I've always liked the Fantastic Four. I loved reading the comics (even though I'm not a big comic reader) and enjoyed the 70's cartoon. I didn't find the Fantastic Four film released in 2005 to be that great, but I enjoyed it enough. I was too damn busy to check out the sequel in theatres, so I'm reviewing it on DVD. Did "Rise of the Silver Surfer" clobber the original into the ground or suck on a "Catwoman" level?
I will admit right away this film didn't blow me like I was hoping it would. I was hoping for an "X2" like situation. X-Men was decent but X2 completely blew that film away, I loved it. "Rise of the Silver Surfer" is not a bad film though. The film provided me with enough comic book type entertainment for 92 minutes and I was never bored. I can see why the movie is so short; the movie focuses directly on the story without any annoying subplots to muck up the works. Pacing wise, this film works. I loved how the Silver Surfer looked and moved in the film and he has to be one of the best "comics to film" transitions I have seen. The Human Torch vs. Silver Surfer scene was badass! I might be hated by comic fans for this but I thought director Tim Story did a smart thing on how he portrayed Galactus. I don't think a big guy in a purple suit would have worked on film and Tim Story realized that and gave us a, IMO a Galactus that worked. Much like the first movie the humor is one of the best aspects of the film. The banter between The Human Torch and The Thing is hilarious and the power switch stuff involving The Human Torch had me in stitches. My personal favorite part of the film is the final half hour of the film which gives us the action we've been waiting for (more on it that below). Seeing the fantastic car in action, Doctor Doom doing this thing and The Human Torch going "Super Skrull" on Doctor Doom were all exciting to see. Tag to that great special FX, a good cast and solid directing, "Rise of the Silver Surfer" works on an entertainment level and is better then you would think.
Ioan Gruffudd (Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic) does a better job here then he did in the original. He manages to have some fun this time around and does a great job. Jessica Alba (Sue Storm/Invisible Girl), besides the creepy blue eyes, does a good job. I found her "likable". Chris Evans (Johnny Storm/ Human Torch) is literally fantastic. He perfectly portrays The Human Torch's brash and thrill seeking from the comics. Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm/The Thing) is also perfect as The Thing and echoes the comic character to a T. Julian McMahon (Victor Von Doom/Doctor Doom) does good as Victor but his line delivery when he's Doctor Doom is off. He does "ok" overall.
Tim Story's directing is solid and the movie looks great. Some scenes lack energy but overall a good job.
John Ottman's score is mostly forgettable with some themes sticking out to me. Decent.
Any negatives? The movie needed more action sequences, we only get 2 big scenes and that's it. Also the final fight between The Human Torch and Doctor Doom was too quick, I wanted more of it! It would also been nice to see The Fantastic Four actually saving the day in the opening or something, like stopping bank robbers. That's one fault of the short running time. Also, much like the first movie Victor doesn't appear as Doctor Doom until the very end. I would love to see a Fantastic Four film where he is Doctor Doom throughout the entire movie. And I'm pissed that Doom is only in Latveria for 2 scenes. I wanted more of him there. Also Kerry Washington (Alicia Masters) is criminally underused once again.
"Rise of the Silver Surfer" is not a great comic book movie but it's entertaining from beginning to end. I would love to see a Silver Surfer solo film and another Fantastic Four film, but truthfully with someone else but Tim Story directing. If you enjoyed the 2005 film, I recommend this.