By Laurence Washington
"Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer" is a better movie than its lack luster predecessor.
That is, what I saw of it.
I was seated in front of a family of four who spent more time kicking the back of my seat and excusing themselves to go to the bathroom, than watching the film. In fact the whole theater was full of kids, which should have been my first clue that this latest comic book fair is kid stuff despite it’s PG rating.
That being said, there’s actually a storyline this time, and the special effects no longer look cheap. But you can’t have it all, the dialogue is still clunky and the lead characters are devoid of any personality or a chance to act in any hard-hitting dramatic sequences. Even co-stars Laurence Fishburne (the voice of the Silver Surfer), Andre Braugher and Kerry Washington’s characters are given little to do despite their enormous talents. Director Tim Story spent most of his budget on the real star of the show – special effects.
So with the housekeeping stuff out of the way, here’s the story: Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) are about to have the Wedding of the Century. However, their nuptials are interrupted by the messenger of Galactus – the Silver Surfer. When the Silver Surfer appears, earth-shattering events happened – snow in the Middle East, frozen oceans in Japan, blackouts in North America and planets die within eight days.
The Silver Surfer informs Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch (Chris Evans) and rock-solid The Thing (Michael Chiklis), who are trying to live normal lives, that his planet-hungry master is coming to destroy the Earth. And if that isn’t enough, a rejuvenated Dr. Doom aka Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) drops by for house call. Those combinations make "Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer" an enjoyable summer sci-fi popcorn flick.
The sleek Silver Surfer who rides a rad surfboard is fantastic, as is the introduction of the foursome’s flying vehicle – The Fantasticar which punctuates the point that the real star of the show are the special effects.