Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Title: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Dir: Tim Story
Rating: ** out of 5 stars

There is not much to say here. The first Fantastic Four film was loathsome, but the sequel is actually slightly better. The lead characters are still annoying, but I enjoyed the storyline a little more this time around, namely the titular villain.

Having seemingly defeated Dr. Doom in the first film, the Fantastic Four are now celebrities and doing well for themselves. In fact, Richard Reed and Sue Storm are about to be married when a destructive vistor from outer space arrives. He is fast, silver, and very difficult to subdue. As it turns out, he represents a larger being called Galactus that devours planets, and Earth is to be the next target. Meanwhile, a thawed-out Von Doom returns to NYC with nefarious intentions.

I generally liked the Silver Surfer, portrayed by ever-versatile Doug Jones. He has some emotional depth because he is bound to Galactus but wishes to stop what he is doing. I only wish they movie used Jones' voice rather than dub over him with Laurence Fishburne (not a fan). The rest of the cast fills their roles as blandly as they did in the previous film. Chris Evans and Jessica Alba are the obligatory eye candy, Ioan Grufford is the "I'm British and I bring class to this film" guy, and Michael Chiklis fits the role physically and that's all there is to it. I still want to throw him out a window everytime he says, "It's clobbering time" or something to that effect.

Tim Story is a terrible director and I'd be content if he never made another Fantastic Four movie, or any movie. These films are only saved from being the worst Marvel movies by the cinematic travesties that were Daredevil and Elektra. I never gave two shits about the Fantastic Four anyway. I'm invisible! I'm stretchy! I'm made of rock! Who cares? Go back to those interstellar cosmic rays and get some real powers.

I like the concept of Silver Surfer - particularly his moral predicament - and Galactus. Anything that "devours planets" is pretty exciting in my book. Beyond that, the movie does not have much to offer. If for some reason you enjoyed the first one, this sequel is sure to please. But for the sane folks reading this - watch at your own risk.