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'Fantastic Four' Has Few Fans in Fandom

Those nasty fanboys are at it again.

In the days approaching the opening of this weekend's would-be blockbuster "The Fantastic Four," (search) comic book fans privy to sneak previews have been doing what they do best: trashing the film.

“It was disappointing. They wanted it to be lighthearted but a little edgy, but it doesn't find its stride. It’s as if they knew all the pieces of a good comic book movie, and they’re all there, but they don’t fit together," said Rob Worley of comics2film.com.

Based on Marvel Comics' (search) longest-running series, "The Fantastic Four" is about four astronauts (played by Michael Chiklis (search), Jessica Alba (search), Ioan Gruffudd (search) and Chris Evans (search)) who develop superpowers after being accidentally irradiated in space: Super-strength, invisibility, stretching and flame.

Lacking dual identities, they're forced to live out their struggles with their burgeoning powers in the public eye.

"They're astronauts and scientists, but they're human beings," Gruffudd told the New York Post. "They're just dealing with this adverse condition that's been thrust upon them."

The movie was in development for years, and fans have been awaiting it for decades. But ever since the first trailer was released last year, comic fans have been bashing the film on sites like aintitcool.com.

"The first shot — the FIRST SHOT — of a superpower is Reed Richards (Gruffudd) catching a falling wine bottle before it hits the floor," laments one blogger. "He's Mister Goddamn Fantastic. So he has the superpowers of an Olive Garden waiter?"

Worley said the film tries to stay true to the spirit of the comic — which is very important to fanboys and girls — but fails as a movie.

"They tried to capture the idea of the four as a family. But I don’t think the story holds together. And I don’t think the cast is all that good. I had a hard time believing Alba (who plays Sue Storm/the Invisible Woman) and Gruffudd. The big romantic element didn’t work — there was no chemistry. Reed and Sue are one of the great couples of superhero romance."

Worley also had an issue with the villain, Dr. Doom.

"Dr. Doom didn’t seem to have much to do — he had no real great motivations in this movie other than be the bad guy. You don’t understand what he’s after."

Other fans have bemoaned the filmmakers' decision to include Dr. Doom in the space accident, rather than leaving him as a normal (albeit evil) human being.

Jonah Weiland, executive producer of comicbookresources.com, was a little more positive about the film, and agreed that the filmmakers tried to stay true to the comic on the whole. But he said it just wasn't great.

"It’s not a great movie, but not a bad movie — not nearly as bad ‘Catwoman’ or ‘Daredevil.’ The comic is somewhat flat, a bit expressionless, and so is the film," he said.

As for his complaints, he had the same issues as Worley.

"Sue Storm/Alba is kind of boring. Mr. Fantastic is not that exciting. Dr. Doom is changed quite a bit, and that’s OK — but some of the changes don’t make any sense, like why would you need a mask when your body is turning to metal?"

That said, he also had some good things to say about the film.

"Chris Evans as The Human Torch/Johnny Storm is the breakthrough in film. Michael Chiklis is great as The Thing. They are the two most important characters in the comic and the two most important in the film."

Comic-fan criticism aside, Weiland thinks ""The Fantastic Four" will break $100 million at the box office and appeal to mainstream audiences — especially kids.

"'Fantastic Four' will capture the hearts and imaginations of a younger audience. A 14-year-old will appreciate The Human Torch flying on fire through Manhattan. And comic fans should get a little geeky when they hear ‘Flame On’ and ‘It’s Clobbering Time.’ It's a fun little popcorn movie."

Chiklis, Emmy-winning star of TV's "The Shield," seemed to portray the film honestly when he told FOX News:

“It's unpretentious. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not — the tongues are planted firmly in cheek and eat your popcorn and enjoy, folks. It's fun — it's a great ride."

Seems like the other three stars agree: all four have signed on for a sequel, and a third installment is also in the works.

"Fantastic Four" was made by 20th Century Fox, which is a property of News Corp., the parent company of FOXNews.com.

FOX News' Mike Waco and the New York Post contributed to this report.

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