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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer » User review

Yawn, Wake Me When This Lazily Made Movie is Over

  • Jan 5, 2008
Rating:
-1
Pros: Great special effects

Cons: Most of the movie lack substance; boring, lazy script and direction.

The Bottom Line: While Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is not something I would run to the theater to see, it is okay fair for rainy Friday night packed with reruns.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

I grew up in the age of Marvel and D.C. comics; at a time when the thin colored wonders were a mainstay of the drugstore and convenience store checkout aisles. The tall circular displays were stuffed full of booklets of imagination and escapism all for about $.50 a copy.

But times have changed and not for the better. Comic books have all but disappeared from magazine racks of most if not all drug stores; indeed the only place you’re liable to find them sold openly is in gaming shops and the occasion big-box book store. You can of course subscribe, but it’s not the same as leafing through the glossy magazines at the store, lost in a world not altogether real, but was always worth the wait.

Today the first exposure a child has to the world of Marvel and D.C. comics is most likely through a feature length movie. But quite often these movies do not come close to doing justice to the rich and varied nature of the comic they are depicting, and this especially true of the latest from the world of Marvel Comics, The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the second movie based on the comic book to be released; the first movie was released in 2005. This time around the story revolves around the Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd), who first made an appearance in Fantastic Four # 48 as the herald of Galactus an entity that feeds on planets. The Silver Surfer stuck around for a three book arc called the The Galactus Trilogy.

Norrin Radd is from the planet Zenn-La and in order to save his planet from Galactus, Radd strikes a bargain to serve as the planet eater’s scot and is so doing acquires a small portion of the Galactus’ Power Cosmic (in Marvel speak, this is immeasurable power which was described as "the most powerful [force] in the universe). This power which is channel through the surfboard like platform Zenn-La ride on, allows him to manipulate particles at the sub-atomic level, travel beyond the speed of light, and also imbibes him with a silvery appearance.

The Story

Directed again by Tim Story (Barber Shop) Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer begins with Dr. Reed Richards portrayed again by Ioan Gruffudd (Blackhawk Down, The Girl’s Life, King Arthur), and Susan Storm (a.k.a. Invisible Girl) portrayed by the every delectable Jessica Alba (Flipper, Dark Angel, Sin City) set to get married. But of course the Silver Surfer (embodied by Doug Jones, with voice by Laurence Fishburne) has come to Earth in advance of Galactus and is busy drilling large holes in the planet’s surface to prepare it for his masters coming.

Dr. Reed (a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic) is asked by one General Hager portrayed by Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street, Gideon’s Crossing, Hack) to build a device to track the illusive Surfer. But the Surfer knows he is being tracked and sets out to destroy the tracker and ruins the wedding in the process. Susan’s brother, Johnny Strom (a.k.a. Human Torch), portrayed again by Chris Evans (Cellular), is sent after the Surfer and in the process has his molecules scrambled so now when he touches one of his follow teammates their power transfer one to the other.

As a happy circumstance the team’s old nemesis and Dr. Reed’s old MTI classmate Victor Von Doom (Dr. Doom) portrayed once again by Julian McMahon (Charmed, Nip/Tuck) is released from his metal prison by the Surfer. And oh yes Ben Grimm (a.k.a. The Thing) portrayed by Michael Chiklis (The Commish, The Shield) is back as well.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately there isn’t much to Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer; if the original movie spent too much time on back-story, this movie did not spend enough; there is such thing as balance. It would have been nice to see the Silver Surfer’s originals, a bit of his life before he became the Surfer and what his motivations. A scene or two about the origins of Galactus would have been nice as well. Those not familiar with the Marvel Universe will no doubt be terribly lost without it.

As far as acting, well it is okay, but…this movie, like the first movie is miscast. As much as I love Jessica Alba, I did not buy her as a genetic scientist; I didn’t but it the first go around, and time has not changed my mind. And in this movie she is given less than nothing to do. And I do not buy Ioan Gruffudd as the elder wise leader of the clan, despite the graying streak. And Jessica Alba and Ioan Gruffudd have zero chemistry, zero; it was almost painful to watch them trying to make a connection; it was true in the first movie and it continues in Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. And what did they do to the poor woman’s skin? It took on a strange orange hue through most of the film, and she looked far too skinny for my taste.

Unlike other adaptations of Marvel comics, most notably The Xmen and Spiderman, the Fantastic Four movies seem to lack a heart. There is no emotional connection, no underlying social or political theme or crisis to give it interest of relate it to contemporary life. This leaves Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer rather bland and dare I say boring and lazy. The Fantastic Four, who spend far too much time bickering are not so fantastic after all.

