fant4stic being the much Denser and Wackier Deadpool (2016). However, there was also Logan which was incredibly dark, but ended up being a global hit at the box office and got nominated for an Oscar.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Ant-Man was well-received by critics, while this movie was critically panned. As a result, this panel of Scott Lang mocking the 90s Fantastic Four cartoon started making the rounds (panel in context). Adding to the hilarity is Scott mocking the concept of FF merchandise in-universe when Marvel made no merchandise to promote this film, as well as the number of critics who finished their reviews by telling people to just go see Ant-Man instead. That Lang's face looks like Paul Rudd's only adds to the hilarity.
    • Prior to the release of the movie, there was concern that only Marvel - or rather, Disney - could do the property justice. After the movie flopped and both Daredevil and Star Wars: The Force Awakens turned out to be massively successful, some have jokingly argued that Disney is better at making adaptations of formerly Fox-owned properties than Fox themselves are at their own properties.
    • A mere six months after the film's release, The Flash (2014) introduced Wally West, a Race Lifted version of a classic comic book character who is depicted as having a rocky relationship with both his father and his more intellectual older sister and participates in illegal street races in his spare time. It's almost like Johnny Storm jumped universes.
    • In the season of House of Cards (US) released directly after this film, Kate Mara returned in a dream sequence with short hair that Zoe had never sported while alive. In the show it's to emphasize her resemblance to Robin Wright's Claire, but also comes off very much like after her experience with the reshoots on this film, she refused to have anything to do with wigs again.
    • With the announcement that Michael B. Jordan had been cast in the MCU's Black Panther (2018) movie, Jordan has now joined another former Human Torch in making a jump from a Fox-Marvel movie to a Marvel Studios film. The announcement also came literally hours after the film's producer made a quite delusional statement that he still had hope of making a sequel with the same cast.
      • One of the first trailers for Black Panther showed Michael B. Jordan's villain surrounded by fire. Wonder if he was working out some unresolved issues there.
      • It appears that Jordan got the last laugh on this one, considering that his acting career went directly from appearing in one of the most universally panned superhero movies to one of the most massively praised and successful. How's that for a comeback?
    • Stan Lee's cameo in a previous Fantastic Four movie (Rise of Silver Surfer) was him being denied entry from Reed and Susan's wedding. No wonder he had no cameo this time.
    • The scene where Doom walks through the hallway blowing people's heads up is remarkably similar to the infamous Darth Vader massacre, which, in direct contrast to this movie, was a massive success with critics, nerds, and general audiences alike.
    • Kate Mara and Jamie Bell fell in love during the press tour and married on July 2017. Hence, the lack of chemistry between Reed Richards and Sue Storm in the film is because Sue prefers Ben Grimm.
    • The film's tagline "Change is coming" became funnier with the announcement of the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney.
    • Related to this, the great lengths Fox went through to get this movie out into theaters (entirely to keep the Fantastic Four IP out of Disney's hands) now fall under this trope due to Disney buying Fox. For extra irony, Kevin Feige formally announced a reboot roughly four years after this movie was released.
    • Looks like this wouldn't be the only time Michael B. Jordan plays a role that centers on burning things when he was cast as Guy Montag in a 2018 adaptation of Fahrenheit 451.
    • Like Jordan, Reg E. Cathey also made a jump to the MCU, again playing the father of a superhero in Season 2 of Luke Cage, though it's soured quite a bit by his death months before the season's release.
    • The famously-derided version of Doctor Doom in this movie is a deep-voiced figure with a deformed face, wearing a ragged, hooded cloak and trapped on a barren alien planet. Which bears an astonishing degree of resemblance to another iconic Marvel villain, the reappearance of the Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War.
    • One of the criticisms directed towards this film is that they never refer to themselves as the Fantastic 4 in the movie, which is exactly the same thing that would happen in Wonder Woman (2017), except that film ended up being the highlight of its Cinematic Universe.
  • Ho Yay: The strongest emotional bond in the film is not between Reed Richards and Sue Storm, but between Reed and Ben Grimm. When Reed goes into exile, he keeps a photo of the two of them as kids as his motivation.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Reed and Ben have been working on a teleportation device since they were children and apparently performed a successful test with it when they were only about 11 or so. Instead of telling anybody about their groundbreaking achievement, they sit on it for several years to work on it some more. This may be understandable, but then what do they do with it once they feel that they've fine-tuned it enough? They enter it into a high school science fair.
