To further complicate matters, Doctor Doom returns from being a frozen statue to further pester our heroes. He is brought in to help deal with the threat of the Silver Surfer, but can Doom really be trusted?
“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” is rated for sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.
Everything that worked in the first movie is still here. Chris Evans is still a great Johnny Storm and his horseplay with The Thing is still fun comedy relief. They have also emphasized the humor and dropped the camp. A running gag about our heroes switching powers provides some amusing moments, too. Johnny dragging Reed to a bachelor party leads to a fun dance scene with Mr. Fantastic (the second Marvel musical number this summer!). The special effects are also grander and the action scenes are a lot better. They’ve definitely taken advantage of a bigger budget. In short, the creators seem to have taken most of the criticisms of the first film to heart. The end result is a better film.
Obviously a major addition to the series is the Silver Surfer. He’s kind of a mixed bag. He looks exactly like he does in the comics. Scenes of him floating in space should send Surfer comic fans into happy little squeals of glee. However, when he flies around Earth, he looks a little too much like the T-1000 for comfort. The added effect of him flying through objects or morphing with his board further emphasizes the similarities (and further changes him from the comics). However, late in the film he loses his shine and interacts more physically with our heroes. It’s those scenes where he looks the best and I suspect a lot of it was makeup effects, not CG. Laurence Fishburne was also OK as the voice, but he had very few lines in the film. The real question is whether or not he was good enough to prompt a Silver Surfer solo movie. To be honest, he was a bit dry in “Rise of the Silver Surfer,” but I think there’s potential for a good sci-fi adventure with him.
One final geek note – Frankie Raye appears in this movie, but she does not become Nova as you might expect. It was a nice touch to add her, though.
If I had the first film to rate over again, I’d give it a 6 out of 10 rather than a 7. I think I was a bit generous rating the first movie a 7. I definitely feel this sequel was a step up from its predecessor, but it didn’t rate an 8. So that’s why I’ve landed on a rating of 7 for “FF2.”
What Didn’t Work:
I was also disappointed by the blatant product placement in the film. Thing holds a Slurpee, Sue watches E! News, etc etc etc. Johnny even makes fun of it at one point by pulling out a suit covered in product endorsements. But things take an absurd dimension when the Fantasticar shows up covered in Dodge logos. Johnny even asks if it has a hemi. It was just too much.
On a final note, Jessica Alba’s blue contact lenses just look plain creepy on the big screen. With all the other departures from the comic books, I would have been OK with them giving Sue brown eyes rather than blue.
The Bottom Line: