The misfortunes of its principal characters become mildly miserable for the audience of the glum sci-fi adventure “Fantastic Four” (Fox)

Parents of the teens at whom this origin story is squarely aimed will want to be aware of late scenes featuring some harsh bloodletting. These forays into mayhem make the downbeat film doubtful fare even for older adolescents.

Director and co-writer Josh Trank’s script shows no delicacy as it delivers a ham-handed critique of the military-industrial complex and pushes a naive “science will save us from ourselves” message.

We’re introduced to the work of a quartet of youthful science prodigies whose shared dream is to transport stuff — and, eventually, passengers — to a previously unknown dimension.

Said project has been the singular obsession of likeable geek Reed Richards (Miles Teller) since his days as a misunderstood grammar school student. One of the few to appreciate Reed’s genius early on was self-taught engineer Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), a classmate who thus became both Reed’s earliest collaborator and his best friend.

Under the auspices of the wealthy Baxter Institute — and under the magisterial supervision of their dad, institute official Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) — unruly rebel Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and his straight-arrow adopted sister, Sue (Kate Mara), have also been making their way toward the same threshold.

So too has brooding but gifted bad boy Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell).

Once they begin pooling their efforts, the successful construction of the necessary gadget becomes a foregone conclusion. Less easily foreseen are the consequences of an alcohol-fueled celebration of their achievement during which the lads decide to make unauthorized use of the device.

As its travelers across the time-space continuum discover, there is such a thing as outstaying your welcome. Alas, “Fantastic Four” does just that.

The film contains brief gory violence, glimpses of partial nudity, at least one use of profanity, a handful of crude terms and an obscene gesture. (A-III, PG-13).