Rated PG for sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.
Directed By: Tim Story
Written By: Mark Frost and Don Payne
All that you know, is at an end. -The Silver Surfer
The Silver Surfer, a new villain has interrupted the second attempt of Reed and Sue’s marriage. They discover the Silver Surfer is destroying the planet and is actually a subordinate of a greater power. While working with the military they discover they have not been the only people recruited for assistance. Dr. Doom is alive and well and aiding the government. The Fantastic Four can’t figure out his motive yet, but they are certain it’s only a matter of time before he turns on them all. With Armageddon a near certainty and the Silver Surfer and his board the key, the Four must achieve goals they never imagined before.
One impressive leap this film made in comparison to it’s predecessor was taking on a much larger force for the quartet to battle against. The mix of an old nemesis and a new mysterious foe putting the world at large in a precarious balance of survival vs. demise made Rise Of The Silver Surfer less excruciating to take in. This time around there was an entire film stocked full of great CGI action sequences and a inclining suspense that lasted until the very predictable conclusion.
The positive improvements end there. Where the first film lacked, the second conceded it’s losing battle against super hero tales far superior to it. The character’s continued to lack any growth. If possible, Jessica Alba turned out an even worse performance, and I’m still not impressed with Ioan Gruffud or his unforgivable dance performance at his bachelor party. It was the equivalent of Saved By The Bell with super powers. At least Ben Grimm was a lot more fun in this version, though his character felt more like a supporting role than one of the team. Again, the best character was The Human Torch, but even his charismatic style lacked a bit in this film, with him being lonely? What was that about? Let the man be a playboy for craps sake! He was the one redeeming character in the first film, and the writers and director nearly destroyed that in this film.
The Silver Surfer had the opportunity to become a really wicked villain with more of a history than: “I’m doing this to save my world, and the one I love.” Ok, so they didn’t want to delve into the complexity of his character, then Tim Story could have opted to let him remain this elusive bad guy that stays untouchable and some other circumstance motivates him to go after the big bad. That didn’t happen either. Instead Dr. Doom comes back. While I enjoyed Julian McMahon’s interpretation of him in the first film, he should have been left out of this sequel and maybe left for another one. Then there is yet ANOTHER ominous villain that isn’t revealed until part three of the tale. There are just too many “bad guys” to split hairs between to really give any of them the necessary terror quality needed to emphasize a real impending doom, cool special effects or no.
- Ioan Gruffud as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic
- Jessica Alba as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman
- Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/Human Torch
- Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing
- Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom/ Dr. Doom
- Kerry Washington as Alicia Masters
- Andre Braugher as General Hager
- Laurence Fishbourne as The Silver Surfer (voice)
- Doug Jones as The Silver Surfer
Jessica Alba is relentlessly annoying in this sequel. The addition of her glasses making her “smarter”, and her pre-wedding anxieties become a train wreck of astronomical proportions. Her inability to deliver a simple line is difficult enough, but give her complicated emotions and you have a contorted face of confusion. Unfortunately The Silver Surfer’s role was largely underwritten. Laurence Fishbourne doing the voice was definitely a cool bonus, but even so his voice didn’t flow naturally with the character. Reed continued to be as bland and dull as he was in the first film. In fact, the character performances pretty much mimic the first film.
Ratings and Suggestions
Though this sequel improved in the overall category it still lacked in so many supporting ones that I could not say it was any better or worse than it’s original. The action sequences and CGI leave make it fast paced enough to tolerate some of the more mind numbing moments. If you liked the first one, then this one will appeal to you. It’s just more of the same and just like the first, I resort to only two out of Four stars and would suggest they leave the series as is, unless some new writers or a director is taken on. A rental is acceptable money spent, but not a theatre viewing and certainly not a purchase.