“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Science Fiction / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Director: Tim Story / Actors: Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba ... / DVD released 08 October, 2007 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Colour, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, PAL, Subtitled „
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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a vast improvement on the lacklustre prequel - it genuinely feels like a good film. Whilst still showing some tameness in certain areas, all-in-all there is a much better vibe.
The basic plot is that Mr Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) is set to marry Susan Storm (Jessica Alba), his high-school sweetheart and fellow superhero. However, whether by fear of commitment, or devotion to his science, or devotion to his hero work, or whatever, Mr Fantastic has not yet tied the knot and some intergalactic activity is distracting him from doing it again. Now the four heroes find themselves facing an unfathomable power as the Silver Surfer comes to earth with one mission - to prepare it for the arrival of the planet-eating Galactus.
The plot has improved a lot in this film - the writers haven't tried to fit too much into the short space of time, as they did in the first. Generally, all round there are better acting performances, although Michael Chiklis seems to be weaker. As in the first film, the fight scenes are not that impressive either. The first where the Human Torch takes on the Silver Surfer is quite impressive and the final fight against Von Doom is well drawn out, but therein it ends quite weakly. Also, the closing moments in which the heroes think it's the end of the world lacks the sense of "this is it" I think it is supposed to portray.
I think as with most of the Marvel movies, Rise of the Silver Surfer is predominantly written for a younger audience. It does lack the feel of maturity which the comic books put upon the characters. I'm not sure what Marvel aims to achieve through this (whether it is to create a new generation of comic book lovers or to just cash in on the money found in children's movies). But, if they were to make a third Fantastic Four movie, they should make it darker and all-through less childish. In spite of the childish elements to this particular film however, Marvel have done a good job and made some much needed improvements. Mayber 3.5 stars would be more accurate, but I enjoyed watching it at the cinema, so I will round it up to four.
The Rise Of The Silver Surfer is the sequel to the slightly mediocre Fantastic Four movie that first introduced us to some of Marvel's best loved superheroes after years of their languishing in movie development hell. It follows on only a short while after the first film and focuses around the wedding of Reed Richards, or Mr.Fantastic, as he plans to exchange nuptials with Sue Storm, The Invisible Girl.
Unfortunately, this wedding is interrupted by a mysterious Silver Surfer who sails through the skies causing disruption wherever he goes. Johnny Storm, The Human Torch gives chase in one of the film's most jaw dropping moments but is quickly bested by The Surfer. Not long later, it is discovered that wherever The Surfer goes, huge craters appear in the Earth's surface. It seems The Surfer has some kind of purpose that so far remains undefined......can The Fantastic Four discover what this purpose is before it's too late? And can they stop The Surfer when just being in his presence appears to disrupt their powers?
It will not be giving anything away to reveal that The Silver Surfer is a herald for a greater, more malevolent power but we never really see this power to any satisfying degree. Many who are familiar with the comics will have heard of Galactacus but all that is seen of him here is a shadow as he passes over a distant moon. This is one of the film's biggest let-downs! Another is the way the film deals so much with the relationship between Reed and his future wife. At times, you just want the film to get on with the action especially when there are so many stunning set-pieces that are visually amazing but never last quite long enough!
The re-introduction of arch-villain, Dr.Doom , also feels like a mistake though he does end up being integral to the plot! Played by Julian McMahon from Nip/Tuck, he never really convinced in the first film let alone here. He is too much of a pretty-boy for my liking and hardly the greatest of actors. It is bad enough that Ioan Gruffudd is once more wooden in his role as Richards, it is only the performances of Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, Chris Evans as Johnny and Michael Chiklis as The Thing who manage to save this from being a total disaster. The relationship between Johnny and The Thing much better convinces than any relationship between Reed and Sue!
Overall this is an okay movie that is quite watchable and is an improvement on the original. It is just a shame that some of the actors here are woefully miscast. Visually it is pretty stunning ~ just don't expect anything too amazing from the script!
Okay, where to start? I thought this was a terrible film. Luckily I didn't have to pay anything to watch it - it was on film 4 so it was free.
Why was it so bad? I think the actual script had a part in it - the lines were TERRIBLE. It was filled with bad puns and obvious statements, whilst still managing to occasionally make you feel confused. And bored. Always bored.
The pace of the film is bad too. It is quite slow and tedious up until right at the end, then they seem to be able to beat the bad guy in a five-minute fight at the end of an hour-and-a-large-amount long film, which was kind of ... a let down.
The acting too is very wooden. Jessica Alba just makes big doe eyes at the camera all the way through and that's about it. The three boys - Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffadd and Michael Chiklis are not great either, and any on screen chemistry is just... not there.
Motivations for the baddies are, as always, slightly unclear - why was the silver surfer doing what he was doing?
The effects were much worse than I thought they could have been, considering the film was only made three years ago. The guy on fire just looks like his colours had been inverted on 'paint' or something and the stretchy limbs... don't get me started..
I have given it two stars, the extra star being for sheer entertainment factor (it was very enjoyable to make fun of it) as I did have a good time watching it, but I remain firm on the lack of cinematic merit.
Only watch it if it's free and you're wanting to make fun of something.
The Fantastic 4 always has the potential to confuse American audiences as they go in search of part 1,2 and 3 however in fact Rise of the Silver Surfer is the second in the franchise. I was not sure why the four super heros would be battling against old people on the internet but I had enjoyed the first outing so decided to watch this one which ultimately turned out to be a little disappointing.
Reed Richards is about to get married in what will be the celebrity wedding of the year however he and his three companions are called upon to look into a visitor from another planet by the military, Reed is asked to put together a tracking device even though he leaves gigantic holes in the ground wherever he goes however this activity is just laying the foundation for a far more dangerous visitor that will threaten all of earth's population.
Story has maintained the same blend of action and humour in this follow up as was present in the first and it does make for good family entertainment, the special effects are as slick as ever and the film does not take itself too seriously however for me it lacked a certain quality, almost as if they have played too safe and not really developed any of the characters. This means you are just left with a comic book action film that lacks a bit of soul. The attempts to give the characters more emotional depth are wooden and rather pathetic and to be honest not that believable.
