Monday, 28 September 2020
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Tuesday, 19 June 2007 00:00
I really wasn’t expecting much from this sequel to the lame 2005 intro that I jokingly refer to as The Craptastic 4. The first film felt like one big long opening sequence – no story, no suspense, and horrible acting. Well, if you liked it you’re in for a treat (and hopefully some much deserved shock therapy) because Fantastic 4: The Rise of the Silver Surfer is more of the same.

Let’s pick up where the last movie left off shall we? After battling Dr. Doom in the cheesy finale, Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and his bride-to-be The Invisible Woman, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) are up against an even more fiendish foe; the planning and execution of their wedding! After several failed attempts they are determined to finally get it right and we are forced along for the ride as the first half-hour of the film is all about the dress, the tears and the bachelor party. I mean, if I wanted to watch The Wedding Planner I would have rented it. Instead I suffered in silence at Alba’s fake tears and Gruffudd’s cold rubbery feet. Needless to say the wedding goes off without a hitch, literally, as the world once again comes under attack. This time a dashboard ornament from space called The Silver Surfer is leading the way as a beacon for the planet devouring cosmic force called Galactus.

With CG effects being what they are today, you’d think a big budget film like this one could do one better than made for television sci-fi. The special effects on original Star Trek are probably better than this! I was obviously unimpressed by Mr. Fantastic’s oddly perverse stretching abilities that looked like they were accomplished using distorted mirrors from a carnival. And equally perturbed by The Invisible Woman’s penchant for becoming visible while naked in public. One of the more interesting characters Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, is reduced to the role of comic sidekick. While Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, shares better chemistry with his sister than her fiancée does. It’s kind of creepy really!

The Silver Surfer himself looks cool enough, with his shiny chrome body and stylish surf moves. Probably the most impressive part of the film is his battle with The Human Torch as they swerve around/through buildings in a high-speed airborne chase. I have to admit it’s pretty cool when the Surfer stops dead in his tracks, grabs Johnny by the neck and whisks him high into the atmosphere. But you can see much of this scene in the preview.

Overall, since my expectations were low there were a few scenes that entertained me. However most of my entertainment was self-created, since I found it really easy to poke fun at this flick. It came a little closer to success than its predecessor but falls way short of “fantastic”. With tongue in cheek I give this film a generous, but failing, 4 out of 10 stars.