Published Jun 15, 2007Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is tasked with merely meeting our already flattened expectations of a continuation to 2005s embarrassing Fantastic Four. At least in that respect, it succeeds.
The sequel picks up amidst the pre-marital anarchy of Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffud) and Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), aka Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, who lacking secret identities, have to contend with round-the-clock media coverage not unlike that of Brangelina. They cant fathom how the minute details of their lives make headlines while around the globe a series of largely ignored natural anomalies are slowly spelling out humanitys demise. The cause of these occurrences is not the FFs arch nemesis Dr. Doom (yet) but a metallic alien that looks like a runner-up prize at the Oscars, the Silver Surfer, a herald of the plant-devouring Galactus thats come to prepare the Earth for the main course.
With the voice of Laurence Fishburne and the stature of Doug Jones (Pans Labyrinth, Hellboy), the Surfer is everything fans imagined: comet-fast, sleek and so free of defining physical features that the lacklustre CGI department couldnt botch his aesthetic (like they do with the rest of the characters powers).
The film finds its high points in the Surfers simplicity, which is pure, thoughtless, eye-pleasing thrill. Such spare moments serve as welcome relief to the generic come-and-go relationship strife, a substitute for the absent character dimensions that plague our four superheroes, much in the same manner of the original, as they battle the Surfer and attempt to save the world.
Also carried over from the series starter are the sluggish performances, the dialogue that contains one-liners from 80s Saturday morning cartoons and the fact that Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) seems less like the menacing Eastern European diplomat from the comic and more like a villain from a Nancy Drew movie, which was ironically playing next door.
If this all sounds redundant, its because thats all we can expect from the series at this point. (Fox)