Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, based on characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee: a Film Review


Reed and Sue are only days away from tying the knot!  Their lives a filled with wedding planning, seating charts, floral arrangements….and the occasional call on their group to save the world, or at least parts of it.  Being a superhero can be stressful but add in a wedding and it gets extremely complicated.

Even more so when a series of massive events start popping up across the globe radiating the cosmic energy that was the source of their powers.  They are approached by the US Military to try and trace the cause of these phenomena.  Reed, unbeknownst to Sue, builds a device that will alert him if there are any building entities.

On the day of their wedding, he gets an alert centered right where they are to be getting married.  When a strange silver man appears, Johnny takes off after it, managing to catch up but almost getting killed in the process.  When he awakes his powers are out of hand, even transferring from member to member as he is touched.  In an attempt to solve the problem, get Johnny back to rights, and hopefully save the planet in the meantime, the group focuses on catching the Silver Surfer to find out what his plan is.

It turns out…something much bigger is on the hunt and it will make those “tiny” cosmic anomalies look like child’s play. 

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: based on characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

-Length:  minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, very mild alcohol use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Andre Braugher, Beau Garrett, Doug Jones, Laurence Fishburne

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

So, while not as good as the first film this one does hold its own as a sequel. 

There is a great balance of the same things from the first movie but this time instead of fluctuating relationships there is the drama of the Richards/Storm wedding.  It adds a little bit of comic relief almost as you get to see the side of superheroes becoming famous, in almost a tongue and cheek kind of drama.

I also have a different perspective on a lot of what happens in this film due to the fact that I have worked with Doug Jones and have gotten to ask him about his performance as the body of the Silver Surfer.  While the effects of the skin are all computer generated all of the movements that the character does including the times when he is basically parallel to the ground when talking to Sue, were all done practically.  Its honestly why the CGI holds up for the most part so many years later.

So I guess this film holds a special place in my heart because it is a really wonderful example of how to use practical bases for CGI work.  I’ve always been a fan of doing as much in a practical way first and using CGI as the frosting to make something look different or to enhance something.

And this does a good job of that.  Plus, Galactus is kind of cool looking…and a pretty important bad guy in the Fantastic 4 world.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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