Fixing the problems with the original film, the follow-up to Fantastic Four is incredible fun. It’s a movie with everything: humor, romance, action, drama, and a nicely woven narrative that digs into the mystique of its characters. Rise of the Silver Surfer is simply a member of the elusive “great sequel” club.
While the original was filled with hilarious and dull pseudo-science about molecules (none of which made sense), Rise only offers dashes of this. The action is kicked up tenfold, delivering fast-paced flying scenes and loads of impressive destruction. Special effects of newcomer to the film series Silver Surfer are certainly impressive, whether CG created or a suit.
The Four themselves are forced to deal with growing fame extensively, adding a nice touch to the superhero movie aside from the typical good versus evil battle. Granted, there’s plenty of that too, and the script manages to find a way to bring back previously defeated foe Doctor Doom. This is a crowded movie, pushing forward with loads of characters and it can get bogged down trying to give them all adequate screen time.
Over all of the exposition, this wonderfully fun, campy, comedic tone makes the dialogue lively. The overacting works to add to the charm of the characters. Ioan Gruffudd runs with his role as Reed Richards, taking it over the top but never crossing the threshold of going too far.
Suit actor Doug Jones does a magnificent job inside the confines of the Silver Surfer suit. His slow movements add weight and power to the character. The same goes for Michael Chiklis crammed into an improved Thing suit. He couldn’t have been cast better.
With rousing, exciting action, Rise of the Silver Surfer is one of the best of the recent comic book crop, at least out of those not trying for the overdone dark and serious tone. It brings the fun in comics to a live action adaptation, filled with color and tongue in check style. This is an enjoyable ride. Movie
Eclipsing the already near perfection of the Fantastic Four Blu-ray, Rise is amongst the best on the market. The movie benefits greatly from an HD presentation, with colors popping off the screen. Flawless contrast delivers deep black levels, creating depth and landing the movie the rare 3-D look. It’s helped along by stunning clarity, and not a single flaw on the print. Details are astonishingly high, and it’s possible to pick out each stitch on the Four’s suits. Video
Likewise, the DTS-HD audio mix is wonderful. Johnny Storm and the Surfer glide through each speaker as they chase each other. The swirling audio could not be presented any better than this. Deep, heavy bass comes with every explosion, and as the destruction kicks into high gear, so does the rumbling. When the military launches their missile attack, every shot rattles the house. Audio
Two commentaries begin a loaded disc. Director Tim Story helms the first by himself, while the editing duo of Peter Elliot and Bill Hoy take on the second. Why doesn’t Stan Lee ever do one of these?
Anyway, a wealth of features begins with Family Bonds, a 46 minute making of that delivers on all counts. It’s loaded with behind-the-scenes footage. The Fantasticar: State of the Art looks at how the vehicle in the film was crafted. This one goes for over 10 minutes. The Power Cosmic discusses the visual effects of The Silver Surfer for 15 minutes.
Sentinel of the Spaceways – Comic Book Origins of the Silver Surfer is a long, 40 minute piece on the character and his lasting impact. Scoring the Fantastic is a short piece on the soundtrack. Character Design with Spectral Motion is an 11 minute look at The Thing suit, and the improvements made to make it easy for Chiklis to perform.
Five deleted scenes are available, each with an optional commentary from Tim Story. Two games, one a basic trivia title and another involving strategy game are included for fans. Stills, trailers, and support for D-Box systems round off an excellent array of special features. Extras