Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
No, you’re still hot with glasses and blonde hair … but Mensa isn’t fooled.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/15/2007
Director: Tim Story
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis

Holy crap, they made another one of these!?!

After seeing the first installment, aptly title “Fantastic Four“, you’d think people would shy away from giving director Tim Story more work or continuing to cast Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom.

But no, the powers that be know that enough people are dumb enough to pay to see this and/or buy the DVD … and voila, here’s another mindless summer effects sequel based on a comic book.

Starting on the positive side, the effects for the Silver Surfer were good and using Laurence Fishburne’s voice for the Silver Surfer gave him just the right tone of voice to seem like the badass he is. There was also a rhythm to his movements that worked well and it was nice to see how effortlessly his powers could dispatch the average opponent.

However, it seems the special effects team spent too much time on the stainless wonder and not enough on everything else. The opening sequence alone makes you scratch your head as we see a planet crumble into pieces with less realism than “Titan A.E.” … which was an animated film … so you see, it’s sad that a live action film would be less realistic … oh, never mind.

Much of the film felt like they borrowed the green screen sets George Lucas used in the latest Star Wars films, rather than use actual locations – creating a sense of weightlessness to many of the scenes.

Then we get to the make-up department. I cannot believe how terrible they can make Jessica Alba look. The frighteningly blue contacts and mop-like blonde hair are bad enough but it also looked like someone had stabbed Jessica in the eyes with a blue crayon, giving her half-finished blue eye-shadow rings.

You normally see such terrible make-up effects in zombie films. Creepy.

Getting to the plot, the comic geek inside of me wants to cry bloody murder at the film’s depiction of Galactus. I don’t want to spoil it but if any of you read the comic books as a kid, you’re in for a disappointing ride.

Also, they needless added Frankie Raye’s character (Beau Garrett) into the film, not using any of the interesting elements to her role in the comics.

Tossing aside my nerd-like interior (the exterior stays, sorry ladies), the film had a decent enough plot and moved with a fairly good pace. While I think the film could still be trimmed down, there weren’t overly long exposition scenes that make you suddenly remember what you wanted to buy from the grocery store before you go home.

The interactions between the Fantastic Four felt natural and, aside from a few incestuous feeling moments between Sue and Johnny Storm, this is one of the few comic book franchises where the actors’ chemistry almost makes it look like a superhero team.

Now if they can just cast villains a little bit better, I think they might be onto something.

I will begrudgingly admit that this is better than the first film. However, that’s not hard and really due to the decrease in screen time for Dr. Doom more than anything else.

“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” might have been able to squeak out a 3 if they had managed to make some of the visual effects look better but while it’s a step in the right direction, I don’t really need to see where this is going and I hope that my 2 out of 5 will encourage them next time to at least bring in a different director and just ignore the calls from Julian McMahon’s agent.