Whether the film stays true to the comic books I have no idea, the appeal of comics passed with my leaving junior school and even then my tastes never extended to marvel style comics. The cast is the same as in the first movie so Michael Chiklis gets beefed up and Jessica Alba draws in the teenage boys alongside Ioan Gruffudd and Chris Evans. The acting is hardly going to set the world alight, then again it does not need to as this is an action movie and anyway the characters are all developed in a rather clumsy manner.
In conclusion, if you like high tech action scenes and a splash of humour you will enjoy this film for the visual treat it is, for me I just felt rather disappointed by the clumsy opening twenty minutes and the way the characters were developed.
Whilst I wasn't overly impressed with the first Fantastic Four film, it was easy enough to watch so when its sequel appeared on the telly the following evening I decided to give it a try. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was released in 2007 and directed by Tim Story. It is based on the popular Marvel comic of the same name, I've never read them so cannot comment on how the two compare.
Its two years since Victor Von Doom was banished and Reed Richards is about to try and marry Sue Storm for the second time. Just as the ceremony begins, his gadget thing starts malfunctioning and a mysteries silver guy on a surf board comes zooming past. Human Torch Johnny tries to defeat him but cannot match his immense power. It's up to the Fantastic Four to capture the surfer, but the military want in and they are insisting on working with the newly awoken Victor Von Doom.
Although probably not imperative, I think it's pretty important to have seen the original before embarking on this one. No, it isn't rocket science but the main characters all return and no explanation is given as to who they are or how they got there.
The romance between Reed and Sue has obviously developed but with the exception of the odd comment, their relationship isn't really part of the story. Johnny is still the happy go lucky guy from the first film and here he gets to show off a little more with extra screen time. The only disappointment is Ben 'The Thing' Grimm, in the first film his emotion and expression was fantastic through the rock but here he is downgraded to being the one line king adding the odd laugh but nothing more.
Victor Von Dooms comeback is a bit far fetched; at the end of the first film he was sent back to Latveria in an almost comatosed state and badly disfigured, one swoop over him from the surfer and he is restored to his former glory.
In addition to Victor, the silver surfer and Galatacus become two more baddies; the surfer seems to have something more about him and it is clear he is hiding something whereas Galatacus is just an all consuming destructible force who appears impossible to beat.
One again the plot expected you to believe in the unexplained and go with the flow. I found the story fairly feasible as the world of superheroes go but as the plot wore on I found myself picking too many holes in the story. The first half hour is a little slow then the next 30 minutes really picks up the pace and actually builds up a little momentum the problem is the final twenty minutes are a bit of a letdown. The finale just happens far too quick, leaving you feeling like half of what was supposed to be there ended up on the cutting room floor.
It was nice to see that this film kept a lighter hearted feel than many of the other comic book adaptations out there. Instead of being all dark and sinister, this film is more aimed at the family market, giving enjoyment to the viewer instead of a disturbing undercurrent. The problem with this is that the villains walk a fine line between being family friendly or camp and laughable. Doom is a prime example of this; he completely misses the mark and definitely wouldn't have my kids running behind the sofa in fear.
The special effects seem to have improved this time around, with particular emphasis on the Silver Surfer. The way he morphs into his board and phases through buildings looks seamless and his mid-air collision with Johnny is quite special to see except when the camera zooms out and it just looks like two shooting stars.
Jessica Alba does try to put a bit more emotion into her performance as Sue Storm this time around, but it's very hit and miss. Ioan Grufford is also mediocre as Reed, his expression doesn't seem to change and his monotone voice is very dull and boring.
Chris Evans sparked life and virility into Johnny yet again and was a pleasure to watch especially given the extra time he had on screen. I felt Mike Chiklis was underused as Ben; he pumped so much feeling and personality into the first film so it was such a shame that he was only given a couple of lines in this outing.
Once again Julian McMahon made Victor cheesy and unthreatening; the only saving grace is that he isn't the only villain this time round. The silver surfer was played by Doug Jones but voiced by Lawrence Fishburne, his gentle but powerful tone really did fit the bill.
Overall this is a big budget, easy going film that starts off slow, picks up pace but then goes a bit downhill about halfway through. It's fun enough to watch with the family and although it isn't any worse than the first film it isn't particularly better. This is currently available on Amazon for £3.97 with free super saver delivery and is a certificate PG.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Writer: Don Payne & Mark Frost
Dir.: Tim Story
Ioan Gruffold - Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards
Jessica Alba - Invisible Woman/Susan Storm
Chris Evans - Human Torch/Johnny Storm
Michael Chiklis - The Thing/Ben Grimm
Julian McMahon - Dr. Doom/Victor Von Doom
Kerry Washington - Alicia Masters
Andre Braugher - Gen. Hager
Laurence Fishburne - The Silver Surfer (voice)
While two members of the superhero team The Fantastic Four, Reed and Susan, are trying to have their wedding a mysterious alien creature made of silver and riding a surfboard arrives on Earth and begins consuming the organic matter, leaving enormous craters in his wake.
The US government, specifically Gen. Hager, recruit The Fantastic Four to stop The Silver Surfer.
Little do The Fantastic Four know that they will also be working alongside their nemesis, Victor Von Doom, long thought to be dead.
They learn that The Surfer gets his power from his board. They are able to separate him from his board and capture him.
The government contains the board and questions The Surfer.
However, Victor steals the board and harnesses its power.
Sue learns that The Surfer is not actually a bad guy so The Fantastic Four free him in order for him to help them retrieve the board and stop Victor.
Meanwhile, a dark entity that controls The Surfer and destroys the planets he visits is nearing the Earth, threatening all life.
Will The Fantastic Four be able to stop Victor, and will The Surfer be able to stop the entity before it's too late to save humanity?
This was a pretty entertaining movie. It is a sequel to the 2005 movie "The Fantastic Four," which is based on Marvel comic book created by Stan Lee.
Rarely does a sequel live up to the original, but this one is just as good, if not better than the first one.
The story is good enough, the directing is good enough, the special effects are very good, there's plenty of action and just enough humor.
The cast is very good and all give good performances, especially Chris Evans, whose cocky wisecracking character is perhaps the funniest one in the movie.
