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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.13%
Worth A Look: 20.21%
Average: 27.66%
Pretty Bad: 17.02%
Total Crap32.98%

9 reviews, 40 user ratings

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Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
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by EricDSnider

"Not nearly as awful as the last one was! That's progress!"
3 stars

As far as "sequels to bad movies that no one wanted to see a sequel to" go, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" isn't bad. It's a vast improvement over 2005's laughably dim-witted superhero tale, though it still lacks any major high-stakes excitement or surprises. In fact, it's still not very good at all. But at least it's not aggressively stupid! Baby steps, people.

Again directed by Tim Story, who apparently can never turn off the light touch he exercised on the comedies "Barbershop" and "Taxi," even when he should, the sequel begins with Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) preparing to marry. The Fantastic Four are media celebrities, though, and they live under constant scrutiny, making a private wedding hard to plan. Plus, they're always being pulled away to save the world and whatnot.

Sue, who can turn invisible and make forcefields, wonders if she and Reed and can raise a family under these circumstances. Reed, whose body can stretch unbreakably in any direction, has a hard time getting out of scientist mode and cutting loose. Sue's brother, Johnny (Chris Evans), uses his fame to date supermodels and secure endorsement deals. In fact, call him John: "Focus-testing showed that 'Johnny' skewed a little young," he says. And Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), made of rocks and empowered with mighty clobbering capabilities, um, has a girlfriend. That's sort of all that's going on with him.

Into this mildly interesting realm of vague tension comes something slightly more dire: THE WORLD IS GOING TO BE DESTROYED! But don't worry, not yet. In a few days. See, there's this alien being called the Silver Surfer (body of Doug Jones; voice of Laurence Fishburne) who can move through solid things and change matter on a molecular level, and he has a pattern of going from planet to planet, and after he arrives at a planet, eight days later it's toast. So, you know, they'll need to stop him.

(By the way, the Silver Surfer character first appeared in the "Fantastic Four" comic books in 1966. I assume it happened because Stan Lee said, "Hey, you know what the kids are into these days? Surfing! Somebody work on that!")

But what about Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), the Four's archenemy, you ask? Turns out he's not as dead as he was believed to be, and now, thanks to his possessing exactly one piece of useful information about the Silver Surfer, the U.S. military is letting him work with the Four on developing a plan to stop the madness. Naturally, he has a double-cross in mind.

The screenplay is by Mark Frost, who cowrote the last one, and Don Payne, who wrote "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." That movie wasn't very good, either, but it had its moments, and bringing Payne onboard puts the "Fantastic Four" on the right track. There are some actual laughs in "Rise of the Silver Surfer," mostly situational, as the superheroes deal with using their powers in an ordinary world. The "Spider-Man" films, in particular, have shown how to mix the comic and dramatic in a superhero story, and it goes a long way toward making your audience feel connected to your characters.

So now that the humor angle is covered, what this franchise needs is to figure out how to raise the stakes and be deeply serious when deep seriousness is called for. Despite the fate of the world being threatened, nothing in the film ever feels tense or important. There are no epic battles, no real life-or-death scenarios. It could easily be a two-part episode of a "Fantastic Four" TV series -- and a blockbuster summer action movie ought to be much more intense than that. These flat, emotionless characters just aren't going to cut it.

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originally posted: 06/15/07 15:37:56
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User Comments

9/23/14 jeff This sucked 1 stars
2/21/14 brian I love the Silver Surfer. This is barely him. Reboot. 3 stars
10/28/13 Sissy Gifford Ugh. Low humor, predictable plot, and absolutely no heart. Skip this one. 2 stars
11/20/10 fartvenugen mind numbingly pooptastic 1 stars
8/02/08 mr.mike Saw it on cable, better than the first one, more humor.. 4 stars
6/22/08 David V Could've been as bad as the first one. 3 stars
10/20/07 Pauline Burns Who's the Silver Surfer? Loved him!! Great film! 4 stars
10/17/07 mb Goofy Fun 3 stars
10/01/07 Andrew Kercher Fun, but corny and overdone. Good SFX but some bad acting. 3 stars
9/15/07 dude fantastic bore 1 stars
8/12/07 Jimmy Close Encounters I want a Silver Surfer -- serious, dark, philosophical, riveting 3 stars
8/04/07 dave Much better than Spiderman 3 - more fun, zero crying scenes, great SFX. Great popcorn film. 4 stars
8/02/07 Angie This movie is the epitome of teh word "crap" 1 stars
7/22/07 mike pretty lame. the previews looked kinda cool but this was just boring with a gay ending 1 stars
7/08/07 Tom Servo It's the Fantastic 4-the lamest league of super losers ever created by Marvel= F- 1 stars
7/03/07 Galactus One awful movie for 2007, Could sweep the Raspberry awards! 1 stars
7/03/07 Lewis Shuler Those five Stars are for "SS" ONLY. as for the rest"1" 5 stars
7/03/07 Jan Enjoyable. A lot better than I expected 4 stars
7/01/07 Bloody Hell I commend you for your ability to sit through that piece of shit. 1 stars
6/29/07 Ole Man Bourbon The FX seemed behind that of Terminator 2. Boring and silly. 2 stars
6/29/07 JLP with I character like SS, it had GREAT potential, too bad for the unimaginative writters. 1 stars
6/25/07 Dc sux blls the writer doesnt knoww a dam thing about marvel galactus isnt a fucking cloud, dicks 4 stars
6/25/07 Kabuki_Jo Pathetic review. The movie, besides a few plotholes, is great 4 stars
6/24/07 Batman1955 Made me glad I'm a DC fan 2 stars
6/24/07 aidan great film loved it it was brill u could say that i would give it 4 and a half BRILLENT!! 4 stars
6/23/07 Marvel Zombie Dumb, cheesy, forgettable. Alba's ass looks great, it's just not worth it 1 stars
6/23/07 Dan Great comic fun. I don't understand why it's fashionable to dislike FF but laud Spiderman. 5 stars
6/22/07 Nine A drepressing waste of a few hours 1 stars
6/21/07 Phil Kuhla Tell Stan Lee to stop making Marvel movies because 90% of them suck!!! 1 stars
6/19/07 Moni The Silver Surfer had the potential to be cool...mishandled and miscasted! 2 stars
6/18/07 bullit16 Truly, truly awful 1 stars
6/17/07 MP Bartley Better than Spider-Man 3. Go figure. 3 stars
6/16/07 Joebo The Roger Corman Film with a new title! 3 stars
6/16/07 D Unbelievably bad, and not in the "its so bad its good" sense either 1 stars
6/16/07 Blizz Even WORSE than the first one! I didn't think that was possible!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
6/15/07 Vincent Ebriega Good as a summer action blockbuster, and not a source of much sense. 3.5/5. 3 stars
6/15/07 Saladhats Fantastic Hugs: Rise of the Lame 1 stars
6/15/07 Anthony G Worst movie in years, and that's saying alot. I am a surfer fan, and this movie is trash. 1 stars
6/15/07 DonnyM worst Movie of the Year. Worst Comic Book Movie. 1 stars
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  15-Jun-2007 (PG)
  DVD: 02-Oct-2007

  15-Jun-2007 (PG)

  21-Jun-2007 (PG)

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