Sure the special effects were of course cutting edge; you have to love the modern action movie, but in the final analysis they were too few and far between to carry the movie. While Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is not something I would run to the theater to see, it is okay fair for rainy Friday night packed with reruns.


Recommended:
No

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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review by . August 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
DR. DOOM IS GREAT
      FANTASTIC 4   RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER      Remember when the first film in this series came out ever one was hyped up about it and although it was a disappointment to most it still made a lot of money. Well part 2 didn't have as much expectations and I believe that helped this movie go over more, plus come on the Silver Surfer. While this is not the greatest super hero movie ever made I must say that it is better then the first Fantastic …
Quick Tip by . September 14, 2010
Many people wrote this film off as too sanitized for hardcore comic fans. Personally, I thought it was one of the coolest comic films to come out in a long time.
review by . May 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Overall, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is better than its predecessor. The acting, effects, and plot are all a step up. The movie also has more memorable and emotionally poignant scenes (such as when Ben and Johnny sit in a bar discussing how they would spend their last minutes, Ben scaring the bear away...).     I'm still not crazy as Julian McMahon as Van Doom - and he still says corny lines in the middle of battles - but he's not so central to this movie. On the …
review by . May 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Overall, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is better than its predecessor. The acting, effects, and plot are all a step up. The movie also has more memorable and emotionally poignant scenes (such as when Ben and Johnny sit in a bar discussing how they would spend their last minutes, Ben scaring the bear away...).     I'm still not crazy as Julian McMahon as Van Doom - and he still says corny lines in the middle of battles - but he's not so central to this movie. On the …
review by . May 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Overall, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is better than its predecessor. The acting, effects, and plot are all a step up. The movie also has more memorable and emotionally poignant scenes (such as when Ben and Johnny sit in a bar discussing how they would spend their last minutes, Ben scaring the bear away...).     I'm still not crazy as Julian McMahon as Van Doom - and he still says corny lines in the middle of battles - but he's not so central to this movie. On the …
Quick Tip by . May 10, 2010
Too light and too stupid follow up to the tepid F4 movie. A little less whimsy and more action would have been nice here.
review by . July 15, 2009
Fantastic Four 2, For me To pick apart.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is every bit as childish and stupid as the first movie.  Overcoming the intro stories and actually managing to get a couple of action scenes in this time, this movie is ultimately a misfire.      Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman are on the verge of a very hyped media wedding but sadly the end of the world must take center stage when we learn that an alien entity is visiting the Earth and causing damage to the planet so that …
review by . April 29, 2009
Reading all the critics' reviews I was thinking that this was a bomb worse than The Incredible Hulk. I don't know what movie they were watching. This movie was very enjoyable and fun. The special effects are decent and the acting was just what it should be. Jessica Alba never looked more gorgeous and they did an excellent job of portraying the Silver Surfer.     There are some hilarious parts - Stan Lee's cameo is priceless and also some of the scenes at Reed's bachelor party. …
review by . May 13, 2009
We all remember the Fantastic Four from reading comic books during our childhood. The Silver Surfer was introduced early in the series as the mighty Galactus' (the devourer of worlds) herald. This mighty duo is brought to the big screen for the first time in Fantastic Four 2. This was a film I couldn't wait to see, and after several months of anticipation, we finally get to see it....so it disappoints me to say the movie was boring.     First: The movie takes almost thirty minutes …
review by . November 16, 2008
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Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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Wiki

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surferis another entertaining romp for the Marvel-superhero franchise. Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd), is treading on thin ice when his fiancée, Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba), thinks he's more interested in a series of cosmic phenomena occurring around the earth than in the preparations for their upcoming wedding. Sorry, ladies, but Reed is right. The disturbances are caused by a surge of cosmic power from a mysterious being called the Silver Surfer (an all-CGI creation, modeled by Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne), who not only zooms around the skies on his board, but also has enough power to fight the FF, sometimes by turning their own power against them, not only mixing up Sue and Reed, but also Johnny Storm, the Human Torch (Chris Evans), and Ben Grimm, the Thing (Michael Chiklis). But that's not the worst of it. The Surfer is only an opening act, a herald looking for planets that his master, Galactus, can consume for his sustenance.

With its initial installment, Fantastic Four established itself as the superhero franchise that didn't take itself too seriously, and that continues here. There are numerous moments of laugh-out-loud humor, and the most angst they suffer is whether Sue and Reed will ever be able to live a normal family life. (That, and whether they'll ever really get married, of course.) If Fantastic Four were a normal superhero franchise, the ending would be a...

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Details

Cast: Jessica Alba
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: October 2, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: October 2, 2007
Runtime: 92 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
First to Review

"More campy than cool"
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