"Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer" reminds you that there's always room in the middle of the road. Fox presents the blue suited Marvel comics superhero team straight up and like something groomed to be cancelled after six episodes on Friday night TV. There's no edgy this or dark that, just an expensive and loud couple of hours of costumed heroes out and about on a big screen.
The studio attempts to help settle their stomachs about the film production costs, by lining the frames with greedy corporate advertising. At one point Johnny Storm plays into the corporate sellout possibilities by wearing a logo laden version of the Fantastic Four costume. This seems like cheeky fun until the Fantasticar turns out to be a dodge, with a Hemi no less as Reed Richards confirms. Of course it is.
To its credit, the Fantastic Four sequel succeeds where it was successful before. Michael Chiklis continues to be the perfect person to play the Thing, Jessica Alba still makes for a hot Invisible Woman, and Julian McMahon presents Dr Doom as creepy as he needs to be. With the origin story out of the way, FF2 lets the characters develop and we see the team interact on the level that readers have been following since they were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961.
The introduction of the Silver Surfer is handled reasonably well, despite there being barely a glimpse of the shadow of Galactus. And remarkably, Fox has managed to even make the tragic story of Norrin Radd more tragic by forever linking the Silver Surfer with a widespread federal crime committed as part of a recent publicity stunt for the movie.
Earlier this year, Fox partnered with the Franklin Mint and took forty thousand quarters and emblazoned an image of the silver surfer on them and then set them loose into circulation around the country over the Memorial Day weekend. And even though "the Fantastic Four" movies remind us that we live in a world where corporate advertising has infested every surface of our day to day lives, the US government hasn't sold out the space on our money yet. And when that happens we'll need a different kind of superhero team than the Fantastic Four to help us.
Keeping a lookout for one of those Surfer quarters floating around out there, for Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2007 - Purple - Air Date: 6/20/07
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
USA / Germany / UK - 2007