As the summer of sequels continues, it take more and more blockbuster magic to impress. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer already had a knock against it, being the sequel to an incredibly mediocre super-hero first installment. While all the same actors are reprising their roles for the sequel (even the terribly miscast Jessica Alba as Invisible Girl), it’s the curse of the lame and non-sensical plot that needs to be overcome. Despite a more serious theme: a big galactic baddie is coming to destroy the Earth, both Fantastic Four movies have tried to strike a light-hearted tone. That’s probably why the first chunk of the movie is wasted with stupid scenes of bridezilla Susan Storm (aka Jessica Alba) trying to get her celebrity wedding to stretchy super-genius Reed Richards (aka Ioan Gruffudd) to go off without a hitch. That’s also why precious moments are wasted on Richards’s bachelor party where he spins a couple of club-chicks on the dance floor with his elastic arms (puh-leeze!). Like scenes out of a completely separate movie, a series of major environmental oddities are the handiwork of the Silver Surfer, a mysterious alien being whizzing around the globe on a shiny silver board. For the rest of the movie, the Four need to put aside their personal antics and try to stop the Surfer from damaging the planet and prevent the world from being destroyed. Add to the mix Victor von Doom (villain from the first movie) and you’ve got a matinee-friendly blend of super-heroic action. With some of the focus shifting to the Surfer, this movie seemed less mediocre than the first one, so it was enjoyable enough, but it’s a far-cry from the classic treatment that this beloved comic-book family deserve. (3.5 out of 5)
What if I had made FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer?
I would definitely have left out Dr. Doom, whose fiendish scheme didn’t even make much sense. Also, I would have dropped all the early personal silliness. However many millions they paid Jessica Alba, I would have put it in her contract that she needed to colour her hair blonde for the part. She looked like some creepy mannequin with a straw wig and coloured contacts that were way too blue. Finally, I would have spent more time with the Surfer’s story (the climax came way too quickly). He was so well done (both as CGI and silver-coloured actor and voiced by the always-serious Laurence Fishburne) that his character had the potential to be an awesome strong-silent classic (think Boba Fett, but silver).