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   FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (2007) 

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CAST
Ioan Gruffudd
Jessica Alba
Chris Evans
Michael Chiklis
Julian McMahon
Kerry Washington
Andre Braugher
Doug Jones
Beau Garrett

DIRECTED BY
Tim Story

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 92 mins.
Rating: PG
Genre: Action/Fantasy/Science Fiction


SYNOPSIS: The enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of the Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr. Doom, before all hope is lost.

BOTTOM LINE: Sequels are rarely better than the originals, but in the case of this film there was no way it could have been worse. Being a comic book fan, I waited a long time to see the Fantastic Four brought to the big screen and was seriously disappointed by the bad acting and worse effects in first film. Boredom got the better of me, so I decided to give thim film a try. A better plot and vastly improved effects made this experience actually enjoyable. Everyone seemed to be more in tune with their characters (and powers) with Julian McMahon, as the wickedly ambitious Dr. Doom, having the most fun yet again.

The film begins with the wedding preparations of Sue Storm/Invisible Girl and Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, who are trying to plan a future despite the unending press coverage of their new superhero lives. Days before the nuptials, Reed is secretly enlisted by General Hager to help track a series of odd weather occurances across the Earth that are resulting in cosmic radiation. He's gets closer than he'd like when the creature causing these events, called the Silver Surfer, shows up in New York and ruins the wedding ceremony. With Earth's future on the line, Reed and Sue plans are put on hold to stop the Surfer before it's too late. With all hands on deck, the government also recruits their arch-nemesis Dr. Doom, newly escaped from his homeland prison, with predictibly disasterous results.

The plot, while not overly complicated, has a true, old-fashoned, comic book sort of feel, which I liked. Their ultimate enemy is a creature no one is sad to see die, the Silver Surfer is a more complex character than you're originally led to believe and even the survival of one of our heroes is placed in serious jeopardy before the end is tied into a neat little bow, including the reqiusite "save the planet and love each other" message. The special effects and action sequences are 1000 times better than in the first film and I thoroughly enjoyed the comedy of the ping-ponging of powers between the four after Johnny meets the Surfer. A tighter script, better plot and dialogue make this an enjoyable popcorn flick though nothing even comic fans need to rush out and see.




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