Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (2007) – movie review

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Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon
Director: Tim Story

Of all the slew of super hero films, this is the one I was dreading/looking forward to most. The reason for these mixed feelings was that the Silver Surfer had always been my favourite super hero and the thought of him appearing in the follow up to a less than average first instalment of this series was a less than fantastic thought!.

However, I’m glad to report that this film is not only far superior to the first entry in F4 franchise but more importantly (to me anyway) the filmmakers have kept the pathos that set apart Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, from many of his more outlandish counterparts. The Surfer, beautifully realised and superbly voiced by Laurence Fishburne, makes you wish he’d been given his own film. I’m sure it would be the darkest and most mature entry of all features from the Marvel cannon. Although this is indeed the Silver Surfers movie, the rest of the fab four equip themselves far better this time round and after a shaky start the film is a roller coaster ride of great set pieces and although a little jokey in parts, it’s a huge leap in the right direction and paves the way for what should easily be four films.

The story this time revolves around the marriage of Reed Richards and Sue Storm whose ceremony is interrupted when the Silver Surfer shows up to wreak havoc. On the command of Galactus (the Eater of Worlds) he has been instructed to pave the way for the destruction of Earth, as he has done with many planets previously. It’s up to the Fantastic Four to deal with them, but things aren’t what they seem and matters are compacted before the Earth shatters when we see a return of an old fiend in the shape of Dr Doom. The Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd) discovers that he’s getting more than he bargained for when he encounters the Fantastic Four especially when he finds the soon be Mrs Fantastic reminds him of his lost true love… The poignant words of the Surfer in the comic “In every star and in every sun I see…her face” is very apt in this country as Jessica Alba, Miss Fantastic herself, seems to have been on every page of those two British tabloids of late. Still the merchandising has been clever, especially the 100ft Surfer attached to the London Eye to link in with a key scene in the film! (Seen here).

The fact that the filmmakers decided to keep the romantic side of the Surfer in a summer blockbuster was a brave but important move as without it he’s simply not the complex character of the comic book. This was a very pleasant surprise and with a short running time and plenty of thrills I urge you to go and see it. Make sure you go on the London Eye first if you’re planning a trip to the city though – you may be put off going on it after it features in one of the films best set pieces!

Dr Kuma’s verdict: This has put the Fantastic back to the Fore!! Let’s hope this isn’t the last time we see Norrin Radd; sky rider of the space ways.

4 out of 6 stars