Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Director(s): Tim Story
Writer(s): Don Payne and Mark Frost
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Andre Braugher, Laurence Fishburne and Doug Jones
Reviewed by: Christine Lambert on
Release Date(s)Jun 15, 2007 - Wide
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the type of film that will be most satisfying to people who are fans of the comic book series. Unless you are that person, this is a hard film to recommend. While it isn’t a boring film, people with no clue about the comic and its back story will find more interest in watching the visual effects than the actual story itself.
During their wedding ceremony, Fantastic Four members Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) are interrupted by a traveller from another world, the Silver Surfer (body of Doug Jones, voice of Laurence Fishburne). Reed has already been tracking the actions of the Surfer for the government, a fact he has kept from Sue. The Silver Surfer’s job is to seek out new planets for his planet devouring master, Galactus, so I probably don’t need to tell you that his arrival is a sign of bad things to come.
During the interruption of the ceremony, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) chases the Silver Surfer, who drags him to the upper atmosphere and drops him. Johnny’s powers now begin to fluctuate and he later discovers that his powers have switched with Sue’s when they touch. Tracing the energy the Surfer has left behind, Reed discovers that every planet it’s visited has been destroyed. If that’s not bad news enough, the energy of the Surfer also revives the Fantastic Four’s enemy, Doctor Doom (Julian McMahon).
Not being a fan and having limited knowledge of the Fantastic Four universe, it is difficult to say whether this film delivered or not from that perspective. If however, one is looking at this film from purely a moviegoers perspective, it is lacking, oh so very much. The film is mostly eye candy. Jessica Alba provides the beauty, Chris Evans provides the boyish good looks that every mother who takes their young ones will enjoy and there is always the handsome Julian McMahon as well. It’s hard to say the same for Michael Chiklis’ rocky looking character The Thing, but he should probably get the audience’s empathy for just imagining how long his makeup call must have been.
The effects of the Silver Surfer are pretty awesome to look at, but the problem with so much eye candy is that it takes away from what should essentially be driving the piece, and that is the writing. Again, not knowing if the script was true to its comic origins or whether it pandered to the PG rating, it is hard for me to say if the adaptation was a success. The one thing that is certain is that even though I am not a fan of comic books, it doesn’t mean that a non-fan should not be able to enjoy a movie series that they are not familiar with, for example, The Batman series. For me, these four and their enemies fell short of fantastic.