I also enjoyed the bringing back of the four's nemesis, Victor Von Doom, played brilliantly by Julian McMahon, who is excellent at playing a villain.
The effects that bring the Silver Surfer to life are excellent and surprisingly quite realistic.
Casting Laurence Fishburne to provide the voice of the surfer was also a very good idea. Although I am not necessarily a fan of Fishburne, he seemed perfectly suited for this role. His calm and monotone voice worked well and fit the surfer perfectly.
Due to a faulty power we also get to see Michael Chiklis as a human instead of The Thing a couple of times in this one.
And, as always, Jessica Alba is beautiful, as Susan storm (I really like the blond hair).
If you enjoyed the first fantastic four film you will undoubtedly enjoy this one as well. It is a very good comic book movie and I certainly recommend it.
After the success of the first film we had no choice but to watch the second Fantastic Four one, so again me and hubby watched it first just to check it was suitable before letting my boys watch it.
The film starts with Reed and Sue supposed to be getting married but they get a visit from the American Military as strange things have been happening on Earth. Reed does take a look at it and they discover that the mysterious object which has been seen is in fact a man on a surf board who is making great craters in the Earths surface. They ask Reed if me will help them but he turns them down as his wedding is only days away.
Unbeknown to Sue Reed does make a machine which can predict where the next crater will be and how they can get the man off the surf board. He gets a call during his wedding and soon it is interrupted by the arrival of the Silver Surfer as he is trying to make a crater right in the middle of the city where they are getting marred.
The Fantastic Four are then required to help stop this surfer but things take a drastic turn when Johnny follows the Silver Surfer and after touching him his powers start to fail and if any of the other guys touch him they swap powers! Thing loves this and keeps touching him!
They go to where they predict the next crater will be made along with the military and try to capture the Silver Surfer but when they arrive they find that Dr Doom is also there, he claims that he has lost his powers after being struck by the Silver Surfer but is he being completely honest?
Will they be able to stop the Silver Surfer and will they find out what his aim is? Will Dr Doom stay good or is his overall plan evil?
I really did enjoy this film just as much as the first. I thought that the story was very good although not at all believable but this is a fantasy so the story can become as far fetched as the writers imagination! I did enjoy the addition of the Silver Surfer character as it gave a new dimension to the story and the original characters.
The acting from all involved was very good and I did believe in all of the characters. I thought that they all worked extremely well together and all had a great chemistry. I enjoyed how Thing and Johnny Storm still kept their banter and childlike arguments going as this did add some humour to the film. There was a cameo appearance from Stan Lee which I found to be good as I am lead to believe that he was the creator of the Marvel comics!
The effects in the film were just as god as the first and a lot of time and effort went into making these look very realistic and effective. I have to say that they all fitted in well with the film and the actors worked well and it was not noticeable that they were in fact talking to or working with a computer generated effect,.
The music in the film was good but I have to say that I cannot remember any of the tracks which were used. I do remember thinking after the end of the film that the songs were all appropriate and used in the correct places but nothing really stood out.
The DVD which we have does have a bit of bonus material which includes:-
'Four Elements' Featurettes - The Fantasticar; State of the art, Extended and Deleted Scenes - Directors Commentary and More!
I have not watched any of these as I personally have no interest in them at all.
The running time of this film is 88 minutes which I felt was maybe a little short and they might have benefited by developing the story slightly more. The certificate of this film is again a PG and I do agree with this. I found that my boys were able to watch all of this film, even the reappearance of Dr Doom did not seem as scary for them as they have seen his in the previous one.
This film is available in Tesco for just £4 and on Amazon for around about the same price. I do recommend this as me and hubby found it to be a very good sequel and my boys all loved it.
Finally got around to watching this film at the week-end after having it on the shelf for a long time - a year at least - I really enjoyed the original film and watched it a couple of times . I'm not sure I'll be watching this one again.
The marriage sub story that is going on between Sue Storm and Reed Richards, both have doubts and the marriage ceremony is interupted with an appearance of the silver surfer. He is a CGI character and looks like a fluid piece of metal.
The main story of the film is quite weak - the silver surfer is a beacon for the main baddie - Galactus, who has come to destroy the earth. We find out that the Surfer is forced to carry out this beacon role as someone he loves will be killed if he doesn't.
Also added into the mix is Dr Doom who want to have the surfers power - so steals his board.
I did like the relationship between "The Thing" and the "Human Torch" which is quite amusing. I felt as though The Thing had shrunk a bit but as I haven't got the first film on DVD I couldn't check.
Overall was quite disappointed with this film as I had really enjoyed the original - I just think there needed to be more story and less reliance on special effects
Directed by: Tim Story
Screenplay by: Don Payne & Mark Frost
Genre: Action - Adventure - Fantasy - SciFi
Released: 8th October, 2007 (DVD)
Ioan Gruffudd (Reed Richards)
Jessica Alba (Sue Storm)
Chris Evans (Johnny Storm)
Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm)
Julian McMahon (Victor Von Doom)
Kerry Washington (Alicia Masters)
Laurence Fishburne (voice of the Silver Surfer)
Doug Jones (Silver Surfer)
In the midst of planning their wedding, Reed and Sue, who are also having a few pre-marital jitters, are forced to deal with the arrival of the Silver Surfer, a super-powered being whose task it is to prepare the planet for the arrival of its master---a being so evil and powerful that it literally sucks the life out of planets.
I am definitely not going to knock this movie, simply because, even though it is a sequel of a sequel, it is good in its own right---unlike the latest Spiderman and Superman movies---but I won't go there.
As we have come to expect from the Fantastic Four movies, the special-effects are excellent, there is a good mix of seriousness and comedy, and the acting is actually very good. As for the action, well---it's non-stop. The storyline is very good, the dialogue clever and humorous, and with the arrival of the Silver Surfer, a potential anti-hero, the Fantastic Four go from superhero comic book characters to Indiana Jones apprentices! This is all good fun---no nonsensical violence, no fowl language, just loads of adventure and 92 minutes of enjoyment.
This movie has received double-edged feedback, going from the very good to the very bad. Keeping in mind that the story and characters are based on a comic book, I think people need to remember the origins and intent of the movie before judging it overly harshly. The writers and directors weren't looking to create an Oscar-winning movie---the whole premise of this movie is to entertain, and that's exactly what it does.
