|F4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
The Power Cosmic Edition
Directed by Tim Story
20th Century Fox – MSRP: $34.98
I’M JUST GOING TO COME RIGHT OUT AND ADMIT that I liked both of the recent Fantastic Four movies. I harbor no illusions that either is a great film or as good an FF adaptation as could have been made, but they’ve been fun and have, especially in the sequel, nicely captured the feel of their comic book counterparts. By and large the sequels in each modern Marvel franchise have been better than the first tries, probably because, unlike the originals, they haven’t been in development for decades, and Rise of the Silver Surfer is no exception.
Rise makes several improvements over the first film. The action scenes are more exciting and benefit from giving the Four more to do than simply cleaning up their own messes, about all they did in the original. Mercifully absent this time are the Extreme Sports sequences, which seemed to be in the first film simply as an effort to increase the number of action scenes without having to figure out how they related to the plot. And, most importantly, the actors work better this time. In particular, Ioan Gruffud as Reed Richards and Jessica Alba as Sue Storm seem more comfortable in their roles on the second outing (Chris Evans’ Johnny and Michael Chiklis’ Ben already worked quite well in the first film). All four main actors have good chemistry with each other, really feeling like a family unit this time around. Alba and Evans especially have some nice scenes together, and the team of Evans and Chiklis is always fun to watch.