Image courtesy of impawards.com
Ioan Gruffudd……….Reed Richards
Jessica Alba……….Sue Storm
Chris Evans……….Johnny Storm
Michael Chiklis……….Ben Grimm
Julian McMahon……….Victor Von Doom
Kerry Washington……….Alicia Masters
Andre Braugher……….General Hager
Laurence Fishburne……….The Silver Surfer (voice)
Doug Jones……….The Silver Surfer
Beau Garrett……….Captain Raye
Brian Posehn……….Wedding Minister
Zach Grenier……….Mr. Sherman/Rafke
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer would be an insult to the viewer’s intelligence if it were not already so busy being lazy, bland, and absurd. It seems there is no time to truly offend since that might involve actual effort from the filmmakers. After the moderate success of its predecessor, those involved know that their target fan base will show up no matter what. Still, viewers must credit all 57 producers and executive producers’ abilities to recognize that wooden acting and slightly above average special effects can somehow carry a movie.
To suggest that the Fantastic Four films have been miscast thus far would be a severe understatement. One does not see many films in which every single actor fails to fit into his or her role, but Fantastic Four accomplishes this impressive feat. Sadly, the best compliments that can be offered to the cast are that Jessica Alba is hot and Laurence Fishburne (who is merely the voice of the Silver Surfer) was great in other films. Beyond that, I have seen high school plays with more convincing characters.
It would be too simplistic to blame the puppets of Fantastic Four without at least accusing the puppeteers of a sub-par effort. With a brutally stupid plot, awful story editing, and ridiculously unnecessary globetrotting, the actors cannot be completely at fault for Fantastic Four‘s horrible execution. The following plot synopsis is slightly less childish than the actual movie.
Sue Storm (Alba) and Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) want to get married, but it is tough to do when they are so famous. Then the Silver Surfer (Doug Jones) shows up and everyone says “huh?” Naturally, the Fantastic Four, with their extra powers, do battle around real-looking places. The Silver Surfer is silver and has a surfboard that he needs to be separated from in order for Earth to stand a chance. The surfboard gives him his power, but when it is taken from him it then gives Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon) that same power. The surfboard needs to be away from Earth so that Galactus (who?) does not consume the planet. Thankfully, good triumphs and everyone is happy.
Picture experiencing the inanity of that last paragraph for an hour and a half, and you will understand what it is like to watch Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Of course there are other “fun” elements in the film such as the zany switching of powers, Johnny Storm’s flirtatious encounters with an army soldier, and the hilarity of premarital miscommunication between Sue Storm and Reed Richards. Sometimes a movie’s preview is all one needs to see.
In fact, if Fantastic Four had been a mere minute and a half, it would have been a four star classic. It would have been an action-packed film with high suspense, intriguing characters, and a great story. Instead, the actual movie is 60 times longer and thus all those elements are stretched 60 times as thin. While it is doubtful that anyone was expecting anything great, the film falls below even those low expectations. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is not the worst movie ever, but there are surely better things to do with a summer afternoon. As the last Fantastic Four film proved, we cannot keep everyone from seeing the sequel, but we can frown upon them for doing so. Save your money this week, or go see something else for a second time.
FINAL RATING (ON A SCALE OF 1-5 BUCKETS):