Review: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Doug Jones, Laurence Fishburne, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington. Directed by Tim Story.

rise1The Fantastic Four returns with a pretty decent story involving their old nemesis, Victor Von Doom, and the titular, mysterious space visitor whose appearances around the globe are so damaging that the team is called into action. The Silver Surfer is a strange creature, zooming around through the atmosphere for no apparent reason, but somehow he doesn’t seem malevolent. His path of destruction includes the nuptials of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, whose wedding is again interrupted by their need to save the world. Richards and Storm consider leaving the superheroing behind for the sake of their impending marriage, inspiring bitterness from Johnny Storm.

rise2The acting, still not the greatest, is a lot better than in this film’s predecessor. Ioan Gruffudd is a passable leading man here, and the camaraderie of the four principles is again the movie’s greatest strength. There’s a fun plot element that involves the four heroes’ trading powers, a nice little twist with a satisfying payoff.

rise3The Silver Surfer story is kind of bizarre, but this character is interesting and kind of likeable. It could have been improved with a voice actor other than Laurence Fishburne, whose quiet wisdom affectation is a slight distraction. Still, I like the tensions from multiple sources pulling characters sometimes in opposing directions and others in similar directions.

It’s kind of a fun movie, if not exactly one that sticks with you. I would have looked forward to another film with this cast. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a step in the right direction, easily on the north end of okay.


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