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original title: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
duration: 1h 32min
keywords: stanleecharacter, shirtlessman, watchingtv, fantasticfour, strongfemalelead, strongfemalecharacter, superheroine, invisiblewoman, forcefield, interrogation, hostage, kidnapping, explodingplanet, explo
At first, though, it seems like we're slipping back into the first film's mediocrity: after a pretty good opening sequence (showing Galactus, here depicted differently than in the comics, as he destroys a planet), the movie cuts to Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Sue Storm's (Jessica Alba) wedding arrangements, during which the FF's leader throws out some gibberish about their imminent union being more important than sub-molecular problems (huh?). His fianc辿e's reaction? "That's the most romantic thing you have ever said to me!".
Thankfully, that dull moment is immediately forgotten, as we move on to the actual wedding ceremony (featuring one of Stan Lee's best cameos: he plays a rejected guest, in reference to a similar scene in the original comic-book issue), which is abruptly interrupted by a mysterious force that is causing climactic changes all around the world (cue an amusing joke about global warming). This force, it turns out, is actually the Surfer (physically portrayed by Doug Jones, voiced by Laurence Fishburne), a herald who looks for planets the aforementioned Galactus can feed on. His presence implies that the Four have got only one week to come up with a solution to Earth's problems, and on top of that they have to deal with the return of Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), who was revived by the Surfer's actions.
In terms of plotting, this film has a more interesting script than the first installment: having introduced the characters in the previous movie, Don Payne and Mark Frost can focus on defining them a little better (something that was missing last time) in order to properly integrate their different personalities into the story. Largely, they succeed: the best characters are still the Human Torch (Chris Evans, cocky, self-absorbed and funny) and the Thing (Michael Chiklis, ranging between amusing and eager to fight), but Reed and Sue get a better treatment as well, emerging as three-dimensional people instead of underwritten type. Gruffudd, in particular, is more comfortable in his role, as proved by a hilarious disco scene, one of the best examples of how the film manages to replicate the comic's mix of humor and light action (this is a PG feature after all).
Speaking of which, another improvement concerns the action scenes: they may not match the visual inventiveness of other Marvel adaptations, but thanks to the Silver Surfer's presence they are charged with an energy that was unseen in the first movie (the Torch-Surfer duel is even better in the actual film than it was in the trailer). The Surfer himself is also a charismatic addition, although the short running time (92 minutes), combined with the fact that it takes half an hour before he shows up, makes the exploration of his tragic nature a little rushed. Of course, it doesn't help that a lot of time is spent, or rather wasted, on Dr. Doom: McMahon may look more menacing than before (especially at the beginning of the film), but once again he prefers to sideline his own lethal charm and mimic previous Marvel villains (the Green Goblin in the first movie, Magneto in the sequel), reducing a respected and feared character to a half-hearted pantomime; in addition, the bad-guy-becoming-ally gimmick has been used before and much better, namely by Bryan Singer in the superb X2. Another disappointment is Galactus: that he doesn't exactly look like his comic-book counterpart was to be expected; that he doesn't speak once and is used very sparely (little more than five minutes in the entire movie) considerably diminishes the impact of his presence, making the Surfer the only element able to save the film.
Saving a motion picture, however, turns out to be a lot more difficult than saving the world, at least in this case, meaning that, though enjoyable, 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a fairly average summer movie. Which is all right compared to the original FF movie, but not considering the higher quality of other blockbusters out there. This is a summer movie to be sure. It has action, comedy, and a little heart as well. It is not going to win awards, it is not going to be hailed as a cinematic masterpiece, but it is still a very good movie. Add to that it is also short, something all summer movies should aspire to do. Granted, when first I heard of the running time I thought for sure this film would be underdeveloped, however my fears proved groundless as this movie's story was very well done with no loose ends unlike some movie's this year that ran nearly twice as long. I liked it better than the first movie as the comedy was funny and the action was rather nice too. The story has a mysterious force on Earth causing a bit of havoc as water is turned to glass and snow in the deserts. Even strange occurrences happen in Lateveria which is trouble for all. The Fantastic Four though are trying to make a wedding happen while balancing being super heroes and celebrities. The army wants Reed's help to track the force and Reed does, though without Susan's knowledge. Well the big wedding day occurs and it is promptly interrupted by a mysterious being seemingly made of Silver and riding what appears to be a surf board. The Fantastic Four must stop this being and find out his motivations before there is real trouble. Though they do get help in the form of Dr. Doom, which let's face it is probably going to be trouble later on. So yes, there is some good action, comedy and very good special effects. A great fight at the end with who you want to see the Fantastic Four fighting and a nifty climax featuring a very close call. To top it all off you also get out of the movie theater before you age a great deal as well. The script, credited to "Twin Peaks" co-creator Mark Frost and longtime "Simpsons" writer Don Payne, unsuccessfully strives for hipster irreverence. affinity for the life-energies of living beings, and can use his cosmic energies to boost the natural healing powers of a wounded individual, even if they are near-death. He cannot, however, raise the dead. Galactus: (The "Devourer" of Worlds)
Older than the universe itself, the only survivor of the universe that came before our own, Galactus's fate is inextricably bound up with that of the entire cosmos. Although at times he has been a force for good, far more often he has brought doom, destroying whole peoples and consuming entire worlds, for his hunger for energy is insatiable; without it, he would cease to exist.
Born Galan, on paradise world of Taa, Galactus was fated to live in the last days of the universe, just as it was entering the final stages of the Big Crunch. Realizing that his people were doomed, he persuaded them to pilot a vessel into the heart of the Crunch, to die in one last act of heroism. His people perished, but Galactus was somehow saved by the Phoenix Force of his universe. For billions of years he slept, and when he awoke it was with an immense hunger that could ony be satiated by consuming the life energies of an entire world. At first he searched for uninhabited worlds but his hunger gradually forced him to consume planets populated by sentient races, as these more fully satiate his hunger. Galactus's conscience was only eased by the prophecy that he will ultimately make good on the devastation he wrought.
During a search for food, Galactus came upon the planet Zenn-La. To save his homeworld, a young man named Norrin Radd agreed to become Galactus's herald and to search out planetary fodder. Transformed into the SILVER SURFER, Radd's emotions were subdued so he would be willing to indentify inhabited worlds for Galactus to consume. However, the Surfer's conscience was reawakened by Alicia Masters. When Galactus turned his attentions to Earth, the Fantastic Four & the Surfer drove his master away. Galactus has since attacked Earth several times, but has been defeated. Nevertheless, he remains as dangerous as ever, with no sign of the earlier, hopeful prophecy coming to pass.
The Marvel Encyclopedia, page 106 Galactus does appear, but not in his comic book form. In the comics, the character Galactus is a humanoid giant that lives by consuming the life-energies of planets, but he is not a villain. Galactus has been described as being very much like a force of nature