Rise of The Silver Surfer Falls Short in the Shadow of the Original Fantastic Four Movie 


By Jason Saldivar 


This review contains spoilers. Warning: if you haven’t seen/read the content yet and don’t want to know what happens, you may want to avoid reading further. 


Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was released in theaters on June 15, 2007, as the sequel to the first movie, Fantastic Four. Tim Story returns to direct the film, bringing along the main cast from before. Despite having a larger budget of $130 million compared to the first movie, I still think the first Fantastic Four movie was better. The Silver Surfer didn’t really do anything throughout the film, Galactus was teased but the character’s presence was wasted, and the villain at the end of the day was still just Doctor Doom. 

Two years after the events of the previous movie, mysterious global disturbances are being fueled by an unknown source. In his spare time, Reed Richards, has been trying to track the phenomena in his spare time since he and Sue Storm are soon to be married. Ever since their debut, the Fantastic Four have been treated as casual celebrities with brief mentions of their heroisms, like when Storm mentions an armored car robbery.  

The anomalies are revealed to be caused by the Silver Surfer, an alien who is preparing the planet for his master, Galactus, to consume. He doesn’t wish to do so but must to protect his own planet from the same fate. Richards is recruited by the US military to find a way to stop the Silver Surfer. They deem him a threat, although at this point in the movie he has yet to do more than make 200-meter-deep holes in remote places around the globe. 

During one of the Surfer’s sightings in Latveria, his cosmic power accidentally revives Doctor Victor Von Doom. The now rejuvenated villain from before tracks down the Surfer to make an alliance, only to become infuriated by rejection. In trying to fight him, Von Doom is affected by the Surfer once more, restoring his scarred metallic body back to normal flesh though his control over electricity remains.  

In New York, Richards builds a scanner to track the Silver Surfer, quite literally hours before his wedding to Storm. The alien attacks New York during the wedding to disable the scanner, leading Johnny Storm to give chase. During the chase, we see the odd powers that the Surfer has as he ignores our regular laws of reality and affects matter at an atomic level. Due to exposure to these cosmic abilities, Johnny’s own cells become unstable, and he is now able to swap powers with the other members of the Fantastic Four through physical contact. 

After Richards calculates where the Surfer will appear next, they are transported by the military to London. The Surfer appears and causes the London Eye to collapse, thus the team must try and save the people trapped on it. Johnny’s pride leads him to swap powers with Richards in an attempted rematch against the Surfer. This causes the entire rescue of the London Eye to nearly fail and allows the Surfer to complete another giant crater and drain the river Thames.  

After seeing the failure, the military forces the four to work together with the revived and healed Von Doom to find a way to separate the Surfer from his source of power; his surfboard. Once they succeed, the military wants to interrogate the alien, even resorting to torture.  

Of course, Von Doom had a plan to steal the board and control its matter-manipulating power. The Fantastic Four, in the newly built “fantasticar,” must now fight and reason with Von Doom to give the board back and stop Galactus from consuming the planet. Their efforts are unsuccessful, leading the battle to Shanghai. 

Realizing no one individually can beat Von Doom, Johnny uses his new ability to gain all four powers of the group, overpowers Von Doom and destroys the device that allows him to use the board. Despite the small victory, Galactus has already arrived and is beginning his consumption of the planet while the Fantastic Four can only watch in defeat.  

The Surfer confronts Galactus in the hopes of saving the earth and ultimately succeeds in stopping him but is presumed dead in the attempt. With the world now saved, Richards suggests he and Sue get married in Japan to make it official after having the wedding pushed back and interrupted multiple times prior.  

The end credit scene had sequel bait, showing that the Surfer did survive his confrontation with Galactus. 

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