Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Not shit!

To be honest, I'm waiting for an original film this year that doesn't have a sequel number or a colon in the title. Until Transformers then, we have a superior sequel to a mediocre original first outing for the first-family of Marvel Comics, the Fantastic Four.

The original FF was a sub-standard origin story that introduced the main characters and the main villain and wrapped up by pitting the four heroes against the villian. I'll admit that I wasn't as upset by the "changes" the filmmakers made to the characters, except for Dr. Doom who should not have been cast with a pretty-boy like Julian McMahon thus requiring to need to see his face even after becoming (a rather camp) Doom (Muahahahahaha!).

I was prepared for something at least on-par with FF or Ghost Rider but so long as it was better than the 3rd outings of Spider-Man and the X-Men, I'd be happy. As I don't have a great affinity with the FF as I would for Spider-Man, Batman or obviously Iron Man, I can therefore review this movie on more on it's own merits as opposed to a movie version of something I've read as a comic book just as I would with Ghost-Rider, Daredevil, Elektra, Superman or the X-Men.
What I have read of the FF however, it seems (as far as the team goes anyway) that they nailed them this time, from the super-nerdiness of Reed to the playful antagonism between Johnny and Ben. It was obvious that the cast had grown comfortable with their characters and the team themselves had grown into a more cohesive unit. Thankfully this helped the somewhat lackluster plot along and wasn't drawn out unnecessarily like the excrement that was Spider-Man 3.

The effects and CGI in this movie was (thus) far the best I've seen this summer. The Silver Surfer was awesome and it was amazing to see how far the "liquid-metal" effect has some since T2. While I've never read a single comic-book page featuring the character, I found the character intriguing in his simplicity. I look forward to his own movie which is in the genesis stage now (screenplay currently being written by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski). The cloud formation that was Galactus was remarkable even though the "cloud" appearance undoubtedly has many Marvel purists up in arms and I'd probably be one of them too if a giant-humanoid wouldn't have looked so fucking ridiculous on screen, probably the only creative decision of Avi Arad's I'd agree with.

The screenplay was awful and could have been written by 12-year-old with a Star Trek technical manual but the direction was tight and well judged and most superior in pace and movement than the original. I was particularly impressed with the performance of Andre Braugher (left) as General Hager, somone from Reed Richards past who enlists the help of the scientist to investigate the strange phenomena that occur during the coming of Galactus.

Let me finish by saying if given a choice between a 3rd Fantastic Four or a 4th Spider-Man I'll take FF3 please.

Colonel Creedon Rating ***1/2

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