Movie Review: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Year Released: 2007
Directed by: Tim Story
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Julian McMahon
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Review done 4:45 PM 5/16/2008

As you probably know, this is the story of four superheroes enbued with powers that fight crime. I think I just summed up the entire likeability factor in once sentence. That being said, I wish I could stop here, but I try to commit myself to writing a bit more than ‘don’t bother’. As it is, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the dismal sequel follow up to the original Fantastic Four movie. Same director, same characters, some new nuanced plot, even the same villain (Dr.Doom) makes an appearance. I would probably be more forgiving, but seriously, I’m insulted as a comic book fanatic.

The characters are still one tracked and static. They all have the same goals and the same damn personalities plus a few more special effects to add ‘weight’. Additionally I’ll break down the characters as you’d expect. Although, this might sound familiar if you read my review of the first movie:

Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) is smart and a scientist because he’s constantly playing with new technological gadgets.

The Thing (Michael Chiklis) should focus on getting a Hulk/Thing cross over. Seriously.

Human Torch (Chris Evans) excels at being a dick. He is however, the most fun character and automatically the coolest character, and for some reason is the only person to have any sort of personality. This is INCREDIBLY sad.

Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba) looks good in skin tight blue spandex.

Silver Surfer (voiced by one very cool Laurence Fishburne) looks cool, an act cool, and is a complete and utter TOOL to Galactus. Plus, they screwed up his source, scope, and majesty of power.

The tone you’re hearing is the one of complete annoyance, basically because Hollywood decided to hand the keys to the FF franchise, which was built on over 60 years of excellent stories over to the guy who directed ‘Taxi’ starring that guy from SNL who can sing pretty good. And that movie sucked! If there were any justice left in the world, the producers would have made Silver Surfer the main character with the FF in a cameo role. Who really cares if Reed and Sue Richards are getting married? It’s not like there was any sort of impending doom that could stop this huge crux of marital vows, right? Oh, the Silver Surfer showed up. And he’s not really doing anything, he’s just scoping out the earth as a tasty treat for his boss, Galactus. So the Fantastic Four have to stop him from….looking around.

As an added treat [sic], Julian McMahon reprises his role as ├╝ber evil Dr.Doom – who in the comics was a horribly scarred maniac despot ruler of Latvia, hell-bent on destroying the world with his superior scientific knowledge, some magical powers and GENIUS intellect. The movies however, opted for a good looking all American boy that prances around in a cape and is a millionaire industrialist, y’know: because business is evil. Anyway, Dr.Doom shows up, helps the military and the FF capture the Silver Surfer in perhaps the silliest way possible. At this point, he harnesses the Surfer’s power and it’s up to the most immature character, the human torch to take him down. All this is happening while: Galactus is on his way to make earth his next dinner. God, I wish this was made up – oh wait, it IS.

There’s quite a bit of build up to Galactus, he’s basically the quasi villain, the be-all, end-all of the earth. The ultimate destroyer of all humanity. And what are we treated with? A BIG FUCKING BLACK CLOUD. How entirely menacing is that? Even on paper it sounds ridiculous and it somehow got past the special effects team. If this thing eats worlds, it defies all logic of internal organs, stomachs, this thing must have a brain and reasoning if it gave powers to the Silver Surfer, yet it’s just A BIG FUCKING BLACK CLOUD.

***********some spoilers, like I care***********
Somehow, in this entirely too long, too loud, too stupid movie, the writers thought it would be smart to have the Surfer destroy Galactus WITH THE POWERS GIVEN TO HIM BY GALACTUS IN THE FIRST PLACE. And it was this bit of scientific writing that was supposed to bring all the events of this sitcom together and make sense.

FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer is just like 70’s big bellbottoms – utterly forgettable, short, loud, preposterous and full of stupid.

1 ouf of 10