Thursday, January 10, 2008

REVIEW: Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer

Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer

Year: 2007
Director: Tim Story
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Laurence Fishburne
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
MPAA: Rated PG

Fantastic Four debut in 2005 and grossed about $330 million worldwide so it was only a matter of time on when a sequel will hit. Out comes Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer only 2 years after the first film. When the sequel hit, everyone was expecting it to be a great successor to the original and grossing about $288 million worldwide, it didn't really deliver. The sequel made less than the original and was knocked down from critics. So I had to see for myself. I didn't get the chance to see the film in theaters since I was very busy so I picked up the DVD version. After reviewing the first Fantastic Four, I wasn't expecting much from this sequel.

Plot Outline:
As Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Susan Storm (Jessica Alba) prepare for their wedding, several meteors slam into Earth creating anomalies such as frozen lakes and power outages. General Hager (Andre Brauger) asks Richards for help. Reed soon realizes that the Silver Surfer (Laurence Fishburne) is responsible and his team should find him and solve the mystery. The situation becomes worse when Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) has his powers disrupted by touching the Surfer. Then there is the matter of Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) who tried to kill the Fantastic Four in the first film, but is willing to help them stop the Surfer this time. It is up to the Fantastic Four and Doom to stop the Surfer from destroying Earth.

The story for Rise of the Silver Surfer isn't a very good one. Just like the first film, the plot isn't well explained. There are many questions I still do not have answers to after watching this film. The fact that the story isn't well compared to the comics ain't a good thing either. I'm glad that Silver Surfer was introduced into the film because the last film was lacking a good villain, but even the Surfer himself is mysterious and we don't get to know where did he come from. We get NO glimpse of Galactus even though it was probably one of the reasons why the fans went to go see the film. The story to me feels the same as the first film, still un-interesting and lacks a good plot. It may be better than the first film, but it still disappoints.

The cast for Rise of the Silver Surfer is kind of a mixed bag. As with the first film, I didn't find the cast great. Just like the first film, I feel that Jessica Alba is not a good Sue Storm. She doesn't look the part and looks even worse in this film with a new blond hair due and blue eyes. As for the other cast, they still didn't show enough emotion. There wasn't any chemistry between the cast members. Laurence Fishburne voicing the Surfer is a bad choice in my opinion. His voice doesn't look right to voice the Surfer, its alittle too deep. Ioan Gruffudd did look alittle like he was more in control in this film compared to the first one. He looked like he was having a good time. I thought the cast was disappointing in the first film and its still not different here.

The special effects in the film are much more cooler to watch in motion. After seeing the first 20 minutes of the film, I thought the visuals weren't that much improved from the last film, but as the film progressed so did the visual effects. I hate to admit it, but the last 25 minutes of the film were quite breath-taking. The locations of the scenes look very detailed and wonderful to just simply look at. The Silver Surfer looks great with his CGI and diverse look. He looks very shiny and well produced. The weather effects also look gorgeous with the clouds and winds boasting some of the best weather effects I have seen in a movie. The visuals are definitely a notch higher than they were in the first film.

The soundtrack for the film isn't doesn't compare to the visuals. Just like the first film, the sequel just doesn't have that powerful score like feel in its music. Their are hardly any music in the film with most of the scenes being filled with either dialogue or heavy use of bass. This isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it would have been really nice if the film had some great music to go with the great visuals. The music we do have in the film is alright, but I guess I was expecting more. The bass is simply rocking and packs quite a punch. Its easily reference material and one that should please people with surround sounds.

In the end, Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer feels like another missed out sequel that could have been so much better, but failed somewhere down the line. Although the film had a pretty bad story with an un-favorable cast, I found the film to be pretty entertaining. This film isn't perfect by all means, but its alot better than the first film. With great visual effects and thumping bass surround, the film makes a pretty decent popcorn flick. I wouldn't call it great or anything like that, but it is somewhat entertaining. I probably suggest you rent it or at least give it a look.

Grade: C

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