    • When they demonstrate the functioning teleportation device at the high school science fair, the judges actually disqualify them on the grounds that the working teleportation device that they created in their garage was only science fiction and "magic", and not real science. They're only saved from having wasted their time by Dr. Storm, an actual high-ranking government scientist, being at the fair for no explained reason and picking up their device as the key to a problem they'd been trying to solve.
    • The way the crew get their superpowers really sets a record for sheer stupidity in superhero origin stories:
      • Once the matter transporter was completed and tested, Reed, Johnny and Victor decide, while drunk, to send themselves to the alternate dimension the machine is connected to literally just so they could have the glory of doing it before the NASA astronauts do.
      • They then also call Ben, a completely untrained civilian, and tell him about this plan, and he is happy to go along with them.
      • They don't even think to call Susan, who is a trained scientist like them, to join them even as mission control, just in case things go wrong, which does happen, and in a big way.
      • Once they get to the alternate dimension, they walk around like idiots touching glowing green, radioactive-looking things, which inevitably blows up in their faces and mutate them, and also seemingly gets Victor killed.
    • After Reed escapes military custody, the entire US government, with all its resources at its disposal, are totally unable to figure out where he might be hiding. Susan finds his location by simply using the places he was spotted in to narrow down a search area, which is about the most basic tracking technique in the book.
    • When Victor suddenly returns through the machine a long time later as Doom, he wakes up and goes on a killing spree to try to get back to the alternate dimension. Everyone tries to stop him from doing this even after it's made clear he's gone insane from being stuck in the other dimension without any company and is now a nigh-unstoppable killing machine, and there being no clear downside to just allowing him to just seal himself back off in the other dimension.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Hundreds (if not thousands, or hundreds of thousands) of civilians are killed by Doom's energy vortex, but the movie wants us to forget about this - immediately after a shot of a destroyed highway full of cars and what appears to be an entire city is shown, no less. And nobody even obliquely mentions the catastrophic damage at all after it happens.
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars:
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • Using Doctor Doom as the Big Bad, and tying him to the Fantastic Four's origin, didn't go over well with fans who felt that the movie was already borrowing enough from the story of the 2005 movie.
    • A common complaint from critics is that the film is very derivative and generic when other superhero films have done much more with their material.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Inverted. Some critics, such as Birth.Movies.Death, argued that the movie is actually more interesting before it gets into the superhero stuff. It should be noted that the second half of the film is where most of the reshoots had been applied, and was the point at which Josh Trank had been effectively kicked out of his own movie.
    • Played straight for the Deadpool (2016) trailer that showed before this film. Some fans just bought tickets to watch the trailer, then headed straight out of the theaters when the actual movie started.

    M-Z 
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Fant4stic" and similar variations, following the reveal of the film's logo.
    • "Daddy needs to get his rocks off." (in regards to the Thing being naked).
      • Funnily enough, the episode in questionnote  had Trank as the guest star.
    • Kate Mara's conspicuous blonde wig (particularly how it alternates with her very different-looking real hair from shot to shot) was a frequent subject of mockery.
    • The conversation between Wade and Weasel in Deadpool (2016) featured a discussion about how terrible Wade looks after he becomes Deadpool. The conversation is edited to make similar quips about how the new Doom, Thing, or even the movie itself look.
    • After the film's abysmal failure, and Miles Teller in particular not endearing himself to the fans as noted above, there was some comments that it's now rather more fun than it should be to watch him get slapped around by a guy who delivered one of the greatest portrayals of a Marvel character ever in Whiplash.
    • "We gave you six years and millions of dollars, and you gave us nothing." A line from the trailers, which can be used to describe the fan reaction to the movie. Jokes have claimed that movie accidentally was Breaking the Fourth Wall to describe itself.Explanation 
    • Detractors of the film have also took to mocking Michael B. Jordan's infamous "They'll go see it anyway!" statement, which was directed at the backlash that the movie got early into production.
    • After Marvel announced Jordan had been cast in their upcoming Black Panther (2018) movie, many joked that playing the Human Torch in a Fox-produced Fantastic Four movie guarantees that you would afterwards join the MCU in a better role and movie.
