Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
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|Popcorn Review by Bill Ramey, aka "Jett."
He is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM
July 10, 2007
I don’t like MARVEL except for Spider-Man. And The Hulk. I like them and THAT’S IT!
I’m a “DC GUY” by-gosh! Would you expect anything less? BUT…
…I am a big advocate of live-action movies based on any comic book and/or superhero. Just because I’m not a “MARVEL/DARK HORSE/IMAGE/WILDSTORM/WHATEVER Guy” doesn’t mean that I don’t look forward to seeing their films. The problem is that most of the suck and suck hard. With the exclusion of the SPIDER-MAN, the first two BLADE movies, and the X-MEN series, name me one more MARVEL-based film that didn’t blow.
MARVEL churns out shit -- movie-wise -- more than a cow in a field full of grass. Shall I name them? OK, I will: DAREDEVIL, ELECTRA, BLADE TRINITY, GHOST RIDER, and THE PUNISHER, ring a bell? And they’ve got sequels of those last two in the works plus something in development with every damn character in their catalogue!
Hell, DC (which is wear my allegiance lies -- DISCLAIMER!) isn’t innocent either. Does STEEL, CATWOMAN, and (I’m embarrassed to include it) BATMAN AND ROBIN ring a bell? Nevertheless, this isn’t about my DC, or F’n MARVEL really. It’s about the latest “comic book movie” into the world of cinema, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER.
I went into this film wanting to -- and thinking I would -- hate it. That last movie was just F’n cheese deluxe to me -- sort of like the BATMAN FOREVER of Marvel films (DISCLAIMER: I actually like BF, but I get why many despise it. Sort of ironic, isn’t it?). Anyway…
…I didn’t hate it. In fact, I quite enjoyed it -- especially the final act of the film. I’ll admit that it started off slow and I did look at my watch more than once during Act 1, but it slowly picked up steam and really kicked into gear the last 2/3 of this flick.
Here is the overall plot synopsis in a nutshell:
The “Fantastic 4” are now celebrities and still doing their thing and are headquartered in a big-ass “Fantastic Building” in New York. Reed Richards and Sue are about to be married, Ben is content with his life as “The Thing” and his hot -- but blind -- girlfriend, and Johnny Storm is totally revealing in his celebrity as “The Human Torch.”
Here’s the Monkey Wrench:
This “Silver Surfer” dude is, well, surfing all over the Earth and hell is breaking out wherever he appears. However ,we find out that he is only the harbinger of doom and is but a pawn of this “Galactus” character. Galactus is -- I guess -- a big-ass cloud thing that eats and destroys planets.
And the planet now on his agenda? Earth.
So what did I think? “Mr. Comic Book Movie Guy?” Here you go…
It’s better than the first one. My problem is that F4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER can’t decide whether or not it is a kid/family movie or a flick simply wanting to get a rise out of the post-kid/pre-adult crowd. It seems that it wants to be the latter, but throws in an “ass” comment or some sort of sexual innuendo that is just enough to make a 14 year old laugh like Beavis and Butthead.
Is it corny, cheesy, and totally unrealistic? Yes, and it should be that way. So don’t shoot the pooch by throwing in a bunch of teenage nonsense. I will give them props for not giving us shots of Jessica Alba’s boobs just for the sake of it this time around. Not that I have a problem with her boobs, but again, decide what kind of “super hero” film you want to be, and stay with it.
Who’s good? The Silver Surfer is the star of the show. Chris Evans as Johnny Storm and Michael Chiklas as The Thing are the best of the group. The star of the show is Doug Jones/Lawrence Fishburne as The Silver Surfer. This could almost be titled “The Silver Surfer and The Fantastic 4.” I thought the character stole the show, so props to the Jones/Fishburne combination .
Jessica Alba gives you what you expect from her -- and I don’t mean that as a knock on her. But what is the deal with the crappy wig and bizarre-looking blue contacts? Girl, you are hot! Dye that hair and don’t let ‘em put cheap-ass-looking contacts in your eyes next time! I’m sorry, they look like the ones that teenage girls pop in their eyes when the go to the mall.
Ioan Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic is alright. He doesn’t suck, but he doesn’t make you stand up and cheer for him either. Reed is what, a “brilliant scientist” who can stretch his limbs and disco with the best of them? Wow.
Despite what I’ve written -- which sounds like I totally hate this movie -- I actually liked it. There needs to be more “comic book” films like this one for the younger generation. All 3 of my children loved this movie -- and that is where the problem is found. Don’t be a “kid’s super hero film” for 98% of the time, and the decide to throw in some “asses” just to make Beavis giggle.