Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer *1/2
Directed by Tim Story
Rated PG for sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.
"Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," the newest installment in the summer of sequels, is just as stupid, lame, cartooney, and plot less as the first film from two years ago. Tim Story has made a mockery out of what could have been some of the best superhero films ever. Picking up two years later, we join the Fantastic Four on the eve of the wedding between Reed Richards and Sue Storm-also known as Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman. Fantastic has the power of stretching himself anywhere he wants, and the Invisible Woman. . . well, you can figure that out. Joining them are Johnny Storm-The Human Torch, who can engulf himself in flames-and Ben Grimm-The Thing, who is just a giant rock form of his former self. The Thing has found love with Alicia, who is blind so can see his inner beauty-blah blah blah. And then. . . . disaster strikes as the Earth is being visited by a mysterious silver. . . surfer, who has destroyed a number of planets only after a few days of contact. And when the United States government finds the four's dastardly arch enemy Dr. Doom, they have to try and trust him to destroy the surfer.
There is just way too much silliness going on, and never any type of character development. The only real character that deems some kind of development could be The Thing, but with his blind lady love that inner struggle just pales away. Perhaps in Johnny Storm-the ladies man who watches as all of his friends are in happy relationships-there is some hint of sadness, but that just comes from him being a jerk, and not an inner struggle as a result of his superpowers. And in a ninety minute film-considerably shorter than most of the other summer fare of late, which could be a good thing-there are only two action scenes amidst as the talking. And once again, if the talking had been used to expand on these character-much like the talking throughout "Spider-Man 3"-I would not have minded, but it was just scientific jimber jamber. Seriously, they could just have been saying anything using big words and the audience would still not understand. The acting is extremely horrid-and Jessica Alba still can't be taken seriously as "one of the greatest minds in the country." Michael Chiklis, as The Thing, may be the best performance, but his cheesy jokes placed throughout just ruin it for him. I changed my mind. The best acting work was the three second Stan Lee cameo, which actually made me laugh. And most of all, I just feel bad for The Silver Surfer, who could have had his own movie in a year or two-and yet was reduced to an introduction in this dribble. "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" could be the worst film of the summer. I've given Tim Story his chance to redo his mistakes from one, and instead he gave me more of the same. While this may be slightly better than the first, it isn't saying much.