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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 brianorndorf

"More Silver Surfer, less Julian McMahon is fine by me"
2 stars

2005’s “Fantastic Four” wasn’t only one of the worst films of that year, but it also set the comic book genre back a few steps at the very point it was reaching the perfect realm of tortured, spandexed glory. The film was intended to be the lighter side of crimebustin’, but all I ascertained from those abominable 100 minutes was a new appreciation for those red movie theater exit lights. Thanks to parents who think very little of their kids, a sequel has been commissioned to soak up more allowance money during the summer months. Dare I ask the million-dollar question: could this franchise get any worse?

Now that Doctor Doom (Julian McMahon) has been taken care of, the Fantastic Four – Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), and Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) – have relaxed into their superhero roles and look forward to a life of publicity and potential matrimony. When a metallic-looking alien called The Silver Surfer glides into town promising the end of the world will follow him in the form of a massive planet-swallowing cloud, the team must prepare for battle again to save Earth.

The short answer “Surfer” is an improvement. But when you consider just how radically the last installment misfired, and how punishing the sour comedy contained within was, a leap forward in quality doesn’t rub off on me as a monumental achievement.

Because the first picture was such a hit with little children, “Surfer” is a milder affair, with less in the way of superhero anxiety and ghoulish violence. This is a PG-rated production that’s aimed at younger minds who want nothing more than to see the Four at work and to spot a “cool” villain racing across the screen.

That villain happens to be the Silver Surfer, and as a special effect, he’s...bitchin’, dude. A liquid metal being with sweeping moves on his board of energy, the Surfer is an impressive looking creation, and succeeds as a convincing mystery for our superheroes to solve. However, once Mr. Surfer opens his mouth, the script can’t exactly back up the visuals. Sold as a hopeless romantic who’s locked in slavery by a dangerous whirly cloud-like thing called Galactus, the Surfer’s character arc doesn’t quite hold the weight the effects promise. Surfing down the face of a building or opening bottomless holes in the Earth? Yes! Lamenting the loss of his loved one and trading therapy sessions with Sue? No! But at least when the attention is on the Surfer, it isn’t on the rest of the film.

Granted, the picture is pitched obviously to a younger demographic, but the screenwriters haven’t deviated too far from the original’s lethal sense of humor. Thankfully, Johnny’s raging ego shtick has been watered down, along with other half-baked stabs at slapstick. Yet, the jokester vibe of the film remains, and I still don’t see the appeal. Director Tim Story is very faithful to a bright comic book ambiance (and to an absurd amount of product placement - why would Thing drink a Slurpee?), but the humor is dreadful (like a sixth grade class clown polished the script) and if “Surfer” was reaching for a mood of threat or sympathy, the comedy bits have destroyed any chance of those ideas successfully landing on the screen.

What really curdles the film is the return of Doctor Doom, played once again with supreme mediocrity by McMahon. Through the actor’s interpretation, Doom is a sleepy scoundrel; a villain more interested in his close-up than the hurt he wants to lay on the Four. It’s a terrible performance from a terrible actor in a needless role from a needless movie. Who needs Galactus when you’ve got Julian McMahon trying to express menace? Any planet would willingly die to be spared another scene of his dreadful pea-shooter intimidation.

“Rise of the Silver Surfer” is a livelier picture than the original film, and with all that origin nonsense out of the way, we do see the team busting out their powers for more than just a couple of brief sequences. As much as Story and his crew have worked to top the first film, they still lean far too much on a cancerous sense of whimsy and superhero humiliation to corral a feeling of friendliness that family audiences might accept. The “Four” franchise doesn’t need to be pitch black to have integrity, but some dignity would be nice for a change.

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originally posted: 06/15/07 16:28:04
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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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