Film Review: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

fantastic1 Film Review:  Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Silver….it’s the new black

The sequel to the Fantastic Four featuring the Silver Surfer was out earlier in the summer and I meant to review it back then.  It’s a mildly entertaining, passable summer entertainment.  I enjoyed it for what it was; a big, dumb and loud spectacle.  It’s better than the first film, but then again, so is an enema.  The cast is lead by charisma-free non-actor Ioan Gruffudd.  I understand he’s quite good in the period film Amazing Grace, but I’m not here to review that film.  Jessica Alba looks good but can’t act, and Chris Evans is having fun at least, as the daredevil Johnny Storm.  Michael Chikliss does his best to give The Thing some depth, but he’s done in by cartoon dialogue and sitcom-y jokes.  With its PG rating, FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer is aimed squarely at kids and pre-teens.

The real reason people are going to see the film is The Silver Surfer.  He’s rendered in an ultra-cool, sleek fashion.  Voiced by Laurence Fishbourne, and looking like a liquid creation come to live-action life, he’s the real star of the film.  Unfortunately, his storyline isn’t all that interesting.  The cartoon plot has to do with Mr Fantastic marrying his love Sue Storm.  Their wedding is interrupted by the appearance of the mysterious Surfer and Doctor Doom comes back onboard for no apparent reason except to pad the running time.  Television actor Julian McMahon is back and playing Doctor Doom with as much menace as Nick Cage in Wicker Man.  He’s all suave, smarmy, and dull as dishwater.

It doesn’t help that the film includes some lame political commentary about the evils of torture and US miltiary policy (I thought this was a PG film) but really skirts the issue and can’t show any of the torture.  This part of the film is a total misfire (it was probably written by bored liberals who should have been brooding to their John Mayer CDs) and it distracts from the real reason the audience is there, to see things blow up.

The climactic battle is impressive and the film is certainly never boring.  It’s a decent film and it runs a scant 91 minutes.  This is another thing I liked about the film, it doesn’t overstay its welcome.  It’s almost as if the film knows that the longer it goes on, the more contrived it gets.  It’s just like a big house of cards, when you remove one, they all come tumbling down.  Rise of the Silver Surfer is big, loud, and ultimately moronic, but it’s better than the original, and it’s the kind of film you enjoy while it’s un-spooling before your eyes, then you forget about it as soon as you leave the theatre.

Grade: B-

pixel Film Review:  Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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