Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Revisited

In this episode of Marvel Revisited, we look back at Tim Story’s 2007 superhero sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

The Silver Surfer hasn’t been treated well on the big screen. When 20th Century Fox announced the character would be appearing in their 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, well, we’d be lying if we said fans were enthusiastic, given the lackluster reaction to the first film. But, people were happy that Doug Jones would be playing the role in motion capture, even if Lawrence Fishburne doing the voice seemed like an odd mismatch. When it came out in the summer of 2007, reviews were slightly more optimistic than they were for this first film, but it was a box-office disappointment. Yet, we think it’s not quite as bad as people remember as we dig into this episode of Marvel Revisited.

Ioan Gruffudd (Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic), Jessica Alba (Susan Storm/Invisible Woman), Chris Evans (Johnny Storm/Human Torch), and Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm/The Thing)return as Marvel’s first family for a sequel that gave fans hope for a course-correction after the first film left audiences feeling like the sweat-drenched hairs on Mole Man’s upper lip. Thankfully, Rise of the Silver Surfer skews closer to what makes the Fantastic Four a beloved and essential aspect of Marvel lore.

Despite Reed’s cringe-worthy dance number and Galactus making his silver screen debut in the shape of a psychedelic cloud instead of a planet-gobbling titan, Tim Story’s sequel finds the team coming together in extraordinary ways to save the universe one impossible scenario after another.

With the promise of another Fantastic Four movie, one must assume Marvel Studios won’t let past mistakes be repeated. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is an excellent source for executing the team’s family dynamics and synergistic power sets. If Marvel Studios can craft a story worthy of the Fantastic Four’s legacy, the studio could introduce audiences to a franchise that feels like Lost in Space meets Indiana Jones.

What do you think about Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer? Is this ofttimes silly sequel the best of what the Fab Four offers? How would you change Marvel’s approach to this team when the MCU reboot goes into production? Let us know in the comments section!


About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.