Ioan Gruffudd and Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
This one is better than the first, which I also enjoyed. The mood is slightly more serious but the humor and gloss remain intact. The pace is even faster than the first movie and it clocks in at a refreshing 90 minutes.
The Silver Surfer is one of the coolest looking characters in all of comics. He is the centerpiece of this installment and he is the best thing about the movie. He is such an original and enigmatic creation. He is a slave to the interstellar being known as Galactus. Galactus is such a huge force that he needs to consume the energy of entire planets in order to survive. It is the Silver Surfer's job to find and prepare planets for his master. The process takes 8 days. The movie opens with the arrival of the Silver Surfer to Earth.
Of course the Fantastic Four must fight against him and also Dr. Doom, who returns to wreak more havoc. Even assuming that many people are familiar with the story here, and the roles that each character plays plot-wise, I won't give away the ending.
I wasn't that impressed with the cast the first time around, but clearly they have grown into their parts. Each of the four stars truly embodies their characters.
There is very little to complain about. This movie is exactly what it should be, summer fare that dazzles the eye and offers 90 minutes of blissful escapism.
Chris Evans and Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
This one is better than the first because we are not forced to wade through the origins. The four use their powers at random and interact much like they did in the first film. Unfortunately, they also still fail to connect with the audience.
In the Spiderman movies, we are pulled into the films because of Peter Parker not Spiderman. He is a young man trying to find his way, sometimes awkwardly, in life. Parker is a very "real" character. The Superman movies pull you in because everyone has at one time or another felt like an outsider, and so it is easy to relate to him trying to fit in and find someone to trust.
In the Fantastic Four movies we have 4 very one dimensional people. Johnny is the arrogant playboy who gets all the hot girls, all of the time. Anyone who can relate to him is too busy to watch this movie. The Thing is a big orange bitter pile of rocks. Nobody wants to relate to him. The center of the film is Reed and Sue. A superhero couple is a unique angle and should be the focal of the series. Unfortunately, their relationship is one of the weakest aspects of the films. The, supposed to be, tender scene near the end of the movie falls flat. It should have been played much closer to the Cyclops/Jean Grey moment at the end of the second X-Men movie. The Fantastic Four will never become a great movie franchise if Reed and Sue cannot ilicit some emotional response from the audience.
The good news, is that everything surrounding the four heroes is fun to watch. The pace is excellent. The special effects are amazing. You will not be bored. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is an enjoyable movie, that I could watch again, but it could have been better had the director been able to draw more emotion from the actors.
Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four.
I've pretty much forgotten everything about the first movie and I can't say that I'll remember much about this installment. I don't blame the director, I blame the script. This is the kind of movie that gives super-hero movies a bad name. The script is completely cartoonish, filled with cliches and bad jokes. The characters are all flat and bland and elicited absolutely zero emotion from me.
The only thing I did like about this movie is the Silver Surfer. Voiced by Laurence Fishburne, he's enigmatic and intriguing. The special effects used to bring him to life are very well done, as are the rest of the effects, even if some of them are extremely implausible.
I don't want to bring physics into this or anything, but are you telling me that something as massive as Galactus can sneak up on the Earth without completely destroying it? The gravitational pull alone would probably rip the planet in two. And then when Galactus is destroyed at the end, it causes an explosion that is bigger than the Earth itself without doing it the slightest bit of harm. (I don't consider that a spoiler, by the way, because if you really think the Earth is going to be destroyed you have no business watching movies) And what about the huge holes going to the center of the planet? I know, I know, I'm not supposed to ask those kinds of questions, but honestly, it's not like there was characterization to distract me.
Maybe this was an improvement on the first one, but if so, that's more a sign of how bad the first one was, rather than a sign of how good this one is.
Photos © Copyright 20th Century Fox (2007)