Scientist Dissects 'Fantastic Four': What Worked and What's a "Train Wreck"

Is being a giant rock monster or having super-stretchy powers more plausible?
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

USC physics professor Dr. Clifford V. Johnson is picking apart the science of Fantastic Four.

In a new Screen Junkies video, Johnson describes the film as a "train wreck," but finds plenty of science that could plausibly explain how some of the stuff works. He starts from the assumption that by accessing a different universe, where the laws of physics are different than our own, and thus can give people powers.  

The highlights: 

Reed Richards' powers

Assuming those powers were real, could Reed (Miles Teller) really stretch the way he did in the movie? Not the way it was depicted, says Johnson. 

"He wasn't conserving mass very well, which means he was stretching quite a lot, but it wasn't thinning out. So he wasn't preserving the amount he was made of," said Johnson.

The Thing

Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) appears to get his powers after some rocks are pulled into his teleportation capsule.

"Somehow the teleportation device must have confused Ben Grimm's material with the rocks, and maybe it got a little help from the strange stuff that's over there," Johnson says. "Maybe the strange matter somehow helps their biology survive that trauma."

Invisible Woman

Assuming her powers were real, how would Sue Storm's (Kate Mara) invisibility work? 

"Maybe what she's doing is bending light around her" with her force fields, Johnson says.

Interdimensional travel

Reed is able to access another dimension using a machine he built in high school. Plausible? 

"No one is able to create such a thing, if such universes exist," Johnson says. "If it were possible, it would require so much energy that it's not accessible to us, and certainly not a high school kid."

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