Sunday, June 17, 2007

Review: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

This sequel to the "Fantastic Four" film opened this weekend - and has topped the box office. I saw it today - and although it's not as good as the first film, it's still a lightweight, fun, effects-heavy summer flick.

The story opens as Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) and Reed Richards (the fantastic to look at Ioan Gruffud) are about to be married. However, some mysterious readings have appeared, and the US Government wants the team to investigate. A mysterious silver figure on a surfboard is whisking across the sky, outrunning even Johnny Storm, the human Torch (a very pretty Chris Evans). (The other member of the team is Ben Grimm, played by Michael Chiklis). The Fantastic Four must once again save the world!

The special effects are very good. The story itself has holes and low-key gaps. The acting is fine - not much is required of the actors for the most part. The characters were established in the first film, and they carry through on those. I did find Chris Evans more appealing in this film, and he's developing a fun buddy chemistry with Chiklis' character. Gruffud - a favorite of mine since his days as Horatio Hornblower - is more human and likable this time out. However, I thought Alba was a bit icy, and I found her hard to be sympathetic to. There is an enjoyable plot twist, in which Torch swaps powers with each member by touching them. His transformation into the Rock Guy is pretty funny.

Another fun summer popcorn movie. It's short - only 90 minutes - so you don't have to invest a lot of time or effort into enjoying it.



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