The Rise Of The Silver Surfer was nominated for 9 awards (MTV and Teen Choice), and although it didn't win any, the point is that it was still nominated---that's 2 more nominations than Spiderman got!
Given that I wasn't exactly enamoured with the original Fantastic 4 movie, it goes without saying I didn't exactly rush to see it's 2007 follow up 'Rise of the Silver Surfer'. I thought the first movie was fairly harmless fluff, clean fun for kids who like superheroes and aren't into the drama of Spiderman's lovelife or the dark side of Batman, maybe because I'd never read the Fantastic 4 comic, or even particularly liked the cartoon, I didn't go into it with overly high expectations. One thing that really did rub me the wrong way about the film was it's handling of Dr. Victor von Doom. Now I've long given up buying comics, this recent boom in superhero movies has been great for me because it lets me relive my childhood somewhat, and I'm not the type of person who throws a fit over the slightest change made to characters - Spiderman having the ability to produce web and no have to build web shooters didn't fuss me, nor did the fact Wolverine didn't wear yellow lycra, but what writer Mark Frost and director Tim Story did to one of the most iconic villains in all of comics was actually terrible. Given this had taken place, and knowing that the film, by definition of having the Silver Surfer in the title, would involve Galactus, one of the few other Fantastic 4 characters I actually enjoy, but also one of the more far fetched ones, I really wasn't sure I wanted to see the sequel. However it was going for £3 in Asda when I was doing my shopping and it was a Monday night so I thought "to hell with it" and bought it.
The film picks up pretty much where the first left off as the Fantastic 4 - Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffud), The Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba), The Human Torch (Chris Evans) and The Thing (Michael Chiklis) are living it up as New York's media darling super group. Mr. Fantastic aka Reed Richards and Invisible Woman aka Sue Storm are about to have a Posh & Becks style wedding, the torch aka Johnny Storm is living carefree and womanising and the Thing aka Ben Grimm has come to terms somewhat with his rocky demeanor and enjoying life with his blind girlfriend Alicia (Kerry Washington) .
However, during his bachelor party Reed is approached by General Hager (Andre Braugher) about a series of bizarre phenomena taking place across the globe. It turns out cosmic energy, the likes of which gave the FF their powers, is going haywire and there are spikes of it all over the world, with the only clue being blurred photos of a some form of silver object.
Hager wants Reed to build some form of device to track the energy, but publicly declines to focus on his wedding, all the while planning to do so anyway. The big day gets spoiled as one of these cosmic power anomalies hits New York, almost causing a helicopter filming the ceremony to crash into the middle of it. The silver entity is seen flying by and the Human Torch takes off in pursuit, only to finally confront the being and discovering a silver humanoid being on what appears to be a flying surfboard. Quickly dispatched by the being, the Torch returns to the FF's home in the Baxter building to be met witch scepticism by teammates and the military alike.
It also transpires that the FF aren't the only ones tracking the being, it's presence and cosmic energy managed to free the evil Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon) from his solidified state and after an encounter with it showcased it's awesome power, he claims to be fighting on the same side as the military and heroes, and, against the team's wishes, he is brought on board by Hager, but are his intentions true? Can the combined forces of Doom, the Fantastic Four and the army stop the Silver Surfer? Is he even the one behind the impending threat to the Earth?
If there is one thing that Rise of the Silver Surfer can't be accused of letting slip is that it does maintain the same cartoon, family friendly appeal of the first movie, which I suppose is to it's credit considering it is set against the backdrop of impending Armageddon. There are no serious moral issues or angst afoot in the movie, it plays it's characters at a "what you see is what you get" style and this can be seen as one of it's biggest pros and also it's biggest detractions.
You see, it's very simple to compare this to the Silver Surfer's first appearance in the 2-episode arc of the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series, because the characters are given roughly about the same amount of depth, arguably moreso in some cases in the cartoon. We know that within seconds of Doom's arrival he's up to no good, upon his second appearance it's clear the Surfer really isn't the evil being the characters thought him to be at first and we all know Johnny will learn a cringe worthy moral lesson and win over the girl who spurns him for his immature nature. In a sense it's refreshing to not be weighed down by characters in constant monologue, dripping in angst and questioning their place. The film really is like a live action cartoon, complete with entertaining but 'safe' action sequences and humour that doesn't always work.
It's also a bad thing in that it offers absolutely no surprises or development. You could argue Johnny undergoes a bit of a change, but at the end of the day when the inevitable third movie/Human Torch spinoff comes out you know he'll still be the same carefree hero. Even the Surfer, whose predicament, if not character, changes in the viewers eyes can be seen coming from a mile off, and not just for those of us familiar with his story.
Now this wouldn't be a major disaster if the movie stuck to it's guns as what it is - a comic book adventure, but far too much of the movie, especially at the beginning, is devoted to Reed and Sue's wedding, thus almost every other character in the movie is relegated to that of a supporting role. Johnny gets a bit of screen time to cause Reed stress but The Thing is criminally underused. Likewise there is little to no point in Doom's resurrection. He gets a minor influx of power based loosely on a story from the comics and is really no more than a minor irritation. Infuriatingly, and pointlessly, he's also cured of his scarring so we're really just seeing Julian McMahon mincing about like a prat. Couldn't they have written in some other evil scientist for this role? The Wizard or something? Doom was already a bumbling idiot in the first film, couldn't they have saved him to be utilised properly in a third movie? If a third film is released I can't help but think they'll bring Doom back again, only this time he'll just be Julian McMahon in a Dr. Doom t-shirt, probably throwing stones at the Baxter Building windows as Earth is invaded by Skrulls or something.