    • A popular image circulated on the internet is a picture of the main characters from Roger Corman's film saying "Finally! We're not the worst Fantastic Four anymore!"
    • Due to the infamous, cataloged Troubled Production of the movie, some people say a movie about the problems that arose from creating this one would actually be a better movie.
  • Misaimed Marketing: FX's promos, the "Group Name" one in particular, make the movie look more comedic than it actually is.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • Some of the early reviewers blamed Marvel Studios for the movie's shortcomings. Many were quick to point out that Marvel Studios had nothing to do with the film, and in fact the only reason why this movie even exists was primarily for Fox trying keep the rights before their acquisition by Disney.
    • There was a lot of argument over whether Josh Trank or 20th Century Fox were more responsible for what went wrong with the film, with good points made for both sides.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Doom's rampage through Area 57 and murder of Franklin Storm — followed by his attempt to destroy the world — completely remove any sympathy for the character.
  • Narm: Let's just say that this movie's dramatic moments come across as being less-than-fantastic:
    • The Catchphrase "It's clobberin' time!" being turned into what Ben's older brother says before hitting him borders on Black Comedy that Crosses the Line Twice.
    • The name "Planet Zero" comes across as actually being sillier than the original "Negative Zone".
    • For some reason, the Thing is completely naked, which makes it a bit hard to take his scenes seriously. In addition to that, there's a very jarring Vocal Dissonance with the character in the trailer — he speaks with Ben Grimm's regular voice as opposed to having the Guttural Growler tone the character is known for, which also ups the narm-factor (the actual movie has a vocal filter applied).
    • While he's being experimented upon, Reed bleats out "WHERE ARE MY FRIEEEEEEEEEEENDS?" like he's passing a kidney stone.
    • The hallway massacre scene, while genuinely creepy, is significantly undercut by Doom's dopey-looking outfit. He's called "Crash Test Doomy" for a reason.
    • A brief shot has Reed using his powers to vault over a railing — a short railing he could have easily jumped over like a normal person. Speaking of which, his jumping by stretching his legs and lifting off the ground later in the film looks much goofier than it sounds. It looks like something straight out of a cartoon.
  • Narm Charm: While Doom's costume may look absurd, the scene of him killing people in the hallway is genuinely creepy... at least when there aren't any close-ups of his face.
  • Never Live It Down: The movie's poor quality serves as this for Josh Trank; while he wasn't completely responsible for the final cut due to the Executive Meddling involved, he didn't exactly leave Fox with the best movie to work with during the extensive period of reshoots. It certainly wasn't helped by him being fired from a Star Wars movie and his own Twitter rant denouncing the same movie on the night of release. He went from being one of the most desirable up-and-coming indie directors in Hollywood to a Razzie winner over the course of two movies.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Goofy costume aside, the scene where Doom walks through the hallway slaughtering scientists and soldiers is genuinely frightening, and comes across like a scene from a completely different (and better) movie. In a funny way, it's almost a predecessor to the infamous Darth Vader hallway scene.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • On paper Doom's design was probably meant to look like a gruesome transformation, with him apparently being literally fused with his suit. In practice, however, it looks more like a hobo wearing glowing trash bags. It doesn't help that his face looks perpetually surprised when someone who had molten metal thrown on them should look at least a little pained.
    • Alan Scherstuhl's review argues that the Thing's appearance is this, especially after having been previously shown only in shadow so as to invoke Nothing Is Scarier:
      "When [the Thing is] revealed — well, it's not this particular photorealistic talking rock-mound's fault that it looks ridiculous, as that's the fate to be suffered by all photorealistic talking rock-mounds."
  • Older Than They Think:
  • One-Scene Wonder: Deadpool makes a cameo at the end of the movie's final trailer to advertise his own movie. Many fans found it more entertaining than anything in Fantastic Four itself, foreshadowing the Deadpool movie's eventual breakout success. Which is ironic, because Fox pulled the same stunt with Elektra by advertising that the movie would feature the first trailer for the 2005 Fantastic Four movie.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Shortly after the movie was announced, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe declared that a Fantastic Four movie would be better under Marvel Studios. While many such fans are fine with Fox keeping the X-Men rights (or at least until they could be properly introduced into the MCU setting) after X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past were well-received, they also tended to note that Fox's previous two Fantastic Four movies weren't particularly well-liked, so the property would be better back in Marvel's hands. Sony working out a deal with Marvel to let Spider-Man be part of the MCU only increased demand that Fox work something out with sharing the rights to the team. After the movie was eviscerated by critics, the sentiment increased further. Needless to say, fans were elated to hear that Disney bought most of Fox's assets (including, of course, the Fantastic Four).
