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Fantastic Four:

by

Jeff Nelson

It's a step up from the previous film, but still isn't worthy of a full recommendation.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
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Despite the original comics being released quite a few years ago, many of these comic flicks have been aimed towards younger audiences. I'm talking about children 13 and under. I'm not just talking about some of the content being watered down in some of the comic franchises, but more of what the films are losing. I feel that the film could have been much more successful if it was aimed at a bit of an older audience so that the film could take on a more serious tone.

The Fantastic Four learn that they aren't the only super-powered beings in the universe when they battle against the powerful Silver Surfer and the planet-destroying Galactus. When I was younger, I highly enjoyed hearing anything and everything about the Silver Surfer. He's an interesting character to follow with awesome abilities. On the positive side, I was excited to see what could be done with the character on the big screen. However, I was nervous that the character could be dumbed down for the younger audiences. While he doesn't get as much screen time as I had hoped, he has some great moments. The screenwriting is around on par with the previous film. Very unimpressive humor with lame puns. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer does seem more rounded than the first one in terms of pacing. The action feels a lot more fun and energetic than it does in the first one. The attempt was made to create a better overall film than the first one. This certainly has some leverage over the first.

Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, and Julian McMahon all return for the sequel. None of the actors step up their acting from the first one. In fact, there are some scenes were it may even be worse. While Jessica Alba pulled in a lot of the male audiences, it definitely isn't because of her acting abilities. While this cast is rather well known by many audiences, none of them show much of their talent during the running time of the flick. Even though a lot of dialogue is horrid, their abilities to deliver lines isn't the only problem. Jessica Alba interacts quite a bit with the Silver Surfer, but the interactions with the VFX feels rather tacky. Is it time to rest this cast as this group of superheroes?

Even though Alba's interactions with VFX aren't very good, the visuals are stunning. The Silver Surfer is brought to live action very well. The entire character design is very polished and goes into the atmosphere of the movie rather well. The Thing definitely looks a bit cheesy in the original Fantastic Four, but the visual revisions to him improve the character. From start to finish, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is beautiful eye candy that viewers won't be able to take their eyes off of. While the same cannot be said for the filmmakers or the cast, the FX team that worked on the film should be getting the recognition it deserves.

The sequel has improved on the first Fantastic Four, without a doubt. However, this still isn't very good. It's entertaining and an alright popcorn flick, but doesn't warrant a second viewing. For those who haven't seen it, you could do much worse with a rental. I leave Fantastic Four and its sequel to the younger audiences while I enjoy the better superhero movies such as Iron Man and The Dark Knight. It's a step up from the previous film, but still isn't worthy of a full recommendation.

My Rating = Two and One Half] Stars

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