‘Fantastic Four’ sequel not a smart movie, but fun

Ryan Haidet

Not brilliant, not really fantastic but a fun ride with laughs, Marvel Comic’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the latest superhero movie to splash onto summer screens.

Tim Story, who also directed the first, does a better job this time around, providing more laughs, action – although often ridiculous – and a character worth watching: the Silver Surfer.

When weird things start happening all around the globe, from a massive power outage in Los Angeles to snow on the pyramids in Egypt, the U.S. government steps in and asks the Fantastic Four to help with the problem. All they have to explain the bizarre occurrences are a few photos of a meteor-like silver flash.

The first run-in with the Surfer happens when two of the Four, stretchy man Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and invisible woman Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), are about to exchange vows in the wedding of the century.

The Four, each with a specific power, join together to face off against a force they have never experienced before. Too bad the acting isn’t as amazing as the superhero powers they each possess.

There are only two who are fantastic – Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch (Chris Evans) and Ben Grimm aka The Thing (Michael Chiklis). These two provide the much-needed comic relief and their performances are as strong as their characters. Their dialogue is hilarious and they make the movie worth watching.

The same can’t be said for Alba and Gruffudd. They seem incompatible as a couple, boring, lifeless and unentertaining for most of the film.

To compensate for bad acting, the special effects are amazing – especially with the Silver Surfer, who looks better than the 2003 Incredible Hulk.

The best element of the film is when the Four accidentally realize they have the ability to exchange powers among each other.

Having opened last weekend to a hurricane of fans – $57 million worth – a third installment is inevitable and the ending almost promises it.

Packed with the predictable superhero-style ending and morality tale, Rise of the Silver Surfer is one that requires no thinking to watch. Buy some popcorn, check your brain at the door and relive any childhood dreams of being a superhero. Although Spider-Man 3 is better, this one isn’t all bad. It’s just a fun ride.

Contact features editor Ryan Haidet at [email protected].

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Starring Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis.

Directed by Tim Story

Distributed by Century Fox

Rated PG for sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.

Stater rating: (out of five): ***