Written by David Holland
Sometimes a movie gets made just because the studio has the rights to the characters. And chances are good that if that movie has any potential to be a franchise, it’s going to spawn a sequel. That seems to be the motivation behind “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”.
A lot of the same stuff from the original, worked just as well here. The movie didn’t have to spend any time on an origin story, which meant more time to actually see our heroes with their powers. The power switch sequences are also played up well for comedic effect. We also get the addition of the Silver Surfer in this movie, as the title makes obvious. Silver Surfer is one of the most powerful character in the Marvel canon. In the Infinity War arc he joined Doctor Strange and Adam Warlock as the three powerhouses that waited in the back while all of the others tired Thanos out.
We also get a fight with Galactus, the planet-devouring super-baddy. Considering the first film struggled a bit with stakes, this one establishes them out of the gate. If Galactus gets to Earth then he will eat it. Stakes don’t get much higher than that. There’s a few other new characters that round out the…… HEY IT’S CAPTAIN HOLT!
I’ll repeat my criticism of the first movie in this franchise: Why did this movie get made? Comic book fans aren’t as easy to please as they used to be. You can’t just put the characters on screen, they have to be compelling. Sure this movie didn’t have to tell the origin story, but it’s still almost thirty minutes before the Silver Surfer shows up. His name is in the title and the movie is nearly a third of the way over before we see him! I do appreciate the character development in exploring the relationship between the main characters, but you have to be able to accomplish multiple things at once. Then it takes another thirty minutes before Galactus shows up, and in between all of this, a resurrected Dr. Doom stands around looking shady before stealing Silver Surfer’s board because of course. And of course, the creators balked at using the traditional comic Galactus design.
I think at the time this movie came out studio executives thought you could make a safe franchise film that would reliably make enough money without having to put too much thought into it.
Like it’s predecessor, “Rise of the Silver Surfer” is fine. But the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom, Silver Surfer, and Galactus all deserve better.