The worst treatment is reserved for the film's 2 new main characters. The Silver Surfer lights up the screen whenever he appears, not through good writing mind you, but because he looks cool, yet he is used hilariously sparsely, and is almost mute throughout. Little to no display of his power is shown, and to be blunt he doesn't really do a great deal. If 'The Rise of the Silver Surfer' is to play a supporting role in a film like this I'd hate to see what his fall is. Now for the other main character I'll put this in a spoiler. It's not really necessary I spoil it, but this really annoyed me
As expected, with the introduction of The Silver Surfer comes the introduction of Galactus. Only if you thought the complete under-use of the Silver Surfer's character was bad...well at least he got to be a character. As I said in the opening, I was sceptical about Galactus appearance. Why? Well he's a 50 foot tall alien being in a suit of purple and blue armour who rams a giant drill into planets and drains them of life. While I think it would be possible to portray him and do it justice, with a big redesign, apparently director Tim Story swore he'd never make a film with giant robots in it, and Galactus cut too close to the bone so he becomes...a giant dust cloud. Seriously "screw superpowers Sue, get the dyson" that and he...or it, only actually appears for about 2 minutes onscreen, so this ancient universal force that destroys planets isn't actually deemed as important to the movie as Sue Storm's acne or Julian McMahon's pearly whites.
It's not even a particularly badly made picture. The acting may not be anything to write home about but in general it's passable. Evans is again probably the best performer, actually striving to bring something close to character to a role underwritten. The banter between he and Chiklis is, like the latter actor, criminally underused and once again a high point of the film, and Laurence Fishbourne's voice is perfect for the Surfer, exuding that wonderful air of authority and charisma...but these are the supporting players. Alba and Gruffud aren't bad as such, they just really don't seem interested. McMahon's abhorrent portrayal of Doom carries on, made all the worse by the fact they wrote in an absurd means of undoing the damage done to his skin by the cosmic radiation so he can freely swan about in designer clothes and cut a figure not even remotely menacing.
The special effects are probably generally a step-up from the first movie, the Surfer looks and moves fantastic, and arguably the best scene in the movie is where Johnny, also now actually being clearly seen as the Human Torch, have their chase throughout Manhattan. Given that the Thing is now a minor character, his suit actually looks significantly worse than in the first movie, lacking the necessary physical presence and the ability to showcase any sort of real character from the actor. The effects used for Mr. Fantastic's stretching and Invisible Woman's disappearing both do their job well enough without inspiring awe. The worst effect in the movie is Alba's terrible blonde wig.
At the end of the day, Rise of the Silver Surfer isn't a complete disaster. It is pretty bad though, and when a 2-episode mid-1990s cartoon can portray the same story arc better, perhaps it is time the writers and director take a long, hard look at themselves. I mean it's not the worst movie ever, and those under the age of 14 who enjoyed the first film will probably be entertained for it's duration, but it's a real wasted opportunity, and I doubt it will find much resonance in those above the aforementioned age, especially those with an affinity for the comics. There has been talk of a Silver Surfer movie, which may prove to the be the best thing that comes out of this, but I find it hard to see a third movie in this franchise making money, and having seen what has been done to 2 of the Fantastic Four's iconic villains already, I shudder to think who would get butchered next.
I've no idea what they spent on this movie but clearly none of it went on plot. Most of it went on special effects. I've got a feeling a LOT of movie got cut as it feels a lot of action sequences and even some plot got chopped. In the 1st part of the film not a lot happens at all, the wedding seems to have been shoehorned in (it almost felt it had been thrown in at the very last minute just to get the Stan Lee cameo into the movie). The large majority of things happening is in the last 20 minutes of the film.
I've only ever known The Silver Surfer as a good guy (from cartoons I've seen on tv) so him playing a heel here is pointless to me. I also thought Dr Doom was killed at the end of the previous movie so was wondering how they managed to get him back for this?
An over rated movie, best to wait until it's released on DVD, hopefully the extras will sweeten the purchase.
This sequel to the first Fantastic Four film has not been met with great enthusiasm, which puzzles me. Here, a silver humanoid figure on what appears to be a surfboard begins appearing all over the world and wreaking havoc. When the Silver Surfer interrupts Reed and Sue's most recent attempt to complete a wedding ceremony, Johnny aka Human Torch flies off in hot pursuit. Coming in contact with this alien being makes Johnny's powers unstable and exchangeable with the other Fantastics by simple touch!
Ultimately, it is revealed that the Surfer is the reluctant Herald to a being known as Galactus, the Eater of Worlds. Recalling his own people through the grace of the Thing's blind girlfriend and the lovely Sue, the Surfer decides to help our people save the Earth from the ever-hungry Galactus. But the Surfer's escapades also inadvertently released Victor Von Doom and the wicked Doctor is determined to steal the Surfer's Power Cosmic and use it to rule the world!
At 92 minutes, this is not a long or involved film. People have complained of corny lines, simplistic plot, and a disappointment with the portrayal of Galactus. I'd like to address these points. Once again, I think the majority of viewers have not truly understood the type of film they are seeing here. This is an action film based on comic book characters. The Fantastic Four comics were the cornerstone of the Marvel company. It was always full of cheesy lines and never really delved deeply into its characters. This was, in fact, part of its appeal. It left angst to Spiderman, and involved plots or deeper characters to comics like X-men.
The Fantastic 4 was about the compromise and sacrifice needed to forge good teamwork, finding empowerment through acceptance of self, adventure, and putting the good of society before personal needs while still acknowledging and fulfilling those personal requirements. Both films have more than adequately kept to these traditions while still retaining the individuality of the main characters and presenting audiences with truly enjoyable action. I was thrilled with the non-stop action that flows through this film. It was fun, fast, entertaining and visually slick. I, for one, have not been disappointed with the presentation of the Fantastic Four films.
Galactus was not truly revealed in this film, and I suspect that they just might be saving his real unveiling for the final film. Comic fans will remember that Galactus was seen initially as a strange storm, and I have to admit that when we first see him as the big purple-helmeted giant... it's rather anti-climactic anyway. I could never watch Galactus in the cartoons without thinking, "He eats worlds and is all powerful, but still chooses to wear that dorky hat?!" I was surprised more people haven't commented on the introduction of Captain Frankie Raye. Her low-key entrance as a minor character primarily as a love interest for Johnny is really what has me suspecting that they will be bringing Galactus back in the 3rd film for his real unveiling.
