Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Fantastic Four : Rise of the Silver Surfer

directed by Tim Story

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer poster  
Fantastic Four : Rise of the Silver Surfer begins with the explosive destruction of a planet somewhere in the galaxy. Out of this inferno a silver streak emerges, a humanoid figure flying towards Earth like the god of all die-cast action figures.

Meanwhile, Reed Richards and Susan Storm are due to marry. The Fantastic Four are famous, whether they like it or not, and this wedding will be a very public affair. Susan Storm, a.k.a. the Invisible Girl, wants her husband-to-be to give his full attention to their wedding. But Richards is asked by the army to build a sensor to track strange phenomena that have been occurring around the globe. Susan's chances of having a perfect wedding look slim.

The Silver Surfer has been all around the Earth, changing the climate and leaving mysterious craters in his wake. Although he looks humanoid, except for his all-silver skin, clearly he's an alien in possession of advanced technology. He can travel through solid objects, fly, and he's more than a match for any one of the Fantastic Four. One touch from him is enough to knock Johnny Storm's powers out of kilter.

Victor von Doom makes a rather improbable return in this movie, given the events of the previous film. The four don't trust Victor, but given the threat posed by the Silver Surfer they may have no choice but to work with him. Nothing less is at stake than the need to save the whole world from complete annihilation. This isn't a movie that deals in half-measures.

As with the first Fantastic Four movie, the Human Torch provides a lot of the comic relief. He's every bit the incorrigible skirt-chaser and attention-seeker as before, and he's eager to cash in on the group's fame. The funniest moments in this movie are generally when he gets shown up and put in his place.

Rise of the Silver Surfer may be fast-paced, but it's essentially a very simple story that focuses on the importance of teamwork. It's action-packed and laden with impressive effects. Yet we only get very brief glimpses of the Silver Surfer's character, and no real insight into his thoughts or emotions. Aside from a few jokes the dialogue doesn't sparkle, and at a mere 88 minutes of running time this film is too short to get truly carried away by.

The end result is very much a standard Hollywood offering (and by that I mean brain-dead pap with lots of explosions, chases and fights), and it lacks subtlety and depth. Stan Lee's cameo seems to sum this film up: Lee is kept out of an event by a doorman because he isn't on the guest list. Rise of the Silver Surfer seems to belong outside the ranks of decent Marvel adaptations with all the riff-raff as well.

Film Details

Year: 2007

Categories: Films

  Kids     Science fiction

Classification: PG

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2 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson