Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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Riding the Wave!! -- with the Silver Surfer

Jul 2, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:great special effects, original cast returns, the Silver Surfer, humor and action

Cons:the wedding plan plot; some actions not true to character

The Bottom Line: An entertaining movie to while away some time.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

I didn't know what to expect when I watched this DVD, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I enjoyed the first Fantastic Four movie where we learned how the team obtained their powers and how they came to master them. The movie previews looked intriguing for the Silver Surfer. So it was with anticipation that I watched the DVD.


Brief Plot Summary

Susan Storm (the Invisible Woman) and Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) are planning their wedding when a threat to the Earth is revealed in the form of "The Silver Surfer". The Fantastic Four learn that when the surfer appears, the planet he visits is destroyed within eight days. The heroes need to find the surfer's true motives even though unexpected events, including the return of Dr. Doom, threaten to tear their team apart.


My Experiences

Overall, I enjoyed this movie and would watch it again … although there are some good and bad points to it. Let's start with the characters.

The original actors from the first movie reprised their roles. All of them are good portraying their characters, thought not great. No one in this movie really stood out for me. However, I did enjoy some of the new personal dynamics introduced to this film. I especially liked the bonding moment between Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) and Ben Grimm (the Thing). These two characters always butt heads. Theirs is an alliance peppered with humorous and sometimes hurtful barbs, and I appreciated the moment in this movie where the two men found common ground.

What didn't work so well for me were the wedding plans between Susan Storm and Reed Richards. Their wedding arrangements encompassed a good chunk of the plot. I wanted an action movie, and the wedding scenes dragged at the momentum. The movie begins with Susan implying that the wedding had been canceled several times (no doubt due to their hectic schedules or heroic acts). She and Reed are determined that nothing will stop their vows. Then the Silver Surfer appears and Dr. Doom revives. There are some funny and intense moments regarding the wedding, but the wedding portion hogs too much screen time.

Dr. Doom's appearance in this film surprised me. I thought that his "demise" in the first movie was pretty conclusive. His return is impressive, as is his cunning and thirst for power. He's an excellent match for the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer. I can't imagine this movie without Dr. Doom being part of it. He added some great tension.

I particularly liked the character of the Silver Surfer. The graphics are incredibly well done, and even though the Surfer doesn't have much dialogue, he conveys a lot with his body movements. The plot takes a few interesting twists. I won't say more in case it spoils the plot for you. The Silver Surfer is a fascinating entity that I wanted to learn more about.

As in the previous movie, the special effects are fantastic (pun intended!). The scenes with the Silver Surfer are well done, including the outer-space shots. There are some excellent scenes as well showing the results of the Silver Surfer's harm to planet Earth. Other effects are well done but come across as high-school high-jinks. I didn't think them worth the screen time. Some of the Fantastic Four use their abilities in silly ways that just didn't come across as "true" for the character. Reed Richards as Mr. Fantastic is the best example. He has the ability to incredibly stretch his body. There is one dance-floor scene that is absurd. If the intent was to show the flexible powers of this character, there had to be better ways to demonstrate his powers that would propel the action forward.


The Extras

The DVD does include some extra features:

Commentary by director Tim Story -- Tim Story is easy to hear and understand as he shares some behind-the-scenes information about the movie. He does not consistently talk, and parts of the film are audible between his comments.

Commentary by producer Avi Arad, writer Don Payne, and film editors Peter S. Elliot and William Hoy -- This is the better of the two features. The variety of voices and viewpoints keeps the commentary lively and informative. There is some very interesting behind-the-scenes information.


The Cast

Ioan Gruffudd – Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic
Jessica Alba – Susan Storm / Invisible Woman
Chris Evans – Johnny Storm / Human Torch
Michael Chiklis – Ben Grimm / The Thing
Julian McMahon – Victor Von Doom / Dr. Doom
Kerry Washington – Alicia Masters
Laurence Fisburne – the voice of The Silver Surfer
Doug Jones – The Silver Surfer


Purchasing & Specifications

Amazon.com sells this DVD for $7.99; it normally retails for $19.98. An interesting feature of this DVD is that one side has the full-screen version of the movie (aspect ratio 1.33:1), and the opposite side of the disc has the widescreen version (aspect ratio 2.40:1).

The movie was released in 2007 and has a run time of 92 minutes. Languages include English and Spanish, and the subtitles are in English, Spanish and French.


Summary

While the actors in the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer won't win any awards for this film, the movie is worth watching. Want some undemanding entertainment … then this is a good flick to while away some time. I'll be watching it again.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy the day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com


Please read my other reviews:

X-Men Trilogy

Riddick Trilogy

Quatermass & The Pit and Quatermass 2 (two movies)

The Mummy: The Legacy Collection (five movies)

Tremors Attack Pack (three movies)

Godzilla

LiteOn DVD Recorder/Player


Copyright 2008 Dawn L. Stewart


Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: DVD


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