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Monday, October 8, 2012

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

For those of you who are fans of the Fantastic Four comic books you can begin your hate mail campaign to Tim Story now (well that is if you hadn’t already started after the first movie), and pray to what ever deity you believe in that he never gets another shot at a comic book movie. Now in all fairness it isn’t as bad as some other Marvel movie attempts, but if the best thing you can say about your film is that it is better than Elektra you are in deep trouble. At eighty-nine minutes the film is padded with sitcom moments and a returning villain that has no place in a story about the coming of bloody Galactus!

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer starts out with us seeing a planet being eaten by a large cloud (upon seeing The Transformers Movie this weekend I now know were Tim Story got this visual), but soon we are back on Earth where the arrival of the Silver Surfer is causing strange environmental anomalies. Reed would love to investigate them but he has promised Sue that he would keep his great intellect focused entirely on their upcoming nuptials. The military gets pissy, Doctor Doom shows up to “help” and Johnny is altered by the Surfer so that he can transfer powers with a simple touch. Wackiness ensues.

Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans once again get the best lines as Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm, and even Ioan Gruffudd was more Reed like this time around, but Jessica Alba was still as much an emotionless void in this outing as she was in the first film. Julian McMahon (who I'm told is a good actor) is so horribly, horribly miscast as Doctor Doom that every moment he is on screen it hurts my feelings. I really wish they had given Doug Jones the job voicing the Silver Surfer as well as the body work because I found Laurence Fishburne's very identifiable voice distracting at times. Andre Braugher, who I think is a damn fine actor, was given some of the worst lines as the nasty General Hager, and I doubt that any actor could have pulled off.

I'm sorry but if your Fantastic Four movies concludes with our heroes sitting on the sidelines while the Silver Surfer saves the day you need to go back to the drawing board and rethink your strategy. The Surfer's noble sacrifice (which you find out isn't even a sacrifice if you wait five minutes) seems so out of left field because I can't buy his reasoning, which is basically that Jessica Alba has shown him the true meaning of Christmas.

My biggest gripe about Tim Story’s version of the Fantastic Four is of course Doctor Doom, who is thee quintessential Marvel villain, and yet in two films he comes across as nothing more than a two-bit Snidely Whiplash clone. And as I mentioned the character of Doom is certainly not needed in story about the coming of The Devourer of Worlds! And I’m sorry but if Galactus doesn’t say, “I HUNGER” than it simply isn’t Galactus, and the fact he has no lines at all (being just a nebulous cloud with the personality of a weather front) is just plain criminal and another waste of a classic character.

Shame on you Mister Story.

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