REVIEW: Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer

WARNING: This review contains plot spoilers about an infuriatingly shitty movie.

SECONDARY WARNING: Yes, I said shitty. This is a negative review. However, I saw it at a public midnight showing and have the ticket stub to prove it, so sorry 20th Century Fox – you’re PROBABLY not gonna be able to track me down and get me fired from my job, which is apparently what you do to people who give you’re shitty movies the shitty reviews they deserve. Lemme add my voice to Mr. McWeeney’s… …and agree wholeheartedly that you can go fuck yourselves.

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My “joke” poster from 2 months ago.
I’ve seldom been so sad to have been right.

Galactus is a cloud.

There, that’s out of the way. Hey, if you’re a fan, that’s a BIG reason you’re reading an early blog review, no? We were all hoping, we all read the rumors, we all continued hoping. They couldn’t REALLY do it, could they? Granted, we’d already borne witness to director Tim Story and company making a shambling mockery of Doctor Doom, one of comics’ greatest antagonists, in the last movie, but even they wouldn’t do this. Even men guilty of “Taxi” could not be filled with such a black-hole in place of a soul it would take to put to film one of the all-time defining story arcs from the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby age and with it one of the most landmark-important “big idea” concept-characters EVER… and then completely drain it of all that made it great.

Galactus is a CLOUD.

But that’s exactly what they’ve done. “Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer” takes one of the most iconic elements – not only of the Fantastic Four, but of the entire Marvel Comics canon – and reduces it to the dullest, most-dissapointing, most generic, most anti-climactic form it could possibly take. Congratulations, Mr. Story and friends: You have given Movie Geeks a reference-of-loathing worthy of replacing “nipples on the batsuit.” Be proud.

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NOTHING remotely resembling this
appears in this film. Because life sucks.
…And, on top of that, the rest of the movie sucks, too.

Galactus is a CLOUD.

Oh, it’s better than the first one. Not by much, but enough that it can be safely called only the second worst of the Marvel movie output. All the same things that didn’t work the first time still don’t work here: Iaon Gruffud still looks goofy with his dyed-gray temples, and the FX used to create his Mr. Fantastic stretching powers are still distractingly shoddy-looking. Jessica Alba still can’t act, still doesn’t have much of a character to TRY acting in, and the cheesy hair and eye augmentations employed to turn the half-Latina “actress” into an Aryan housefrau are awful looking. The Thing still looks more like he’s made out of Nerf instead of stone. Chris Evan’s too-cool-for-school schtick as Johnny “Human Torch” Storm still grates and gets too much screentime. Julian McMahon is still a chronic dissapointment as the mincing, not-the-least-bit-intimidating Doctor Doom. Tim Story still can’t seem to deliver a single scene, action or otherwise, that doesn’t look like a sample page from “Generic Action Movies 101.” The script is still a plodding, episodic jumble.

Galactus is a CLOUD.

Our story, this time around: The oft-delayed wedding of Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards and Sue “Invisible Woman” Storm is interupted by an alien invasion. The invader in question is Silver Surfer (name kinda says it all, and the characters all roll their eyes and groan when it first comes up so you know – as if there were any doubt at this point – exactly what the filmmakers think of the material) a being of tremendous energy who’s visits to a planet invariably means it will be destroyed and consumed within eight days by Galactus, a giant sentient storm could from space. The Four are tasked to help stop the threat by a standard-issue big-meanie Army General (Andre “what he HELL am I doing in this?” Braugher) who’s also accepted personal help from a surprising source: Doctor Doom.

Galactus is a CLOUD

Oh, yeah… um, Doctor Doom is back. Turned into a block of melted steel at the end of the first film, (don’t remember? lucky you) for some reason he was crated up and shipped back to his decrepit-looking ancestral manor in Latveria, where a casual fly-by Silver Surfer for some reason wakes him up. Somehow, despite having been a block of melted steel for a year, he has a henchman hanging around to help him get up on his feet. Where’d he get the henchman? Why does Surfer awaken him? Why send the melted-steel remains of a dangerous criminal back to said criminal’s abandoned house? Who knows, the movie doesn’t have time to explain. What it DOES have time to do is engineer a scenario by which getting zapped by Surfer turns Doctor Doom back into a normal-looking human. That’s right, fans: you’re hope of a more “traditional” Doom this time around were all for naught: It’s just Julian McMahon hamming it up in a black suit again, only donning his “Doom Armor” look for the final action scene. Hey, why should they start getting it right now?


Some other things it has time for: A second act dominated by the sub-sitcom antics of the Four hanging around the house. An irritatingly sexist subplot about Sue being depressed over how superheroing is interfering with her wedding planning (seriously, what the hell? In the next movie will they have her cheesed off at The Mole Man for causing her to burn a meatloaf? Giving the Inhumans a peice of her mind for trampling her daffodils?) A nauseating product-placement joke for “Dodge.” A pathetic attempt at political subtext where the big-meanie Army Guys are slobbering at the chance to put Silver Surfer through some Abu-Ghraib-style interrogation (ooooh, edgy! Sure you guys don’t wanna throw some Paris Hilton jokes in there too, since you’re so clever and trendy?) And Tim Story’s unquestionable peice-de-resistance of bastardization: Mr. Fantastic tearin’ up the floor in a rubber-limbed dance sequence. Jazz Club Scene from “Spider-Man 3…” you are forgiven. You are sooooooooo friggin’ forgiven.


Oh, and the title character? He’s a wooden bore. It’s a nifty-enough effect, and the image of a silver humanoid alien flying around on a surfboard retains the pop-art coolness that Jack Kirby imbued it with initially, but as a character? He’s a wash, right down to the one-note Lawrence Fishburne voicover. And they want to build a whole MOVIE off of him?


This could easily end up being the worst film of the entire summer, a dissapointment even when compared to the original and the lowered expectations it invites. It looks dull, plays safe, and is afraid to offer anything remotely cool or unique. If there’s a mistake that can be made, it makes it: It spends an entire movie building up the arrival of a “big bad” that turns out to be a giant dust cloud. Given a bad guy who can either be A.) an armored fiend in a flowing cloak or B.) a douchebag in a suit, it goes with B for 90% of the film. It hands most of the screentime to bad “comedy” skits. It hands two HUGE dramatic scenes entirely to Jessica Alba, who I doubt could believably emote if you executed a loved one in front of her and said “try to look like some form of unhappy.”


Do not go see this movie. And if you DO go see this movie, try to buy a ticket for something else so they don’t get the boxoffice credit. “Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer” is a crushing, loathsome dissapointment on every concievable level.


One thought on “REVIEW: Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer

  1. NINE9INCHE STUD says:

    Galactus is fracking,gay stupid one trick pony of a character.Even his creator Stan Lee regretes the whole eating planet bit.SO WHO CARES IF HE TURNS UP AS A FUCKING CLOUD.He's fart to begin with way overused,with bland,one dimensional,mourning his gay love fr the SILVER SURFER.And FF movie wasn't bad,compare to crap dne before,since original 1960's cartoons.Grow up fan boy and get a life beyond comic superhero rubbish.


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