Reviewed by: John DeYoung
|Featuring:||Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Andre Braugher, Gonzalo Menendez, Laurence Fishburne|
|Producer:||Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Kevin Feige|
|Distributor:||20th Century Fox|
Reviews of prequel to this move: Fantastic Four (2005)
Marvel Comic’s first family is back. Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Sue and Johnny Storm, also known as The Thing (“The Shield’s” Michael Chiklis), Mister Fantastic (Ioan Gruffud of “Amazing Grace”), The Invisible Woman (“Dark Angel”’s Jessica Alba) and The Human Torch (Chris Evans) are back battling bad guys as the Fantastic Four in “Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer.”
Reed and Sue are trying to tie the knot, but not before a disaster of epic proportions threatens planet Earth. Enter a shiny silver being that soars through the sky on a surf board. Reed labels him “The Silver Surfer.” Surfer is a herald to one of the most powerful entities that has crossed the galaxy known as Galactus. Each time these two come to a planet, that planet ends up being toast. It’s up to the FF to stop the Surfer and his boss from making planet Earth their next target.
Joining in the mayhem is the team’s number one nemesis, Victor von Doom, but to his enemies, he is Dr. Doom (“Nip/Tuck”’s Julian McMahon). It certainly does appear the Fantastic Four has got their hands full.
There are a few problems with this movie. For one thing, and it happens in a lot in comic book-based movies, there was an overkill of campiness and comic relief, especially in the start of the film. Even the serious-minded Reed Richards (Gruffud) came across as a joke in a lot of scenes, taking away the essence of his comic book counterpart. I am all for comic relief and one liners, but the only person that should shoot those off is The Thing (Chiklis) and occasionally Torch (Evans), which they did… too much. Keep in mind this is not the fault of the actors. This is the fault of the writers and the director who are supposed to get a good grasp on how these characters should come across. Boy, did they miss the target.
As for the new kid on the block, the Silver Surfer, they did a marvelous job capturing his characterization. What made him effective was incorporating Lawrence Fishburne’s voice, which is exactly how I would hear the surfer in reading the comics. There are talks of a Silver Surfer movie. If they go in the direction of this portrayal, they definitely would hit his character right on target.
Another thing I felt, and I didn’t think it was possible, this superhero movie was too comic-bookish. Compared to another Marvel Comic’s superhero team that is popular on the big screen, The Fantastic Four almost seem like life-like cartoon characters. I just felt that there wasn’t much realism or an element of believability. I realize that this was a comic book-based movie, but I just felt that there was a lack of that something that makes the characters human beings.
What really rubbed me wrong, and you can call it my Christian radar going off, was that there was a scene where a news announcer was reporting all these terrible things happening on the planet, and he says that some people thought it was the hand of God. Now, I’m going to get on my soapbox here, but why do so many people feel that if something bad is happening that they blame God for it? I don’t know. If it were me, and I knew the Earth was on the brink of destruction, I wouldn’t be blaming God. I would be getting on my knees and asking for His divine help. The other thing that I thought was a little troubling was that this movie had a PG-rating. Most PG-rated movies do not have a lot of vulgarity, but this film had quite a bit of the A-word. I think they should have put it in the PG-13 category, like the first one.
Now after hearing all my negative comments, you might think I didn’t care much for the movie all in all; it was a fair to midland flick. It had spectacular effects, and the movie’s interpretation of Galactus was so-so, plus the story of how the FF met the Surfer was close to the comic story.
Was it as good as the first FF? I would have to say no. In the first installment, I felt some emotional ties to the characters. This film was an in your face, all-out, action movie. You don’t get time to sink in each scene before you are blasted with action. It didn’t even provide a proper origin of the Surfer, just a Reader’s Digest version. If it weren’t for the effects looking better on the big screen, I would recommend waiting for the DVD to come out. On a grading scale, I give “Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer” a “C.”
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: None