Again, comic fans will remember that the Eater of Worlds put in more than one appearance here at Earth, and Frankie plays a bigger part later on. If this is how it plays out, wouldn't it have been a huge disappointment if they stripped away the mystery of Galactus' true appearance in this film? Frankie, like the film itself, is much more than meets the eye. Has everyone forgotten that the second film in a trilogy is always the least complete because it is a transition period?
Personally, I was thrilled with how neatly everything was presented in "The Rise of the Silver Surfer", and am looking eagerly forward to the conclusion of this trilogy. After all, now that Ben has come to terms with himself, Johnny is showing signs of growing up, and Sue and Reed finally got that wedding out of the way, what else could possibly go wrong?
The single disc DVD gives us wide or full screen options and two simple commentaries. The 2 disc Power Cosmic edition is where all the real extras are found. The two commentaries cover the influence of certain books on the film, production decisions, various bits of behind the scenes trivium, but neither are particularly gripping. In the Deleted scenes section, I was actually quite surprised that there weren't more leftover bits. An alternate opening, some amusing scenes of Torch and Thing trying to get the wedding off the ground, and an interesting look at how the 4 fund themselves now.
Johnny was the marketer of the Fantastic Four as shown even in the first film with his proto-type action figures and insistence on a logo. Here we see the wealth of Fantastic merchandise that greases the groups wheels and pays their bills. This type of blatant commercialism that is consistently pushed upon audiences in real life to an appalling and sickening extent was likely too off-putting to include in the film. It is an eerie and rather humorous reminder to audiences though.
"Family Bonds: The Making of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer " is pretty standard and mildly interesting. Stan Lee's candid charm is the real plus in this extra. I know he'd like to have a bigger role in these Marvel films, and if filmmakers don't want him in the films themselves, they ought to consider giving him a segment in the extras where he can talk about what that particular comic and its characters meant to him. Fans would eat it up, and Stan would have a great time.
"Interactive Fantasticar" is basically just a slide show of concept art for the 4's trademark vehicle. Interesting to die-hard fans but not a sensational extra. "The Fantasticar: State of the Art: shows us the evolution of their flying car and expands on the "Interactive" extra a little, but again not a huge asset. In "The Power Cosmic" the Visual Effects chief, John Kilkenny, discusses the special effects throughout the film. He expounds on the various issues that were tossed about in attempting to bring the Surfer to life, the trouble they had in making Reed's powers appear natural and believable. The FX of a film like this are always of interest to me and I really found this to be one of the star features in the Extras section.
"Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book Origins of the Silver Surfer" is an in-depth look at that characters history and development in the comics. There were plenty of contributions from the majority of people who have worked on the Surfer over time, and this is exactly the sort of extra that will inspire myself, and other comic fans, into purchasing this Power Cosmic edition.
"Character Design with Spectral Motion: primarily discusses costuming and is likely to be of interest only to those who are truly interested in the topic. "Scoring the Fantastic" is time spent with the composer, John Ottman, and orchestra. Again, only of interest to those fans of film scores. "Stills Galleries" include a Behind the Scenes section which shows candid shots of the actors, Characters which are just film stills, and Concept Art. While nicely put together, I never find such galleries to be particularly interesting. All in all, not a bad selection if rather bland overall.
It's a fantasy action/adventure, people, not timeless literature put on film. Entertaining and visually pleasing with excellent action pacing, I loved it! I'm still a bit uncertain how well I like Alba as Sue Richards, but the casting of the remaining 3, along with the delightfully wicked Dr. Doom is a real treat. I suppose it is a testament to the X-men comics how popular those films were considering how butchered they were from their original storylines. The Fantastic 4 has been handled much better though, and for all their popularity as a comic and then a cartoon, audiences seem less accepting of these excellent action films. Enjoy it for the action-packed fantastical adventure that it is, and you won't be disappointed. At $14.99 on Amazon, this is a Fantastic offering!
(Also appears at Freeola.com)
2007 delivered us a number of disappointing filmic ventures - Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Shrek 3 were all, at least in my opinion, not up to the standard of the originals. With the sequel to 2005's "Fantastic Four", things are a little different - the original, whilst fun, was never held in the high regard that the aforementioned titles were, but nonetheless, can this sequel retain the coveted title of the "great Summer blockbuster" that we are currently missing this year?
The plot, in a nutshell, leaves off where the last film left us - Dr. Doom is imprisoned in Latveria, and Sue Storm (the Invisible Woman) and Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) are preparing to finally marry. Just as the pivotal moment approaches, all Hell breaks loose as an alien entity arrives on Earth, who is soon identified as the Silver Surfer. To add to the chaos, Dr. Doom is somehow awakened from his tomb, and through the myriad of double-crosses and questionable motives, there's certainly a lot going on.
That being said, the film is about as good as I, at least, would expect. Given how the original film was an enjoyable Summer actioner, but was ultimately soaked in cheese, I expected much the same here. What you see is what you get, but other than the excellent Silver Surfer, this film just felt lacking. The cheese was just too much, the humour was dire, and perhaps my chief complaint - everything is just too blatant. Stan Lee's cameo, for example, topples over the edge of ridiculousness to the point where I had to laugh, and the product placement, whilst clearly self-aware, was totally insane.
The first half an hour of the film could have been cut down immensely and therefore more time could have been left for the Silver Surfer. Running in at just 90 minutes, donating almost 30 to building up the rather tiresome marriage story and re-acquainting us with the characters just doesn't cut it. That said, the second the Silver Surfer shows up, this film improves by leaps and bounds. The Surfer is excellently rendered, effects-wise, and whilst I was a tad concerned that Lawrence Fishburne was the wrong voice for the job, he did fantastically. Some of the Surfer's dialogue is extremely memorable (i.e. - "All that you know...is coming to an end"). I think comic fanboys will at least appreciate that this is the one thing, above all else, that Tim Story and company got right. That said, Silver Surfer spends a large portion of the film either off-screen, or simply constrained, and so his potential is never truly showcased. However, the scenes involving the Surfer near the climax of the film are great.
There's nothing to write home about performance-wise - nobody pulls off anything particularly impressive (not even the superb Michael Chiklis), but perhaps the most characterised and fleshed-out character in this film is Johnny Storm (the Human Torch, played by Chris Evans). Evans puts on an admirable effort, but again, there's no tour-de-force or career-making performances on-board here. In fact, one could even say that the character with the greatest screen presence was the Silver Surfer, a large component of which is CGI.
