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FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER

The new Fantastic Four movie has a charm about it that I really liked. It's a comic book movie that knows it's a comic book movie and is perfectly happy with it all. No angsty adult modernizations of the characters, just perfectly silly heroes and villains doing what they do. My kids and I had a great time watching it. And if you even remotely enjoyed the first one, the tighter storyline and fun effects in the sequel will likely deliver for you this time around.

Just to keep my comic book street cred, I'll admit that the liberties they take with Galactus and Julian McMahon's pretty boy portrayal of Dr. Doom get to me. But not enough to keep me from enjoying the movie.

What's really nice about this movie is that you don't have some ponderous back-story origin to go through before things start happening. The action starts happening pretty quickly. There's plenty of good light-hearted fun with all the characters that was one of the things I liked in the first film.

The plot is a pretty simple one that would have been contained perfectly within a single issue of the comic series. Reed and Sue's wedding is interrupted by The Silver Surfer's arrival on Earth, and they need to find out a way to stop what he's doing to keep their planet from being eaten. It's a pretty clear objective. There's some goofiness with Dr. Doom thrown in that doesn't fit at all, but it's not enough to screw the movie up.

Jessica Alba's acting is simply horrible.

The execution of the CGI generated Silver Surfer character is enough to make the movie worth seeing. He looks beautiful racing around on his surfboard, and elegant just standing there speaking (with Laurence Fishburne's voicework).

It's also nice to have an honest to goodness true PG rated movie to take your kids to, that's not a cartoon with a few dirty words thrown in it.

I don't know why I feel I need to give the Fantastic Four movies a free pass. Maybe I love the characters and the nostalgia of it all enough to just overlook the obvious crap that these films are filled with. Maybe I'm just one of the millions of other stupid people that dumped $57 million into this on opening weekend, that just guaranteed a third installment. I've got no problem with that.

I had a great time watching it and would like to see another FF or Silver Surfer solo movie.

-Robert Berry
rberry@retrocrush.com


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