  • Overshadowed by Controversy:
    • The fan backlash to Johnny Storm's Race Lift seemed to be brought up by media more often than concerns over how the movie looked. It was hurt further by the media labeling nearly anyone objecting to the change as being "racist", and Michael B. Jordan's own views on the subject certainly hurt matters.
    • People paid a lot more attention to the rumors behind the Troubled Production than the movie itself - especially after it was announced that Josh Trank "left" the Star Wars Anthology movie he was supposed to direct. This exploded once the movie came out, and when Josh Trank said he wasn't proud of the final product. Once the movie was a certified Box Office Bomb, a number of "What went wrong?" articles released afterward popped up, getting heavy traffic online.
    • Many fans thought that a two-hour documentary about the film's troubled production would be more interesting than the film itself, at least in a Jerry Springer kind of way.
  • Pandering to the Base: After a lot of discussion from the filmmakers during the pre-production and production indicated that the movie would distance itself greatly from the source material, Fox's marketing campaign shifted to how the movie was like the original comics in response to the backlash that had accumulated up until that point. However, many were still left displeased by this complete 180-degree turn in their approach, a while after the movie had finished filming, claiming that Fox was sloppily attempting damage control. Naturally, the fanbase wasn't very receptive to the final product.
  • The Scrappy:
  • Sequelitis: "Reboot-itis" in this case, but the effect is still there. The movie rated more negatively than the Tim Story movies that Fox was trying to distance themselves from, or the Roger Corman movie that never saw the light of day (outside bootlegs, if you're willing to count that).
  • Signature Scene:
    • The team suffering varying degrees of Body Horror after getting their powers has been cited by numerous critics as easily the best part of the movie, as well as the only scene where the special effects don't disappoint.
    • Ben Grimm sky-bombing onto the scene to close out the trailer was admitted to be one of the main highlights that got people hyped to see the movie. However, it didn't make the final cut of the film.
    • Doom walking through the facility blowing people's heads up Scanners-style was praised for being genuinely creepy and for being the only time the character acts anything remotely like his comic-book counterpart. It's the closest this movie gets to having a Moment of Awesome.
  • Snark Bait: This film's Troubled Production started an onslaught of sarcasm and derision from the internet, and just like Battlefield Earth, the negative jabs just kept on coming. Then the film came out, which caused film critics and the internet to start clobbering the film even more.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Some of the more forgiving reviews of the film stated that the film fell into this category; for instance, the Reelviews review states that the film "falls into the "adequate" range of the spectrum - neither memorable nor forgettable".
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In the first trailer's shot of Mr. Fantastic stretching, if you look closely, you can see that the same rock is copied and pasted to his left and right (but given slightly different lighting).
    • The four themselves consist of a Mr. Fantastic pulled straight from the director's night terrors, a Human Torch that can't keep all his flames lit (or composited properly) and a pitiful attempt at Sue's force fields. The only one that's even remotely passable (in comparison) is The Thing, and that's saying a lot.
    • In general, much of Planet Zero looks like extremely unconvincing greenscreen.
    • The Final Battle was filmed during the period of reshoots close to the end of post-production, and it shows:
      • In addition to the greenscreen issues described above with Planet Zero, some of the cast appear to be digitally edited into certain shots (since not all of the cast were readily available in post-production).
      • Furthermore, the digital effects of the characters using their superpowers in the battle also come across as sloppy and unfinished.
    • The Thing's face looks different in terms of structure and physical appearance from shot to shot.
    • The introductory shot to the Baxter Building is very conspicuously digital.
    • In one of the trailers released, at 1:29 the Thing throws a tank turret only for it to completely disappear in an explosion. One second it's there, the next it literally just turns into a fiery explosion.
    • The scene of Human Torch flying through an airplane features some questionable flight effects, and part of his flames outright disappear for a moment when he flies through debris.
