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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

USA / Germany / UK 2007
produced by
Avi Arad, Bernd Eichinger, Ralph Winter, Michael Barnathan (executive), Chris Columbus (executive), Kevin Feige (executive), Stan Lee (executive), Mark Radcliffe (executive) for 20th Century Fox, Constantin Film, Marvel Comics, 1492 Pictures
directed by Tim Story
starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Andre Braugher, Doug Jones, Laurence Fishburne (voice), Beau Garrett, Brian Posehn, Zach Grenier, Dawn Chubai, Chris Gailus, Kevin McNulty, Andy stahl, Debbie Timuss, Moneca Delain, Crystal Lowe, Kenneth Welch, Vanessa Minnillo, Alicia Thorgrimsson, Valerie Tian, Jeanna Haddow, Ali Costigan, Patricia Harras, Gonzalo Menendez, Suzanne Ristic, Giuliana DePandi, Lauren Sanchez, Malcolm Boddington, Cole Landels, Cameron Cleary, Stan Lee, Silver Butler, Michasa Armstrong, Hitoshi Ikezaki, Peter Kawasaki, Fareed Abdelhak
story by John Turman, Mark Frost, screenplay by Don Payne, Mark Frost, based on the Marvel Comics-comicbook created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist), music by John Ottman, special effects by Spectral Motion Inc, Giant Killer Robots, digital effects by Weta Digital, Hydraulx, The Orphanage, Hammerhead Productions, Digiscope, G Creative Solutions, Lola Visual Effects, Sandbox Pictures, CafeFX, Pixel Playground, Custom Film Effects, Svengali Visual Effects, Soho VFX, Image Engine Design, Gentle Giant Studios, XYZ-RGB, RotoFactory, miniature effects by Dave Asling

Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Earth is in peril, threatened by some surfer-like being that has visited various worlds which all were utterly destroyed following his visit. So an army bigshot, General Hager (Andre Braugher) asks scientist Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) for assistance - but Richards refuses, as he is about to marry his girlfriend Sue Storn (Jessica Alba) ... and from here on we are treated with an overlong sequence of wedding preparations that almost brings the film to a halt. And since Richards is also moonlighting for the gouvernment a bit, we are also treated to endless arguments between him and Sue, and ultimately they decide to leave their team of superheroes, the titular Fantastic Four - featuring besides Richards, who has an amazingly elastic body, and Sue, who can turn herself invisible and create forcefields, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), who can turn himself into a human torch and has the ability to fly, and Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), who is superstrong and impervious to bullets but looks like a monster.

Finally, the wedding is on, but it is interrupted by the arrival of the surfer-like being, dubbed the Silver Surfer (played by Dough Jones but voiced by Laurence Fishburne), who ... well, interrupts the wedding by flying by. Johnny quickly turns into flame-mode and flies after him - but when the two literally bump into each other, Johnny temporarily loses his powers but is now able to exchange superpowers with anyone else of his teammates.

Eventually, the Fantastic Four figure that the Surfer's superpowers emmanate from his surfboard, so they look for a way to seperate him from his board and contain both of them ... and to that end, the army has brought in the Four's deadly enemy Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon) - who, need I say it, wants to use the surfboard for his own ends, which are, it seems, evil by definition (though it is never explained what his own ends might actually be other than fighting the Fantastic Four).

Of course, the Fantastic Four and Doom manage to capture the Surfer and seperate him from his board, and of course, Doom eventually manages to steal the board to ... well, surf, I think. But then Sue talks to the Surfer and finds out that he is not the villain of the piece but merely a herald for Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, an energy being that devours worlds, and since the Surfer was only forced to be the herald, it is easy for Sue to talk him out of it and win him over to the side of good - but unfortunately, without his board the Surfer is nothing, so the Fantastic Four have to fight Doom to get the board back - which is ultimately achieved when Johnny absorbs all of his teammates powers and goes one on one with surfing Doom - and of course, he manages to get the board back while it's not clear what happens to Doom.

In the course of the fight, Sue has lost her life because she protected the Surfer, but the Surfer is so moved by this tiny gesture that, once he has his board back, he revives her, then he goes against Galactus, destroying them both in the process - though it's not clear how, this story arc is merely resolved by an explosion.

And just when you thought it was over we are treated to Sue and Reed marrying yet again, this time without interruption.

 


The Silver Surfer and Galactus are amongst the coolest characters of Marvel's Fantastic Four comics, but while the Silver Surfer is at least given something to do, Galactus, in the comics a being resembling a giant robot, is reduced to a form of energy - which is a major disappointment. Another disappointment is the incredibly weak script: Instead of concentrating on the main plot, which is pretty much about the end of the world, the film is sidetracked by endless scenes of wedding preparations and incredibly clichéd arguments about relationships and such, while another subplot - Doom and the surfboard - fails to get much attention at all. Add to this a disappointing finale, no giant robot, and the same weak cast (except for Julian McMahon) that also was in Fantastic Four from 2 years ago, and you are left with pretty little.

Definitely not worth your while.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

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special appearances by
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directed by
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written by
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produced by
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now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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