Silver Surfer is one of the most underrated superheroes of Marvel, so when I heard that he was in the sequel to the colossal garbage that was Fantastic Four, I was suspicious. Surprisingly, it turned out to be an ambitious superhero film and learned some mistakes from its predecessor. And it’s all thanks to the superhero I just mentioned – Silver Surfer. Even though it wasn’t mind-blowingly-amazing enough to redeem the entire franchise, it’s a movie worth seeing with an open mind.
How to Stream or Download Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store or stream it on Disney+. Click on the Download button located at the end of this review. If you like Jessica Alba, check her out also in Sin City and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
The Movie Review
Reed Richards and Sue Storm, also known as Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman, are struggling to juggle their superhero/celebrity status as they begin to settle down and start a family. The couple must decide whether to give their superhero career up, and their question is immediately answered once a villain is on the loose. A mysterious entity named Silver Surfer is leaving trails of destruction across the globe, creating huge sinkholes from New York to the Thames.
We soon learn that The Surfer is a herald for Galactus, a planet-devourer who plans to make Earth his next course. Scarily enough, he’s succeeded in eating past worlds in less than a week. The U.S. government, headed by the brusque General Hager (mind you, he was supposed to be Nick Fury but was dropped because of rights issues), asks for Reed Richards’ help in stopping the world’s impending doom. It’s time for him to be Mr. Fantastic, even if it means delaying wedding arrangements.
Tim Story returns as the director of the new Fantastic Four with his usual hit-or-miss comedy. This time, Hulk (2003) writer John Turman joins Mark Frost in writing the sequel, and they had pretty good source material to work on. The film’s plot is loosely based on the Coming of Galactus story arc, in which the Fantastic Four find themselves up against the god-like Galactus. In the film, he takes the form of a cosmic cloud instead of the giant man in the comics.
It’s a strange decision made by the writers, considering the film already has a silver alien flying on a surfboard. However, because they did enough justice to Silver Surfer (performed by Doug Jones and Laurence Fishburne), I’ll unclench my fists this time. Also, Doctor Doom is magically revived from the dead in this sequel, and he’s pretty much useless the entirety of the film.
Since everyone is already harsh on the first movie, let me acknowledge the good things about Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. First off, they did a good job of keeping the Surfer’s intentions secret, creating a healthy build-up that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The moment they reveal the actual threat is not him but an omnipotent cosmic force planning to swallow the Earth, I was floored. Combined with the cinematography, which is much cleaner now, the well-choreographed action scenes, and they even have better CGI. The Silver Surfer especially looks badass and scary. The cast’s performances were delightful, though Jessica Alba’s efforts to be sympathetic with the Surfer were unconvincing.
It’s annoying how they try to make The Invisible Woman hook up with every villain in the film, despite her being already engaged to Mr. Fantastic.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is far more ambitious than its predecessor, and has largely improved in terms of visuals, writing, performances, and direction. While it still has some faults that were present in the first film, including plot inconsistencies and the inescapable cringy dialogue, it was enjoyable overall and I didn’t mind seeing Chris Evans again with his funny and charming delivery.
If you’re a fan of the comics, you might want to check Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, just don’t expect too much.