    • The "organic" test for the matter transporter has an obvious CGI chimpanzee that is far less impressive than the ape effects used by Rise of the Planet of the Apes from the same studio. As Brad Jones pointed out in his review of the film, given the time, money and manpower needed to make a CG chimp, it would've been cheaper to just get an actual chimp.
    • Numerous critics have pointed​ to Reed Richards using his stretching powers to put on a disguise, and then morphing back to normal, as being some of the worst CG ever put on film, which looks almost as if it was put together in the 90s while they were still trying to perfect the technology.
    • Not even the practical effects were spared, as several people pointed out that Doom's costume now looks like it was made from discarded tinfoil and garbage bags.
    • The kid playing the young Reed is saddled with some quite fake-looking scars to match Miles Teller's real ones. It's especially weird since Reed could have easily been explained to have gotten them during the Time Skip.
    • The wig Kate Mara wears during the film's reshoots is glaringly obvious. It looks more like something from Samurai Cop than a major studio release.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
    • From the information that was released about the film and numerous statements from Fox employees, the film seems to have more in common with Chronicle than the Fantastic Four. This is a rare case of this trope being considered a bad thing, as many felt that Josh Trank just exploited the film as an opportunity to make his own personal pet project rather than adapt the comic series more faithfully.
    • Trank himself also described the movie as being what a David Cronenberg superhero movie would look like, citing Scanners and The Fly (1986) as influences.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Reed and Sue are kind of hooked up without any explanation as to why they're attracted to one another.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Dr. Allen is presented as being in the wrong for not letting Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Victor go on the first human exploration of Planet Zero and saying the Baxter Institute should send NASA astronauts through the teleporter instead, but he's actually right because:
    • The scientists are literally the brains behind the operation and its linchpin. If they were to go and die in an accident on the other side - something they very nearly do - then the Baxter Institute would lose very key personnel, and thus lose the knowledge that made such a technological accomplishment possible (and this is later proven after the time skip, in which Area 57 can't recreate the teleporter without Reed).
    • The scientists don't have the kind of survival training necessary to go into an alien environment and survive, while trained astronauts would be better prepared in every possible way.
    • The scientists don't even have a real plan of attack when they go into Planet Zero; an ideal plan for a first journey would be to step outside the teleporter, make a few visual observations without touching anything, and immediately return home to then process the data in safety, as real astronauts would do. Since there's no looming time limit for the Planet Zero investigation, the Baxter Institute could rinse and repeat the process until they've safely got all the data they need. However, since our protagonists are both mostly drunk and trying to steal the glory of first contact over actual scientific procedures, the scientists decide to mess with things that they shouldn't be messing with, which nearly gets them all killed.
    • The scientists have absolutely no supervision or support crew whatsoever on this expedition, which is monumentally reckless for their own safety. While Sue at least comes in at a later point to help the others get back to the ship, she would be hopelessly inefficient in taking charge of the operation on her own, even if she had been there from the beginning. Again, astronauts would have this via a large dedicated team at mission control.
    • The scientists bring a regular civilian (Ben) along, who — without the necessary knowledge of the technology he's using — is in even worse shape to be going on the expedition than the others are. Astronauts have actually tried this, and it went horribly, horribly wrong, so they have not tried it since.
    • And again, all the characters but Ben (who was carrying the Idiot Ball while the others at least had the excuse of being drunk) should know about all of the above, due to their knowledge in science and engineering.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The leak, in this case. A lot of people were unimpressed with the way Doctor Doom looked, with some joking that it looks like he was wearing a trash bag uniform.
    • The actual preview (the teaser trailer) seemed to zig-zag this, as some actually liked it and others thought that the movie looked too generic and failed to capture the essence of the team.
    • And then the final trailer was met with disappointed reactions. Although it had some defenders, it was seen as the worst trailer of the bunch by a few people.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Six days after the untimely passing of Stan Lee on November 12 2018, Josh Trank issued a public apology for failing him, and also for not allowing the legend to see a good movie based on the Fantastic Four while he lived. In spite of the fact that it was Executive Meddling that destroyed the final product, Trank still took the blame for its failure to heart in spite of doing his best to honor Lee's greatest creations.
    • Though most of the cast were able to escape from this film unscathed, Toby Kebbell's job offers reportedly dried up a bit after this film, which is pretty depressing considering his acclaimed turn as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that even got some Oscar buzz for his work.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Nearly everything in this film was changed from the source material (outside of most of the characters' names and Mythology Gags) and this has been met with derision from a number of fans.
