Fantastic Four 2: Rise of... (2007)
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Review Date: September 25, 2007
Director: Tim Story
Writer: Don Payne, Mark Frost
Producers: Avi Arad, Bernd Eichinger, Ralph Winter
Jessica Alba as Sue
Chris Evans as Johnny
Michael Chiklis as the Thing
The Fantastic Four have become well-known icons in their city at this point, but as they enjoy their newfound fame and leader Reed Richards prepares to marry Jessica Alba’s Sue Storm, a storm of another kind is headed toward our planet and the family of superheroes must, once again, pull together in order to save the world…or some shit. What ensues is a cool-ass new character named Silver Surfer (cause he’s all silver and surfs on a board, natch!) and some other basic “superhero movie stuff”.
I wish they’d have just made a SILVER SURFER movie instead of this one, and added the Fantastic Four as the “cameo” in it, as opposed to the other way around, since the man with the silver board kicks any of the foursome’s asses in terms of coolness, excitement and presence in this movie and then some! As it stands though, I didn’t hate this movie or anything, in fact, I actually thought it was slightly better than the first one (which isn’t saying much, of course), due in most part to the Surfer’s participation. The Fab Four don’t really bring much more to the table in this round, and I fear that that has a lot to do with the film’s screenplay, but also with the bland actors portraying them. Ioan Gruffudd is supposed to be playing a lame nerd with no social skills and even though he pulls it off pretty well, he’s damn boring to watch! Same goes for Jessica Alba, who despite being one of the hottest actresses around, comes across as cold and uninteresting, and even worse…she doesn’t even look at all that great here! Who decided that making her lips the size of my ass and giving her super-blue eyes and massive eye-lashes was the way to go? Zoinks! This woman looks like an android waiting to give birth…via her mouth! The only other person in the cast to come close to her lips was The Thing, who despite looking as cool as in the first flick, comes across as the “goofball” here, with childish one-liners across the board (“My bad”). Oh, and I guess his token girlfriend in the movie can also be called on her massive lips. People…concentrate on the script, rather than how hot the girls look…I mean, look at Kirsten Dunst in the SPIDER-MAN flicks. ‘Nuff said.

And speaking of which, I guess upgrading the “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent from Maria Menounos to Vanessa Minnillo was another great “coup” for the director. Small shit like that shouldn’t be the focus of a movie as big as this one (giving Stan Lee more than one line is also pushing the homage thing to another level), but the icing on top of the cake. Unfortunately for all involved, the cake here is small and doesn’t really fill you up (much like my own penis), and at about 85 minutes, might be the shortest superhero movie of all-time. And can’t anyone in comic book movies come up with new villains anymore?! (Luthor back for SUPERMAN RETURNS, Joker back for DARK KNIGHT, Dr. Doom for this flick) There must be dozens of cool rogue villains in the FF back-end, but for some reason, they decided to bring Doctor Victor Van Doom back from the dead in this round, and as unexciting as he was in part one, he brings that same passion back in this round! On the positive end of things, the film certainly moved at a clip, the camaraderie between the foursome was decent and the special effects, pretty damn awesome, especially anything to do with the Surfer and the Human Torch, particularly their action sequences together (if you could only bottle that energy and spread it around the rest of the movie). The surfer on his own was also a force to be reckoned with; mysterious, dark and powerful, he seemed like a great nemesis for this installment, but unfortunately they kind of rendered him useless with the inclusion of Dr. Doom and a big-ass storm called Galactus (yeah, the real bad guy is a “storm”, people).

The surfer just came across as such a chill dude. I mean, I wanted to hang with him a little more…he even had a romantic side that kicked the entire two-movie “love-story” between Alba and Gruffudd in the nuts (does anybody really believe that those two are in love, btw??). More surfer, man…I wish they had more surfer!! Other than that, the movie’s actually not as bad as I expected, but it’s certainly not in the same league as the X-MEN, SPIDER-MAN or BATMAN movies. It’s basically a “safe” series for people who don’t want to think too much or really get into any characters, and just want to watch some goofy superheroes mess around with one another and easily beat the bad guys.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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