FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
***1/2 (out of 5)
June 15, 2007
Ioan Gruffudd as REED RICHARDS
Jessica Alba as SUE STORM
Chris Evans as JOHNNY STORM
Michael Chiklis as BEN GRIMM
Julian McMahon as VICTOR VON DOOM
Laurence Fishburn as THE SILVER SURFER
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Tim Story
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
In the height of summer movie season, 20th Century Fox is releasing its second “Fantastic Four” movie. This time, the superhero team must face an opponent even deadlier than the revamped Doctor Doom from the first film.
A strange object sailing through the universe has found earth. This object, a strange silver man on a mysterious and powerful board, is causing climate change and dangerous geologic activity around the world. He is a hunter for a greater threat, and the Fantastic Four team up with the military to track it down and subdue him.
I’ll admit. I’m a sucker for the “Fantastic Four” movies. Maybe I really like comic book movies. Maybe I love watching the cool special effects. Maybe I just like watching Jessica Alba on screen for ninety minutes.
Whatever the reason, I enjoyed “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” in spite of some dreadful dialogue, weak plot points and godawful acting. If you liked the first movie, you’ll probably like this sequel. It’s done with the same tone, which mirrors the early comic books pretty well, and the new character of the Silver Surfer is pretty darn cool.
There are no surprises with this sequel, but there’s nothing wrong with that for the kind of movie it is.
Look people, I’m not going to lie to you. There are some goofy things that go on in this movie. The dialogue is pretty lame, and the acting is wooden by much of the cast. Also, while the whole Silver Surfer angle is really cool, the down-to-earth storyline about Reed Richards and Susan Storm trying to tie the knot is a bit tired.
Yeah, some scenes do sort of lie there like a dead woodchuck festering under the front porch. And yes, certain things just don’t make a whole lot of sense. But these are details I’m not worrying about when I watch this movie.
It’s “Fantastic Four.” It’s not “Batman Begins.” The original comic books from the 60s and 70s featuring these characters had plenty of cheese in them. And while Stan Lee is a creative genius, he’s completely guilty of shoehorning many lame plot lines into the comics of the silver age.
These new “Fantastic Four” movies aren’t meant to be a darker take on familiar characters. These aren’t even grown-up tales, for that matter. “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” and its predecessor represent something we haven’t seen in comic book movies in recent years – an honest attempt to capture the childhood essence of the fantasy.
I’m really not looking for realism here. I was talking with a fellow critic after the screening, and he was complaining about how Susan Storm was working in a lab but had a skin-tight cocktail dress on. I don’t see what the complaint was. My response to that is, “What cares why she’s wearing it. She looks hot, and that’s all that matters.”
Both of the “Fantastic Four” movies represent an escape for me. They’re just good, clean fun. And it’s the same fun that propelled the first film to stellar box office in light of dreadful reviews and plenty of goofy moments in the movie.