    • Reimagining the title team from the independent superhero team that they are usually portrayed as in the comics and most versions into a spec ops unit for a good chunk of the movie was not well-received.
    • A lot of the changes that were made to Doom - ranging from his last name to complaints that were present in the Tim Story iteration of the character (removing his skills in magic, not using the Doombots, and having his skin turn into metal instead of being armor). The only similarities that he had with his comic book counterpart and most versions were his name and antagonism towards Reed.
    • Turning Ben's older brother into an abusive Big Brother Bully also didn't sit well with fans. Plus, changing the Thing's cheesy signature battle cry "It's clobberin' time!" into a phrase said by his big brother before he beats Ben up makes the whole thing even worse.
    • Leaving out Sue from the super-empowering expedition has also been widely criticized.
    • There are also the facts that Johnny received a Race Lift, the film had a darker tone than the source material, and the designs of the characters (particularly the fact that the titular team did not have the number 4 anywhere on their costumes), all of which were not well-received and accordingly criticized.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Fear of this trope taking effect after Harvey Elder was underused most likely contributed to his name-change to Dr. Allen. Killing him essentially would have cut off Fox from using one of the most recognizable Fantastic Four villains, Mole Man.
    • Doom. Prior to the accident, his characterization is very inconsistent. At the end, he becomes a full-fledged Generic Doomsday Villain who has no properly-defined reason to be evil. He only appears with powers in the last twenty minutes of the movie, and then he gets killed off without any hint towards his survival.
    • Sue Storm comes off as being so irrelevant to the people around her that they didn't even bother to bring her on the initial trip to Planet Zero.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Many critics note that the movie sets up a number of interesting ideas that never get fully explored. Given that Josh Trank was taken off of the project in post-production, many of these critics believe that his cut of the film would have at least been more interesting to watch, regardless of its quality.
    • The entire movie is an Origins Episode that spends a huge bulk of its running time on retelling the story of the 2005 movie with a lot more Technobabble and much slower pacing (while the 2005 movie spends 25 minutes setting up the Super Hero Origin, this movie takes nearly half its running time for the Four to even get exposed to what gives them superpowers in the first place). There's barely any story to the movie by the time it's finished; say what you like about the 2005 and 2007 films, but at least they had actual narrative arcs and a proper beginning, middle and end.
      • One thing that was heavily criticized is that the movie suddenly jumps a year ahead in the narrative right after the characters get their powers, and barely any scenes of the characters figuring out how to control said powers are included. Critics note that this would have helped justify the Prolonged Prologue and would have helped with the pacing of the film overall, considering that the Body Horror elements were actually fairly well-received.
    • The implications of Sue being an adopted sibling, and what it means for her character dynamic between Franklin and Johnny, are never explored.
    • Ben's anger toward Reed is more justified considering he was never meant to be a part of the expedition in the first place (as he didn't actually work on the project) and that Reed effectively ruined his life... but he puts his enmity aside because the plot structure tells him to, and this plot point is given no resolution whatsoever.
    • In general, all of the four main characters spent most of their screen time hating each other, sometimes with no justified reason (such as Ben and Johnny). Sue doesn't get to interact much with the rest of the team either, which undermines the critical foundation of the Fantastic Four franchise and ignores the main selling point of the source material to begin with. This is a big reason that the conclusion comes across as an Esoteric Happy Ending as opposed to a genuine resolution.
    • A number of fans have noted that Jeremy Slater's script (covered on the Trivia page under "What Could Have Been") would have made for a significantly better story and a more engaging superhero movie overall than what Simon Kinberg and Josh Trank revised the script into and filmed, though this may not be saying much considering what we ended up with.
    • Victor mostly joins the project because he fancies Sue and wants to get closer to her, and seems to be getting jealous of how she and Reed are, for want of a better term, 'bonding'. Once more, after the first trip to the planet, this is never mentioned again, beyond Doom saying at the climax that he had different plans before trying to kill her.
  • Too Cool to Live: Franklin Storm, the most popular character in the movie, gets killed off in Doom's rampage.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • In a movie where most of the actors were apparently told to give the flattest performance possible, Reg E. Cathey manages to give a decent performance as Franklin Storm in spite of the shortcomings in the script.
