Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Doug Jones as The Silver Surfer
FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (2007). Director: Tim Story.

In this sequel to Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffud) and the Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba) are about to get married. Their wedding day, unfortunately, is interrupted by the arrival of a silver flying alien popularly known as the Silver Surfer (Doug Jones; voiced by Laurence Fishburne). In one of the movie's best sequences, the Surfer and the Human Torch (Chris Evans of Captain America: The Winter Soldier) engage in high-flying battle over Manhattan, near the Washington monument, and inside the Holland (or is it Lincoln?) tunnel. But there are other problems besides the Surfer -- Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) has stolen his cosmic surfboard; the members of the FF suddenly find themselves switching powers; and it develops that the Surfer is only the Herald of an energy-absorbing monstrous mass known as Galactus who intends to suck the earth dry. While the film's conception of Galactus is disappointing, the Surfer is well visualized, and the film is a more than acceptable popcorn movie. Sometimes the picture is a little too light-hearted for its own good, although it never quite becomes high-camp. The fourth member of the team is the Thing (Michael Chiklis). Although McMahon can be a touch hammy, he is effective as "Dr. Doom," and the other actors all do a nice job as their comic book counterparts. There were only two films in this FF series, which has just been rebooted with a completely different cast.

Verdict: Fun, with good FX and action sequences, if perhaps a touch too lightweight. ***.

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