Now onto what the fanboys absolutely loathed - the portrayal of Galactus. Fans were expecting some sort of physical entity, it can be assumed, but the end result, without spoiling it, is far from this, and furthermore, Galactus "screen time" (if you can call it that) is no more than five-to-ten minutes. This is largely the point that turned the film into a downer for many avid fans of the comics, and when things like this are changed for seemingly no reason, one can find it difficult to sympathise with the filmmakers.
In conclusion, Fantastic Four 2 is a deeply flawed film, forcing cheese-soaked dialogue and sometimes hokey acting down our throats. However, one cannot fault the Silver Surfer's portrayal, nor the CGI in general. Fanboys beware - you will more than likely loathe this film for its portrayal of Galactus, so my advice to not only fanboys, but all viewers, is to just try to sit back and enjoy the action. This joins the aforementioned in not quite delivering what I hoped for in a Summer blockbuster.
My theory is that the introduction of the 12A certificate ruined family films. When I go home over the holidays I want to sit down and watch something that I can enjoy, but also comfortably know that my young nephews, my parents and my grandparents can watch. Whack in a 12A and you end up seeing something that may be perfectly ok for you, but for someone older or younger? The 'Lord of the Ring' films hide behind fantasy, but are incredibly violent. 'Batman Begins' is too dark and scary. Even the recent Harry Potter films have taken to showing a dark and violent side. There may be no swearing or nudity, but I still think that watching an Ork get its arm chopped of is too much for my Nan. That is why I enjoyed the first 'Fantastic Four' movie. Here was a rare family film that had a PG certificate. It may have been cheesy in parts, but at least I feel happy viewing it with anyone. Would the sequel live up to this?
The team of four are back and its now sometime after their adventures in the first film. The Fantastic Four have become celebrities across the globe and whilst Johnny Storm, the human torch, enjoys the attention the others are not quite sure. In particular Dr Reed Richards, Mr Fantastic, and Sue Storm, Miss Invisible, just want to be left alone to get married in peace. This peace is completely shattered when strange events start occurring across the globe. Vast holes are being dug into the surface of the planet and it seems that a mysterious surfing alien may be planning the destruction of Earth. Can the Fantastic Four work together alongside the US military and a rejuvenated former enemy to save the planet?
'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' is by no means the most accomplished of recent superhero films, but it is still fun. Thankfully, rather than go down the dark route of nearly every other series of films the makers of 'Surfer' have stuck to the family film roots that made the first film so successful. Alongside the second 'Spiderman' film this represents one of only a few superhero films that are suitable for younger audiences. However, the positives of widening the audience go in some way to alienate the rest. This film lacks a certain edge and the action sequences feel far closer to their cartoon roots than you are used to in modern cinema. The delicate balance between safety and action is slightly too skewed towards the former meaning the film has little to no edge.
To criticise this film for being a little soft would be a disservice as it's aimed at a younger audience. For this group (kids between 4 and 10) it may be one of the best films yet. The action sequences look really good and the Silver Surfer chases look stunning. I also thought that elements of the script were funny for both adults and children. The patter between the Human Torch and the Thing in particular stand out as funny. Unfortunately, the rest of the dialogue is pretty cheesy as the film seems to have old fashioned sensibilities. This lack of quality infiltrates the story overall as the end does not match up to the start. I would have liked to have seen the destroyer of worlds more closely, but perhaps this is for a future film. Tim Story's direction is also pretty basic and does not add much to the overall feel of the film.
The one area that can be universally panned and not attributed to its family film origins is the acting. This has to be the hammiest set of roles put to screen for a long time. Ioan Gruffudd seems to dial his role in, whilst Jessica Alba is almost redundant. Better is seen from Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis, but the worst has to be Julian McMahon as Dr Doom. I can only imagine that they had to rewrite the script for him to try and explain his awful acting and plastic surgeoned face. Doom should have been left for dead.
Your enjoyment level of 'Fantastic Four 2' will probably depend on your age and expectations. If you are older than 12 and have seen almost every superhero film than you will probably find this lightweight and a little dull. However, if you are younger, or an older person with less violent tastes you may just find yourself laughing and smiling along to a decent action comedy. Personally, I fall somewhere between these groups as I enjoyed it, but also felt that it could have had more bite and a better script. However, as a PG I know its one of only a handful of films that I will feel happy watching with my entire family next Christmas, and in my book that's worth something.
Director: Tim Story
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis
Price: Amazon uk £7.97
The disc that I watched was the one disc vanilla version, but there is a two disc copy that actually has some extras!
As the world prepares itself for the celebrity wedding of the year, a cosmic visitor to the planet arrives almost unannounced. When satellite images pick up the strange cosmic figure, the US military enlists the help of groom-to-be Reed Richards (one quarter of the Fantastic Four) to construct a tracking device that will alert the military to the presence of the intergalactic traveller. His presence isn't hard to miss; wherever he goes, he leaves huge empty holes in the ground, located at seemingly random points around the globe. But the traveller's destructive path is not without purpose. In the vastness of space an enormous cosmic entity is on its way, intent on ending the very existence of life on our planet. It's up to the Fantastic Four to avert disaster but theirs are not the only eyes tracking the presence of the mysterious silver visitor
I have enormous fondness for the Fantastic Four. Having grown up on a diet of Marvel Comics and cartoons, the FF were probably the most endearing of the bunch. Whilst I always favoured Spiderman for trials and tribulations that he suffered, I liked the FF's sense of fun rather more and the inter-galactic scale of their adventures was normally far more entertaining. The first movie was surprisingly likeable so I was secretly excited about the promise of a sequel, even more so when it was announced that the story would feature The Silver Surfer. The sequel is technically as accomplished as the first film. It has the same cast and characters and exudes the same family-friendly blend of action and humour. Rather surprisingly, therefore I found myself completely disappointed, eventually wishing that the movie would just hurry up and go away.