    • Toby Kebbell seemed to be legitimately excited to play Doctor Doom leading up to the release of the movie, even if his actual role in the film essentially reduced his character to being a Generic Doomsday Villain.
    • Critics were split on whether the cast playing the Fantastic Four actually tried making the most out of what they were given or if they just phoned their performances in. Of course, Josh Trank allegedly told the actors to give the flattest performances possible - apparently, they tried to act but Trank felt a dull and emotionless monotone equaled Darker and Edgier - so it's possible that they're not entirely to blame. Generally speaking, Michael B. Jordan was hit with the least amount of flak on the matter of his performance because he makes it clear that he wants to be there, and Jamie Bell's performance was similarly hit with less criticism for him putting a visible effort into playing his character (although his version of the character is otherwise criticized for not behaving much like Ben Grimm). Later, Kate Mara was also given some slack after reports came out that Trank was especially abusive to her on set, as well as the fact that she was the most vocal actor to denounce the film.
    • On the production side of things, Philip Glass and Marco Beltrami managed to crank out a good-to-great score, all things considered, and it received very positive reviews, unlike the movie itself.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
  • Trailer Joke Decay: The television spots constantly showed the gag of Johnny adjusting his seat and the failed fist-bump with Reed, taking the humor out of them.
  • Uncertain Audience: One of the numerous reasons often given for the film's failure is that it wildly shifts between tones, mixing Cronenbergian Body Horror (an approach that many fans considered to be completely wrong for the wacky, campy and colorful source material) that's too scary for the kids and families that have usually formed the Fantastic Four target audience while simultaneously offering up desperate, flailing lip-service at being a fun, lighthearted superhero movie like its distinguished competition. Consequently, the climax note  ended up pleasing no one, neither being exciting enough for the fans wanting a traditional superhero beatdown or providing any closure for the people who were actually interested in the darker plots it set up but never paid off.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The scene of Reed altering his face, going from one obvious CGI model superimposed over Miles Teller's face to another obvious CGI model. It almost looks like something out of The Mask.
    • The Thing's eyes. The rest of him looks about as cartoonish as you would expect a giant orange rock monster to be, but his eyes are very detailed and very human, giving his whole face an unnerving appearance.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • The Atlantic's review pointed out that while making the Storm siblings an adopted pair made up of two different ethnicities was progressive in showing a multi-racial family, making it so that the white sibling Sue is the studious, responsible one in contrast to black sibling Johnny's delinquent characterization seems like a step backwards.
    • The fact that Reed, Victor, Johnny and Ben travel to the Negative Zone without Susan comes off as sexist writing, considering she was on the original trip that gave them their superpowers in the comics. This has not gone unnoticed, and especially stands out considering Trank had claimed that the version of Sue in his film was more progressive than the comics version, who he decried as a "slutty secretary"note ; combined with his reportedly poor treatment of her actress, he actually comes off as more misogynistic than he claims the comics of being. Jeremy Slater's original script significantly mitigated this by having Sue and Johnny both stay behind as Mission Control.
    • Douglas Ernst points out that the portrayal of the American government is not only insultingly and pointlessly unflattering, but the Four's threats towards the government effectively turn the "heroes" into terrorists.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • A downplayed example. People didn't consider this movie a good Fantastic Four film but it would have gotten a better reception if the film was an original IP.
    • On another note, this move made more than a few people look back at the Tim Story directed FF movies with a little more kindness, as those at least kept a fun and adventurous tone similar to that of the comics.
    • Josh Trank got a lot of the blame for how the movie turned out, even though most of the post-production overhaul — which completely replaced the second half of the movie — was handled by writer and producer Simon Kinberg. After the release of Kinberg's directorial debut with Dark Phoenix (which was also heavily panned by critics and audiences and flopped at the box office), some of the heat for the film was taken off of Trank himself, since it's something of an open secret that Kinberg had way more of a hand in the reshoots than Trank. The fact that Trank made a minor comeback of sorts with another small-scale independent movie also helped, with some theorizing that Trank was probably in over his head managing a big-scale movie during this film's production and had no idea what he was doing.
