"Fantastic Four" is fantastically predictable

June 17, 2007, midnight | By Lucas Alvarado-Farrar | 14 years ago

Marvel comic movie provides little laughter or action

In 2005, the first "Fantastic Four" soared into space with an extremely popular and mildly entertaining debut. But, in its sequel, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," the saga slams back down to earth so hard it is nearly destroyed. Sadly this is the unintended fate of the Silver Surfer Sequel, unless of course you are still at the age where playing in the sand box can be an all-day experience.

This methodically flawed sequel reunites original quarto, who gained superpowers in a freak space accident years before. Back are the beautiful Sue Storm/the Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba), the stubborn Ben Grimm/the Thing (Michael Chiklis), the rubberized Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) and the red hot Johnny Storm/the Human Torch (Chris Evans).

After some unexplainable power outages, snow storms and massive craters caused by a mysterious metallic force, Army General Hager (Andre Braugher) sends for Mr. Fantastic to help the United States government figure out the destructive conundrum. The Fantastic scientist says he would love to help the general, but he is busy with another project – his wedding.

It's obvious why Reed Richards chooses the wedding over his patriotic duty – he is marrying the scorching hot Invisible Woman. But when the media frenzied wedding is crashed by the Silver Surfer (Laurence Fishbourne), the mood changes and the Fantastic Four busts into action. The squad can't tame the rouge surfer on their own, so they are forced to team up with their old enemy, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), to capture the metallic wonder.

The Silver Surfer, an otherworldly messenger of devastation (who brings back fond childhood memories of the playful silver bullet Capri Sun ad campaign), has come to warn Earth of its tragic fate – the imminent destruction from the planet devouring Galactus.

While the empty plot is being hatched, the audience finds itself drowning in a stew of brainless puns, dead air, corporate advertising, sexual innuendo and little to no action. While walking the red carpet during the wedding procession, a reporter asks one of Johnny Storm's many girlfriends what its like to date the Human Torch. In a not-so-PG way, she casually responds, "fireproof lingerie and a lot of aloe."

And don't forget the product placement. During a "trust us because we're the fantastic four and always right" scene, Mr. Fantastic reveals his flying car with a Dodge logo stitched on the seats and a lovely Dodge emblem stamped on the front grill. This is accompanied by a Dodge generated conversation in which the Human Torch asks, "Is that a hemi?" to which Mr. Fantastic responds, "Always."

When all is said and done, an action movie doesn't need a creative script or clever hidden messages, it needs action. The Fantastic Four not only lacked action worthy of a Saturday morning cartoon, but the gadgets were boring and the chase scenes were limited. This was only slightly countered by the stunningly seamless special effects highlighted by Jessica Alba's naked fall from atop a building and the Silver Surfer's sleek physique.

This unfortunate combination of shortfalls creates a film that is barely worthy of a spot in the summer movie rotation. As the movie drew to a close, the Silver Surfer tried to spit out a moral: "Remember you always have a choice." If you ever get the choice to see "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," it might by the wise choice to skip it.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (92 minutes, at area theaters) is rated PG for mild violence and innuendo.

Lucas Alvarado-Farrar. Lucas is half Honduran and half American, but all Mexican. He is a New York native and naturally a fan of the Bronx Bombers. Lucas is a senior in CAP, plays soccer and runs track, and likes pretty much any sports activity. He is fond … More »

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