#1) We never see Ben and Reed's relationship progress because they are grown at the start of the film. It is pretty well established and serves as the main plot vehicle for the film. #3) I have to disagree. The stakes may be higher, but they still make no sense in terms of actual threatening the world danger. I find both end sequences to be campy and over the top, but at least one seems like it did so on purpose. #4) And? With a bigger budget and 10 years of industry advancement this is par for the course at best. #5) The biggest sticking point, because it seems to be the killing blow for the film. By ignoring the general campiness of the source material in favor of this darker tone, we have a movie that really has no entertainment value. And that simply does not work for a summer superhero popcorn flick. You can do one of two things. You can keep it light as with Avengers. Or keep the tone dark but the pacing solid with plenty of action like the Batman franchise. This new one does neither and that simply does not work for this genre. Hence the critical lambasting and the box office drought. I do have to say as far as #2 goes, that was fairly accurate. That part of the movie was better over the previous.