Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

I watched the first Fantastic Four film a few months ago and wrote about it here. My conclusion was that it was a fairly mediocre but entertaining film that seemed true to the tone of the source material. The sequel features the same cast and director, and is more of the same.

The story once again juggles its characters, their relationships, and a threat to humanity. This time, Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) is about to marry Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) but have problems because of their super-hero lifestyles and celebrity status. Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), meanwhile, worries about ending up alone as a result of his immature and outrageous behaviour, while Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) continues his relationship with the blind Alicia Masters (Kerry Washington). The arrival of the mysterious and seemingly unstoppable Silver Surfer (Doug Jones and the voice of Laurence Fishburne) causes chaos as he creates massive craters around the world to prepare it for his master, the planet eating Galactus. An old enemy, Doctor Doom (Julian McMahon), returns and joins the Fantastic Four to help stop Galactus, but he may have ulterior motives.

And that is the gist of it. In a nutshell. Oh, there's also a subplot about Johnny being affected by the Surfer resulting in his powers being swapped with one of the other FF whenever he touches them, an effect that is milked dry for comedic effect.

There's nothing much to really say about this sequel that differs from what I said about the first one. It's definitely much bigger in scope, but the FF action is again mostly unspectacular. The Silver Surfer sequences, however, fare better and the finale which predominantly features him is far more satisfying dramatically than that of the first one. Tonally this film is again similar, being a mix of light hearted drama and comedy although the comedy aspects aren't as funny, mostly because Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm seem to have less screen time. Nonetheless, both Chiklis and Evans still deliver performances that are on a par with part one. Ioan Gruffud is a bit better this time around, a bit more assertive and slightly more convincing as a leader. Alba and McMahon sadly don't deliver anything beyond what they brought to the table the last time. The visual effects are also once again mixed, though the Silver Surfer isn't half bad and Fishburne's somber voice works for the character despite being initially distracting.

All in all, it's unspectacular, unmoving, and will fade from memory fairly quickly, but is not bad as a light hearted piece of disposable entertainment. I'm not exactly looking forward to any more sequels from this franchise to be honest, but if one does come along, I'll probably check it out.

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