It might just have been my mood, but Rise of the Surfer seemed inherently more childish than the first movie. Aimed squarely at the family-friendly PG rating, the makers have avoided anything with a remotely rough edge here, leaving a polished, sickly sweet finished and entirely manipulated product. Rise of the Surfer feels more like a Scooby-Doo movie than a comic-book adaptation, going as far as to plumb the nauseating depths of having Mr Fantastic (he's the stretchy one) dancing in a nightclub in true stretchy fashion. The need to inject soppy, overwrought emotional values comes through thick and fast this time, so we get endless pointless interjections from Susan Storm about her desire to retire to the country, have kids and lead a normal life. The opening twenty minutes is absolutely nauseating, often bordering on pushing a relatively well-balanced adult viewer into switching off, simply in order to protect his sanity. As plausible as The Wizard of Oz, as endearing as a plague of leeches, it's only the regular injections of some much-needed action scenes that stops the Marvel bandwagon from derailing completely.
Rise of the Surfer makes that unforgivable mistake of playing it safe. Faced with the enormous opportunity of introducing one of the team's most infamous foes (Galactus), the creative team has chickened out. Galactus (known to his friends as The World Devourer) would have been an ambitious movie villain by anyone's standards but here director Tim Story really wimps out. True enough, depicting a four-hundred foot purple headed alien absorbing an entire planet around him would have been technically quite complicated but the decision to revert to some kind of sinister, gaseous entity is just not good enough. (Fan-nerd note: The appearance actually more closely resembles the reinvented Gah-Lak-Tus that appeared in the Ultimate Fantastic Four series.) As soon as The Silver Surfer was mentioned, the entire world of comic-book fans was thrown into excited chaos by the promise of a Galactus movie; what they got was a cop-out.
The "playing it safe" problem goes wider than that too. The return of Doctor Doom is unwelcome and clumsy; the decision to merge him with the Surfer story line ill-founded. Julian McMahon's Doom was the least successful depiction of the original movie and it is hugely disappointing that the writers felt the need to shoe-horn him into this one as well. The Fantastic Four back catalogue of bad guys is rich with interesting, innovative villains, many of whom would make the transition to the screen really well, so the option to bring Doctor Doom back really wasn't well-considered. In fairness, Doom's actions and motivations are true to his character and the film's climactic sequences quite entertaining, but in tribute to the comic-book origins, they're just not right.
The action is all terribly "nice" as well. One delicious death scene aside, there's barely a bruised eye in sight, in spite of the fact that everyone is supposedly fighting for his/her very existence. The characters' approach to everything never really matches the apparent scale of the problems unfolding, a common mistake in children's dramas, looking to find a light-hearted side to impending Armageddon (a mistake often replicated in the new Doctor Who series, for example). The military characters don't help, so rough and dogged in their entire approach purely so that we don't like them as much as our heroes, they are utterly unconvincing.
What of the foursome themselves? Well, Mr Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) is not bad but lacks the straight-faced intellectual intensity that you would expect. The script yields few of those opportunities for ridiculous pseudo-scientific explanations that you'd expect, too. It's always nice when "the ionic particle deceleration transmutation has resulted in a cataclysmic over-ride of the gamma-temporal static mega-tronic shields" but in Rise of the Surfer it just seems to be battery failure. Gruffudd is also too young.
His partner, Susan Storm (Jessica Alba) is the worst of the bunch. Alba (apparently high on the eye-candy stakes) dons a ridiculous blonde wig and limps pathetically throughout the entire movie with a script that plays like a metal glove running down a chalk board. Alba exhibits none of her character's strength and determination and single-handedly reverses female rights by about ten years.
Chris Evans continues to excel as Johnny Storm and stands out as the film's strongest asset. He cracks some of the same jokes as he does in the first movie, but essentially characterises everything we'd ever expect from the hot-headed young hero. His buddy and sparring partner, The Thing also works well, with Michael Chiklis under the make-up. The inevitability of political correctness means that his blind girlfriend Alicia must now be black (not as gratuitous as the fact that they couldn't find a genuinely blind actress who was pretty enough.)
It's in the action scenes that Rise of the Surfer goes a small way towards redemption. The Surfer looks really good. His pursuit scenes with the Torch probably stand out as some of the best in the movie. His physical presence is acted by Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) whilst his voice comes from Laurence Fishburne, which sounds like a strange combination on paper but, strangely, works rather well. The creators have the raw power of the Surfer just right and in all fairness, will almost certainly have generated enough interest in the character to justify him his own movie. Generally, all the action scenes have flair and appropriate pace, providing enough of a spectacle to keep children and adults entertained (the latter much less than the former, in reality.)
Nonetheless, the overall tone and delivery of the project leaves much to be desired. Rise of the Surfer plays for the family rating far too hard, leaving a witting legion of fans behind in a saccharine-laced exercise in tameness. With no indication that things would be any different for the next sequel, my interest in the franchise has dipped dramatically, and unless they take a new direction with a new creative team, I dont think the box office will be quite as forgiving the next time round.
Of this summer's blockbusters, Rise of the Surfer offers the least enjoyment and the most regret that things didn't turn out differently.
There are various DVD options for region 2, including a single disc edition, a 2-disc special edition and a compilation of the first and second films. Expect to pay £11.99 for the one disc, £15.99 for the two-disc edition and £22.99 for the compilation.
Offering a real improvement on its predecessor and successfully introducing one of the world of comics most popular characters in the process, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer easily warrants some attention on DVD to go with its impressive box office take. Picking up where the surprisingly tepid original left off, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer finds the Marvel Comics Universes first family dealing with the celebrity that their powers have brought them, to the point where even a simple wedding cant take place without interruption. The film then takes a little while to re-establish its characters and re-introduce some of the issues that underpin them. But its not too long before the Silver Surfer arrives, and things really get into gear. For make no mistake: its the Surfer who ignites the film and provides some of the very best moments of Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer. Backed up by some superb special effects work, hes a far more interesting draw that the returning Julian McMahon as Dr Doom. While there are, inevitably, various problems that each of the characters in Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer must face, the film never opts to go knee-deep into them. Instead, it chooses a light, breezy tone, thats suited well to family viewing yet not without some genuine blockbuster moments. Its no classic, but Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer is most certainly fun. And its equally certain that this isnt the last weve seen of this quintet of heroes... --Jon Foster