  • Wangst: While Ben's angst is justified like every other Fantastic Four adaptation, it gets cranked up in this film to the point where it overtakes his entire personality, becoming the character's only notable trait until the last 15 minutes of the film, when he suddenly gets over it.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Franklin Storm's superiors demand that his researchers create something with practical usefulness. At the time they demand this, the researchers have already found a way to send things to Planet Zero, though they couldn't return them yet. In other words, their research had created a perfect solution to the old problem of finding a safe way to store radioactive waste (and that's just the start of all the possible applications for Planet Zero transit). Yet Franklin's superiors still insist that the research so far lacks practical uses...
    • The fateful journey that gets the characters their powers happens because they were drunk and didn't consider the dangers of going on an expedition without any support. What's more, Ben Grimm doesn't even have the excuse of being drunk. He basically gets a call from a hammered Reed in the middle of the night, asking him to come to the Baxter Building right then and there so they and two guys he doesn't know can take a machine on a dimension-hopping joyride to a distant planet... and he just goes, "I see nothing wrong with this picture. Okay!". Making it worse is the fact that the characters seem to stop acting drunk once they get to Planet Zero, giving the impression that they had all sobered up by then, which still doesn't stop them from running around and touching stuff.
    • Many reviewers also called out that Doom could have instantly defeated any of the Fantastic Four using his headsplosion powers, which he promptly forgot about after using them in the facility, which is particularly egregious considering that that was how he killed most of his victims in the film, and no Hand Wave is given to explain why he suddenly can't use them.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: One advertisement airing on a children's network tried to advertise the movie as one about a world where people could do anything with superpowers. Hope the kiddos like a movie featuring Body Horror and exploding heads!note 
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • The most prominent example in the film would have to be the casting of the Storm siblings due to the Race Lift involved. Many people were confused by black actor Michael B. Jordan being cast as Johnny Storm/Human Torch while Sue Storm/Invisible Woman (his sister) was announced to be played by white actress Kate Mara. It's been confirmed that Sue is indeed adopted, though as the Broken Base entry explains above, critics are of the opinion that Jordan's casting would've made more sense if Sue was also played by a black actress and that making the Storms adopted siblings rather than biological siblings is an unnecessary change that completely alters the dynamic of the characters. It also doesn't help that Michael B. Jordan didn't even have to audition to play Johnny, and was picked by Josh Trank as his first, last, and only choice for the role. People have argued that if they had switched Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller's roles, there wouldn't be an issue about the actors fitting the characters (see below).
    • Miles Teller, as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, was controversial as well. A few were surprised that Teller (who had been primarily known for playing characters of the frat boy/jokester archetype in teen comedies/coming of age stories) was selected to be the scholarly Reed Richards, instead figuring that he would be naturally more suitable for Johnny Storm. Some even figured that this would've helped solve things if Michael B. Jordan and he had switched parts (seeing as how Jordan is typically much more understated as an actor and this would have assuaged the racial headscratcher). However, given that he strongly resembles Reed Richards, his casting generated less confusion than the casting of the other characters.
    • Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing has also been contentious. While Bell was hired for motion-capture purposes that the character would require post-transformation, a few people think that Bell was simply too short and skinny to convincingly play "the muscle" pre-transformation (as the trailer puts it).
    • Why is Reed's elementary school teacher also his high school teacher? And of all the people to cast as said teacher, why Homer Simpson?
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • Mr. Fantastic's "slinky arms" are a source of mockery.
    • There are those that think it makes no sense as to why the Human Torch would have vents on his outfit when he already has a skintight suit that would negate the heat he is generating.
    • The Thing is naked and has no visible external genitalia. The only explanation for why this is the case is that the Thing is supposedly indestructible and does not need a containment suit, but there were still many that argued for the implementation of Monster Modesty.
    • There were a lot of complaints that Doom looks like a homeless person wearing burned trash bags after his transformation (it's a bit justified in-story considering that his "armor" is actually the burnt remains of his suit, but many were hoping for a costume closer to the source material.) There were also complaints that the movie was going for the "metallic face" explanation as opposed to actually giving the character a mask (oddly enough, the 2005 movie had both of these things.). The complaints were even worse after the scene where Doom rampages through the halls, at which point people started claiming that he looked like a crash test dummy.
    • Kate Mara is very obviously wearing a wig in the scenes that were added in during reshoots. While this isn't standard for this trope, it leads to some blatant continuity issues in the film, which alternate between cuts of her natural hair and cuts of the wig, especially since such techniques have been done much less conspicuously in other movies.
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