Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

DVD Reviews | Oct 8th, 2007

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Starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Laurence Fishburne (voice of the Silver Surfer)
Written By: Mark Frost, Don Payne
Directed By: Tim Story
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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Rise of the Silver Surfer picks up where the last Fantastic Four movie left off. The rag tag team of newly formed super heroes have become iconic superstars in the world of modern day New York, right down to the highly publicized and scrutinized upcoming wedding between Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic, played by Gruffudd) and Sue Storm (the Invisible Woman, played by Jessica Alba). As the team prepares for the ill-fated wedding day, a series of bizarre climatic events are happening all around the world, with the apparent cause being some faster than light comet speeding around the globe. The team is ultimately approached by the military to track down and stop this new found menace before it causes any more environmental chaos. They end up refusing to help, saying that they have more important things to do with the wedding coming up.

The wedding day comes, and is interrupted by another climatic event, in which Johnny Storm (the Human Torch, played by Chris Evans) speeds off to chase the culprit. He finally catches up to the Surfer and is quickly beaten and thrown back to Earth. The rest of the film is spent trying to separate the Surfer from his board, his source of power, inevitably with the aid of Victor von Doom (Dr. Doom, played by Julian McMahon) who seeks the board for his own misdeeds.

Being a huge fan of the Marvel universe, I always thought that the Fantastic Four would be my least favorite of potential super hero movies, and with the first film, I wasn’t to far off. You had your bigger than awesome special effects, a gorgeous blonde to ogle at, and a story that really didn’t go beyond the cookie cutter feel of most of these types of movies. This movie, in comparison to its prequel, was leaps and bounds above the quality of the first film, and really felt a lot more fun. It was by no means a thinking man’s movie, but it had enough action and humor to keep me interested enough to watch it a second time. The thing that they definitely did right with this movie was the character development. Sue and Reed’s relationship was further developed into the “nerd getting the hot girl” role. Johnny Storm’s arrogance and narcissism reach their peak and force him into a morality struggle as to whether to be a prick superstar or a team player. Ben Grimm’s larger than life monster on the outside, teddy bear on the inside is pretty much nailed in this one, leaving a well defined character for any potential future sequels.

There are two versions of the DVD out there for you to purchase. You get the bare bones DVD with just commentary or you can get the 2 disc edition with loads of extras. Obviously if you just want the movie, get the standard DVD but if you’re a fan of the comic and the movie; the Power Cosmic edition is the way to go. By the way, what’s with that name? It sounds extremely cheesy!

If you are into popcorn fluff and some very cool special effects that don’t look too CG, this movie is definitely a lot of fun. If you are a hardcore comic book fan with a closed mind, you will most likely turn it off after the first “flame on”. In the current arsenal of Marvel superhero movies, and the future of their monopoly on the genre, this movie definitely has its place, somewhere between X-Men 3 and Ghost Rider. Definitely not as bad as Elektra, but not as good as Spiderman 2 either.

Audio Commentary by Director Tim Story
Audio Commentary by Producer Avi Arad, Screenwriter Don Payne, and Film Editors Peter S. Elliot and William Hoy
Extended and Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Tim Story
Family Bonds Making-of Documentary
The Fantasticar: State Of The Art Featurette
Interactive Fantasticar Experience
The Power Cosmic Featurette
Character Design with Spectral Motion Featurette
Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book Origins of the Silver Surfer Documentary
Scoring the Fantastic Featurette
Still Galleries: Behind the Scenes, Characters and Concept Art
Theatrical Trailers

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
Standard 1.33:1 Color

English, Spanish

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Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 92 minutes
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