So, part of the action-packed fun-filled Fathers Day was going off to see Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
, which, I have to say up front, did not suck as much as most folks who have reported back to my L.J. Friends List with their reviews. This is not to say it was a fabulous flick, but just that it didn't suck too horribly.
Frankly, I have some major issues with the "franchise" ... aside from Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm (which is perfect
), I still have a very hard time buying any of the actors as their characters. As cute as Jessica Alba may be, she's not
Sue Storm, they should have cast a blue-eyed Nordic-skinned blonde for the role, as no amount of fake blue contacts make the "smoky" Alba look right for the part. Johnny Storm is OK, but played more like a smartalec ala DC's The Flash than what I recall of The Human Torch. The Reed Richards role is better here than in the first, but still seems weak and distracted (as opposed to brilliant and obsessive), and Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom still seems like a bad joke, rather than some rough-hewn eastern european. It's almost like the development team for the F.F. movies caught the "SciFi channel disease" of plugging in familiar faces where convenient just to play to fan appeal ... in this case from Dark Angel and Charmed. I can also only guess that they were going for The Matrix fans in casting Laurence Fishburne as the voice of the Surfer, as he brings nothing notable to the role (as opposed to the use of Andre Braugher as the General, which is quite effective for a familiar face).
Now, I have to admit that I was a HUGE fan of the Silver Surfer comics as a kid, so I was eagerly awaiting this, and found the general plot line far more engaging than that of the first movie. There were parts that dragged like hell (the stupid club scene, for instance), but generally, everything seemed to at least build towards a plausible story (minus, of course, the implausibilities of Reed Richards developing vastly complex machines from idea into working unit in a matter of days!). While the movie did not hew exactly to what I recall as the comics' logic (didn't Galactus get defeated due to the help of The Watcher, and the Surfer only have an advisory role ... although enough to have him banished to Earth?) it didn't have the holes in it that it might have. I'm also wondering why they bothered adding the Alicia Masters character if they gave Sue all the interaction with the Surfer ... if they were going to "simplify" the plot, why slot in the additional character?
I understand that they've signed up the cast (such as it is) for at least another film, which will hopefully tie up some of the "loose ends" regarding both the Surfer and Doom. Again, these are not great films, but hopefully they'll be profitable enough to at least let some of the comics' story lines play out in full.