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Appellate Judge Mac McEntire's Blog
• Location: Shrewsbury, MA
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
When I reviewed the first Fantastic Four movie for this site, I basically said I didn’t like it, and I ended up getting a ton of hate mail. Based on those e-mails, it seems that although it was released in 2005, Fantastic Four has already become a timeless classic to be cherished by the masses and how dare a simpleton like me say anything bad about it--even though it has a scene in which the hero uses his powers to get toilet paper for himself while he’s on the can.
And now I’m painting the target on my chest again, because I felt Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was also a disappointment. OK, so it wasn’t quite the gnarled fetus of a movie the first one was. I’ll admit there were a few moments that worked, but not enough to save the entire film, I feel.
First the positives: The Human Torch comes across as a lot less obnoxious this time around, and he gets to show his human side a little more. We get to see that he cares about something other than acting like a jerk all the time. Plus, the special effects do indeed get amped up considerably, and the Silver Surfer does look pretty sweet the way he moves around his board while in flight.
Unfortunately, not a lot else struck me as favorable. Mr. Fantastic still comes across as more of a goof and a screw-up than he does a hero. The Invisible Woman is supposed to be the heart and soul of this group, but she spends a lot of the movie just whining. The Thing isn’t doing a lot of stupid stuff like falling on his butt in a bar, which is good, but he also doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time, which isn’t so good.
Dr. Doom shows up again in this movie, and, once again, he’s portrayed as a wisecracking jerk and not as pure evil. Of all the megalomaniacs in fiction, Doom should be the one that we really fear could actually pull it off and conquer the world. Instead, he’s the movie’s comic relief. He makes jokes and smirks his way through the whole film when he should be emitting pure menace.
“Wait a minute,” you’re saying, “How can you tell Doom is smirking under that mask?” Well, it only takes the filmmakers a minute before they get rid of his mask and return him to full-on 100 percent Julian McMahon-ness, not realizing that the mask and the scarred face underneath is an integral part of who this character is. That’s how I see these movies in general – the creators have removed the elements of these characters that make them so appealing and well-liked over the years. What does that leave us with? Sitcom banter and lots of CGI.
But, hey, what do I know? Tons of people loved the first movie, and this second one has already made an Elemental Converter-sized amount of cash. So, if you’re one of the many who loved Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, there’s no need to write hate mail, just go off and enjoy it without me.