Aug 14, 2007

[Movies] Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver SurferI finally got to watch Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer on DVD this week and, well, it was worth delaying is what I can primarily say. I had delayed seeing it in the theaters given the somewhat negative initial reactions from both critics and friends alike and I'm glad I didn't pay the ticket price.

Given the introduction of the Silver Surfer / Galactus storyline, the movie certainly had a lot of potential. However, I found it primarily lacking in proper character development, which was a fatal blow given the original comic book was highly character-driven as Marvel's attempt at a superhero family of sorts.

The original players from the first movie all returned for this one in a story set about two years after the first film. It started out decently enough with all the wedding plans and the mysterious events around the world, which turn out to be related to the arrival of the Silver Surfer. The interplay between the characters seem genuine enough and it certainly had me excited.

However as the film progressed, you'll realize that the concept of character progression gets thrown out the window and Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) gets way too much airtime for things to make sense - clearly a promotional gimmick to better hook the ladies / gay market somehow. Same thing probably can apply to Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) in terms of the men's market if only for sex appeal value.

Things get worse when they reintroduce Doctor Doom (Julian McMahon), who was portrayed even worse than he was in the first film. Who would ever fear that kind of a Victor Von Doom? He so wasn't the world conqueror that he was in the original comic book series. The Silver Surfer (voiced by Laurence Fishburne) didn't help much either he just flew around for most of the film. So much for the Power Cosmic.

I think what makes me feel worst of all was how the movie just seemed to rush to an end without much concern for the plot making any real sense. Things climaxed with a really wimpy Galactus who just looked like this big dark cloud. While I know it was meant to be imposing and such, in the end it just looked silly and how can you really be intimidated by a cloud? That was sooo not how the World-Eater was meant to appear on the silver screen.

Apart from interesting effects and a few good fight / chase scenes here and there, this movie was a sad disappointment and barely gets a passing score in my book.

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