Friday, June 15, 2007

Movie Review: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

*Lacking energy from an uninspiring and unmotivated week, Andy's attention was drawn to the chrome of the cool Silver Surfer and dreamed of a vacation.
He needs a getaway but he knows he can't.
At least not yet.
There's much left to be done.

When the trailer is better than the movie, what does it says about the movie?
That is how Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer turns out to be.
I’m going to be wicked.
The filmmakers should rename the sequel to 2005’s Fantastic Four to Plastic Flaw: Fall of the Silver Surfer.

The hardest review to write is having nothing good to write about.
So if you, the reader expect any good here then you may be disappointed.
There could be a couple of things good but mostly there are more, I shouldn’t say bad, but just not good.

I really liked how the Silver Surfer looks in the movie but it is just that for a film based on the comic-book genre, it is awfully thin.
(Comic books may be thin in physical appearance but they are usually big on ideas and graphics)
When I say thin, I’m thinking three things, the script, the CGI (except the Silver Surfer) and Jessica Alba.

I liked 2005’s Fantastic Four despite it being critically bombarded by many reviewers.
It is at least entertaining and I could relate to the feelings of each Fantastic Four characters.
This sequel however gave nothing valuable for the price of an entry ticket.

What happened? I needed some answers.
Let us check what shuffling was done in the production shall we?

A check on the crew list reflected a change in the personnel that did the screenplay.
Mark Frost and Michael France who did the screenplay in the first film were no longer there.
Actually it was only Michael France who was missing.
The two of them gave Fantastic Four some very interesting and fun dialogues that a comic-book genre movie needs.
That part is not apparent in Rise of the Silver Surfer.
The screenplay turned out to be bland, uninspiring and mostly uninteresting.
It was hardly moving and nobody’s even laughing at the funnier scenes.

Mark Frost and Don Payne did the screenplay instead.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is loosely adapted from the stories in the original comic book.
And according to Don Payne, the story in the film is based on Fantastic Four #48, where Galactus makes an appearance and #57-60 where Doctor Doom steals the Silver Surfer’s powers.

Mark Frost was also the one who wrote the story and it was OK.
Why does the film need a storywriter?
Isn’t it based on the Marvel comic book?
Lest you forget, a film still needs to be written so it can be played out on the big screen.

If you’re not a comic book fan or if you had not read Fantastic Four then you should be as clueless as I am.
As good as the Silver Surfer looks with that chrome body of his that is all so cool, the movie did not tell us who he really is except that he was once named Norrin Radd and he works for something or someone known as Galactus, who or what looks like a cosmic storm cloud and is said to be a devourer of planets.

I cannot imagine what the fans will think of this film.
I can only guess they will be disappointed.

If you had read this far then I think you are interested to find out more so here goes and I’ll lead you into the film.

The movie begins with the Silver Surfer flying away from an exploding planet and into earth.
Bursting through the air space in various parts of earth, he caused a climatic shift that sees snow fall in Egypt.
Large craters then appears and it was found that every planet that the Silver Surfer goes, it dies in eight days.

Meanwhile the Fantastic Four has gotten used to their extraordinary lives with the Human Torch (Chris Evans) seemingly enjoying much of the limelight.
The Thing (Michael Chiklis) having found love with the blind Alicia Masters (Kerry Washington) after his wife left him because of his hideous looks is looking OK.
Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffuld) and Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba) are getting married.
Everything is looking all right until the Silver Surfer arrives and mess up their lives again.

Quarreling and fighting, the team of four with their diverse persona will come clashing with one another.
Underneath their appearance is another layer of skin that cannot be seen with the eyes.
That part needs to be understood by those who care.
Who are they?

With the earth’s existence threatened, the team of four needs to work out their differences to save the world.
Things are not helped by the return of power hungry Victor or Doctor Doom (Julian McMahon), the villain from the first film who has escaped his captivity in Latveria.
Evil as he is, he has a different agenda although first appearing to be helpful.

How can the Fantastic Four save earth from a force so powerful that devours cosmic planets?
Look to the title of this film for the answer.

The plot is interesting isn’t it?
I thought so too.
But if you refer to the top, I changed the name of the movie.
Plastic Flaw because even as a film that relies on CGI and special effects as its selling points, it is flawed in appearance.
Everything except for the Silver Surfer looks only superficial and adds nothing new to what we had already seen before.
And Fall of the Silver Surfer because the Silver Surfer fell off his board quite literally just as the movie did.

Watch if you’re a fan because surely you will.
And watch if you’ve got 90 minutes to kill.
But if it is an entertaining, inspiring and fantastic movie you’re looking for then you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is not fantastic, just ordinary.

Movie link:

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