|The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (DVD, 2009, Canadian; Dual...|
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The sequel to the 2005 blockbuster FANTASTIC FOUR, RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER finds the Marvel superhero quartet of Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd), Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), and Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) facing an extraterrestrial threat in the form of the title character (played by Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne), an enigmatic being whose presence on Earth could signal the planet's end. Amidst the ensuing action, Reed and Sue attempt to tie the knot, and an old foe (Dr. Doom, portrayed by Julian McMahon) waits in the wings, allowing for plenty of levity and drama. An improvement on the original movie, this FANTASTIC FOUR outing, once again directed by Tim Story, gets much of its verve from the Silver Surfer himself. Played by Jones, an actor best known for his dual roles in PAN'S LABYRINTH, the Surfer is more than just CGI sheen, with subtle movements that seem truly alien and a voice of supreme gravitas, courtesy of Fishburne. Reed and Sue deal with wedding woes, while the fiery Johnny (aka The Human Torch) and a rock-solid Ben (The Thing) provide an extra dose of humor in a power-switching plot, making the film much lighter than other Marvel offerings and ideal summer viewing for the tween set.
The Rise of the Silver Surfer included an excellent story line and marvelous special effects, but the most importantly of all, it remained faithful to the comics.
Of course, staying faithful to the story line was a guarentee that the story line would be excellent. Galactus was the most resilient armagedon monster in comic book history, and the story of Silver Surfer serving and then betraying him is known to any true Marvel fan.
Silver Surfer proves that screen writers can exercise literary license while not ruining the stories that fans know and love. Just like in the comics, the FF discover the threat that Surfer poses and seek to confront him. In the end, the Surfer relents and challenges Galactus in order to save the world. While the events that unfold in the middle are not exactly like the comic books, it did not bother me too much.
The changes were more a matter of placing the story in modern times than a real attempt to write a new story. I can deal with that. The Comics Code Authority would have banned much of what appeared in the movie, especially the language. In today's world, such sensorship seems pointless as worse things can be seen on prime time television.
What was important about the changes was that the characters still behaved like they would have in the original. Dr. Doom forms an alliance of convience just long enough to get what he wants. Mr. Fantastic puts aside personal feelings for the sake of the greater good. Sue Alexcia (Grimm's girlfriend) provide balance to the chaos. Johnny and Thing act like siblings: constantly bickering but always there for each other when needed. Of course, the "anti establishment" feeling that predominated 1970's culture is still present with the US Army charging in like a bull at a china shop only to fall into an obvious trap.
I won't comment too much with the special effects. They are on par with what is to be expected with super hero movies these days - nothing original but certainly does justice to the super powers the characters posses. In any case, they are exciting to see.
While I do have some negatives, I really have to be nit-picky about them. The biggest dissappointment was how they portrayed Galactus. In the comics, he was humanoid shape. In the movie, he was portrayed as a cloud with chathulu tendrils. I would not have minded it as much if the cloud was a ship and the Surfer actually got to see the destroyer when he challenged him at the end, but perhaps that is expecting too much from a movie.
I also thought that Dr. Doom's voice should have been deeper. I didn't mind it so much when he was without his armor, but even before Darth Vader came along I always imagined a deep, resonating voice coming out of that mask. How could it be otherwise?
Finally, seeing soldiers wearing hats while indoors always makes this ex-soldier's skin crawl, but I can't fault this movie in particular for that when it is such a common mistake in the entertainment industry. It just seems such a pity that the people in charge of costumes go to so much trouble to get the uniform right to the impossible degree and yet mess up one of the most basic military customs there is.
I can honestly say that if you liked reading the FF in four color comics, then you will enjoy this movie. Stan Lee (who makes a funny cameo attempting to crash the wedding) may not have written this, but he could have.
John Holland-author of The Necklace of Terrersylvanous
Although I enjoyed the first Fantastic Four Adaptation, and the Silver Surfer is one of my favorite ever Marvel characters (also Stan Lee's favorite), I thought this movie was marred in its first half by over-emphasis on the upcoming wedding.
Sure, these four characters are thrown into "stardom" and can hardly have a private life, and how they adapt to that sudden fame does provide a human side to their superhero side, and I know women especially can obssess about wedding plans, but for Invisible Girl to be more interested in the place settings for her wedding guests than the impending end of the world is just too, well, unbelievable. Doesn't she have any sort of feeling of responsibility?
After all, her husband didn't get to be a top scientist by worrying about what china pattern would be on the lunch room counter while he took a break from figuring out scientific theories, and she also has a background in science, but to suddenly toss all that out and forbid him from even thinking about bad old Galactus and his icky plan to devour the world when it could interfere with her carefully wrought plans to have a beautiful rooftop wedding with all the A-list there (which ironically excluded Stan Lee!) is just grounds for grinding of teeth among those with even a smattering of social conscience, which is after all, the whole basis for the Silver Surfer character.
However, after the "reality" finally starts to sink into her silly little empty head, things pick up and the story can finally proceed without the irritation, and in the end, she does get to have her wedding after all, even though it's in Japan. The image of the Japanese style wedding is all wrong though. It's really a Western style wedding, but with Japanese costumes thrown in for "local color." The minister is even there from the original wedding. Guess he was just following them around the world, waiting to finish his speech, which he never does get to exactly finish as another crisis means the "big day" is (thankfully) abbreviated.
I can only hope the next installment (should there be one) gets past this type of trivializing. Perhaps they'll have a son by then, though, and he'll be threatened by the next bad guy and her mother instincts will kick in to the exclusion of reason and sanity. That seems to be her purpose in the movie sequence so far--to provide an emotional (woman's) reaction to whatever is going on. Her powers are also the least well developed, and the producers seem to love to get her to drop her clothes so she can be completely invisible, titilating audiences, but never actually showing any nudity.
Sigh. Here's hoping for a better outing for number three, or better yet, a movie about the Silver Surfer as the main character.
The Fantastic Four – Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), and Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) – Are prepairing for
Sue & Reed’s wedding.. When a metallic-looking alien called The Silver Surfer glides into town promising the end of the world. We do see the team busting out their powers for more than just a couple of brief sequences.These guys are some truly fantastic when it comes to product
placement, theres more products featured than in a hour TV show !
The best that can be said of this flyweight, instantly forgettable effort is that it’s unpretentious.
This is Another entertaining romp for the Marvel-superhero fan. Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic, is treading on thin ice when his fiancée, Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, thinks he's more interested in a series of cosmic phenomena occurring around the earth than in the preparations for their upcoming wedding. The disturbances are caused by a surge of cosmic power from a mysterious being called the Silver Surfer, who not only zooms around the skies on his board, but also has enough power to fight the 4, sometimes by turning their own power against them. But that's not the worst of it. The Surfer is only an opening act, a herald looking for planets! that his master, Galactus, can consume for his sustenance.
Once again, Husband Liked the movie, but I found other things to do around the house while he watched it. Besides, he always gives me a play by play of the movies I start to watch and then get up to do other things...LOL