Friday, July 06, 2007

Popcorn for One: Fantastic Four -Rise of the Silver Surfer


I don’t have as much to say about this film as I did about 1408. Partly, because everybody else has blogged and reviewed the movie to death from every possible angle. Also, if you have already seen the movie you know how you felt about it and if you don’t want to see it I doubt I’ll change your mind.

If you are at all familiar with the Fantastic Four mythos you already know that the Silver Surfer, once Norrin Radd, became the herald for the entity known as Galactus in order to save his own planet. Endowed with cosmic power beyond imagining the Surfer seeks out planets upon which Galactus may feed. Since Mars, Venus and every other planet in the neighborhood just doesn’t have the right nutritional value the Surfer chooses our own world and this doesn’t sit right with certain people.

Naturally, the government picks one of the few people that Dr. Reed Richards doesn’t get along with to be the person to request his assistance. Adding insult to injury the government also forces Richards & Co. to work with the man who tried to kill them several times. Basically, we get several story arcs from the FF’s first few years tied together into a single movie. Not only do we get the introduction of the Surfer, but also a later plot which involved Doctor Doom stealing the Surfer’s power and board.

If you liked the first movie in this series you will absolutely love this one. If, like most folks, you felt lukewarm about the film or didn’t care for that initial entry you might be pleasantly surprised. Put me in that second category. I didn’t think the first FF was much better than the low budget & never officially released Roger Corman version that has been available on bootleg for years. I actually thought that this second film captured some of the spirit and sense of family that the best issues of the comic series always had.

I’ll not give anything away, but you probably already know that the FF win and the Earth is not destroyed. Two things happen during the closing scenes, which set up events for future films. Sadly, the worst performance in the film is once again by Julian McMahon in the role of Victor Von Doom. There just is no sense of menace and certainly he doesn’t come across as the dominant personality we see in the comics. There is already talk of a Silver Surfer movie, so that may take some of the suspense out of the movie for you.

Not saying you should run out, but I think you might enjoy this on DVD when that is released or on the premium cable stations when it pops up in a few months. Personally, I think I’dl actually pay to see a third film in the theatre as well.
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