Here’s the thing- when I was a kid, like many kids, I read and collected comic books. I have not even so much as read a comic book in more years than I can count, but I remember them as part of my childhood. I collected, primarily, two sets- X-Men and Fantastic Four. Given that, I also knew the Silver Surfer. Now, along comes this movie (and it predecessor), and I so, so wanted them to be good. I wanted to see my childhood heroes again. But, sorry to say, it didn’t happen. Not in the first one, and not in this.
First of all, the movie is tamed down way to far. It got a PG rating, which was good for the box office, I suppose, as parents could take kids to it, but it meant leaving out a lot of the darker aspects of the stories. It seems they tried to substitute humor for all of that, and that part kind of failed, as well. It was over-the-top camp, and this from someone who dearly loves (well done) camp.
The one saving grace here was the Surfer. Not only was he quite faithfully done and looked very cool, but the stunt work was quite impressive. And you can’t argue with Laurence Fishbourne’s voice, ever. He was also basically faithful to the Surfer in both origin and reaction. You see him not just preparing the Earth for its destruction, but he observes and learns as he goes.
Unfortunately, the plot of the story as written was too thin to hold up on its own, so in comes Dr. Doom, and- wait. Wasn’t he dead at the end of the last movie? Oh, but no one is really dead for good in soap operas and comic books. I do know this. However, it felt like he was pulled back in only to fill in the holes with something to distract us from them.
I know, all that made it sound like a terrible movie. It wasn’t totally bad. I ended up abandoning the idea of getting an FF movie that did justice to the comics, and looking at it as a fun hour and a little bit of fluffy entertainment. It works there. And most kids could watch this without having nightmares for days. Approach it that way, and watch it when you want to just waste an hour and a bit on something that’s going to give you cars rolling over and things blowing up, with some (kinda lame) humor tossed in, and you’re good.
(Image from marvel.wikia.com)
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