is a light-hearted and funny take on Marvel Comics' first family of superheroes. It begins when down-on-his-luck genius Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) has to enlist the financial and intellectual help of former schoolmate and rival Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) in order to pursue outer-space research involving human DNA. Also on the trip are Reed's best friend, Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis); his former lover, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), who's now Doom's employee and love interest; and her hotshot-pilot brother, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans). Things don't go as planned, of course, and the quartet becomes blessed--or is it cursed--with superhuman powers: flexibility, brute strength, invisibility and projecting force fields, and bursting into flame. Meanwhile, Doom himself is undergoing a transformation. Among the many entries in the comic-book-movie frenzy, Fantastic Four
is refreshing because it doesn't take itself too seriously. Characterisation isn't too deep, and the action is a bit sparse until the final reel (like most "first" superhero movies, it has to go through the "how did we get these powers and what we will do with them?" churn). But it's a good-looking cast, and original comic-book co-creator Stan Lee makes his most significant Marvel-movie cameo yet, in a speaking role as the FF's steadfast postal carrier, Willie Lumpkin. Newcomers to superhero movies might find the idea of a family with flexibility, strength, invisibility, and force fields a retread of The Incredibles
, but Pixar's animated film was very much a tribute to the FF and other heroes of the last 40 years. The irony is that while Fantastic Four
is an enjoyable B-grade movie, it's the tribute, The Incredibles
, that turned out to be a film for the ages. --David Horiuchi Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Offering a real improvement on its predecessor and successfully introducing one of the world of comics’ most popular characters in the process, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
easily warrants some attention on DVD to go with its impressive box office take. Picking up where the surprisingly tepid original left off, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
finds the Marvel Comics Universe’s first family dealing with the celebrity that their powers have brought them, to the point where even a simple wedding can’t take place without interruption. The film then takes a little while to re-establish its characters and re-introduce some of the issues that underpin them. But it’s not too long before the Silver Surfer arrives, and things really get into gear. For make no mistake: it’s the Surfer who ignites the film and provides some of the very best moments of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Backed up by some superb special effects work, he’s a far more interesting draw than the returning Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom. While there are, inevitably, various problems that each of the characters in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
must face, the film never opts to go knee-deep into them. Instead, it chooses a light, breezy tone, that’s suited well to family viewing yet not without some genuine blockbuster moments. It’s no classic, but Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
is most certainly fun. And it’s equally certain that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this quintet of heroes... --Jon Foster
Double bill featuring two blockbusting films from the 'Fantastic Four' series. In 'Fantastic 4' (2005), the lifelong dream of inventor, astronaut and scientist Dr. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) is close to being realised. He is spearheading a trip to outer space. There he hopes to unlock the secrets of the human genetic codes for the benefit of all humanity. Reed accepts a financing deal with his old college rival, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), now a billionaire industrialist. Reed's crew for the mission includes his best friend, astronaut Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis); Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), Von Doom's director of genetic research and Reed's ex-girlfriend; and Sue's hot-headed younger brother, pilot Johnny Storm (Chris Evans). In space, the team are unexpectedly exposed to a cosmic storm. Back on Earth they discover the exposure they suffered in the storm has fundamentally altered their DNA and given them each an exciting super power. In 'Fantastic 4 - Rise of the Silver Surfer' (2007), Sue Storm, aka The Invisible Girl (Jessica Alba), and Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) prepare for their upcoming, superhero-studded wedding celebration. But Reed is preoccupied by reports of a bizarre, comet-like object hurtling towards Earth with tremendous force. When the object hits the island of Manhattan, destroying much of the city in its wake, its identity becomes resoundingly clear: 'it' is actually a psychotic villain known as The Silver Surfer (voice of Larry Fishburne) who aims to destroy the Earth. Sue and Reed decide to summon Ben Grimm, aka The Thing (Michael Chiklis), and Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch (Chris Evans) to take on the Surfer - and end up battling not only him, but an obnoxious Army general (Andre Braugher) and the cantankerous Victor Von Doom (Julian MacMahon), who has broken out of his icy prison that held him captive at the end of the first movie.