Written by John Turman and Mark Frost
Directed by Tim Story
Running Time: 1:32
for sequences of action violence,
some mild language and innuendo.
The problem with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is that it was a lot like its predecessor: lots of promise and very little payoff.
A couple of years after the original the gang of 4 are basking in the spotlight. They've become major celebrities, complete with endorsement deals. The impending marriage of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman has turned into a media circus. But as the wedding approaches, so does a strange silver streak which brings with it, impending doom. The 4 must once again work together to stop this menace of the skies and save the world.
Considering the first movie didn't set the box office on fire, it was a little bit of a surprise that the producers felt they should make a sequel. They did a smart thing in having the focus of the marketing be on the Silver Surfer character, since he has cool written all over him. The Fantastic 4 themselves weren't the most well cast characters and unlike other superheroes, never grew into their roles. This time around, I thought the writing was even poorer than before. It was like watching a made-for-TV movie with a slightly higher budget. The clichés that would come out of everyone's mouths was intolerable. Once again it seemed like they figured people would come out based on name recognition and cool marketing. No one gives much thought to the actual content of the film. One complaint I had with the first film was the special effects looked bad. This time around I think they spent their entire budget on the Silver Surfer, since the plastic effects looked even worse than before. The Human Torch paled in comparison to the Surfer as well. And poor Ben Grimm looks like his orange blocks were about to fall off. The only special effect that looks even halfway reasonable was the Surfer.
So let's talk about the Silver Surfer. His character looked nice, but didn't have a whole lot to say. And when he did finally decide to speak, he spoke in the same clichés as everyone else. Beyond looking good, there was nothing really special about him. They gave very little of his backstory, so all we know is he's an agent for an even bigger lifeforce in the Universe. In the comics Galactacus was an actual person/creature, as opposed to what he was turned into in this film... a large cloud. A mean looking cloud to be sure, but just a cloud. As I said, I'm guessing the special effects budget was burned on one character, so someone must have said, let's just make Galactacus a giant cloud and that'll be the end of it.
And why on Earth was Victor von Doom in this movie? He's the ultimate Fantastic Four villain, but he had nothing to do except stand around for a while. Julian McMahon is one talented actor with a great screen presence, but he had virtually no role in the film. He was on screen for a decent amount of time, but served no purpose. Why waste a supervillain? Why shoehorn him into a film that doesn't need him? Save him for the end of the trilogy. I guess he's just another disappointment on top of everything else the film had to offer. I shouldn't have expected much after the first film, but I let myself believe they would never make a sequel that offered nothing new and in fact, regressed.
The DVD is filled with the normal deleted scenes, featurettes and all that. I found most of those to be just as boring as the film. The only one that held my interest for more than a few moments was one on the comic book origins of the Silver Surfer, but even that got boring after a short time. There was even one interactive extra where you can flip through pictures of the ship that Reed Richards built. Except they were still shots of computer animations. I didn't really understand the point of that.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I thought Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was more of a waste of celluloid than the original. If not for the supreme blondness of Jessica Alba, I'm not sure I would have stayed awake for the entire film.
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