Monday, 8 October 2007

On DVD: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Review by Robert Duffin

Director: Tim Story
Screenwriter: Mark Frost & Don Payne
Running Time: 88 mins
Certificate: PG
DVD Distributor: Fox

With Batman brooding and Spider-Man sulking, it only made sense that we’d eventually get a super hero franchise that put the comic back in comic book. However, not only was the resulting Fantastic Four a complete atrocity, it also managed to get a sequel. This time out the featureless foursome (Iaon Gruffud, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis & Jessica Alba) do battle with the Silver Surfer (body of Doug Jones, voice of Laurence Fishburne), who seems intent on laying waste to planet Earth for a mysterious benefactor.

That the film opens with the super-family farcically trying to board a commercial airline jet making jokes about The Thing’s rocky male appendage gives you all you need to know. Chiklis and Evans are stuck in a tasteless superhero sitcom, Gruffud is the blandest hero in recent memory who forgets he has powers of elasticity whenever it suits the plot and, well, Alba is a scientist (ah, Hollywood!) Even the injection of the Surfer, an overgrown awards trophy, fails to resuscitate this limp corpse of a film. With the Surfer mythology however comes Galactus, the giant with the purple helmet who eats planets, which would have been impressive had director Tim Story not replaced him with a Big Scary Cloud. To paraphrase another of this summers’ duds, you’ll be praying for a little precipitation to wash away this god-awful mess. Save some money, and buy The Incredibles instead.

Commentary by director Tim Story
Commentary by producer Avi Arad, writer Don Payne and film editors Peter S. Elliot and William Hoy

In addition to the above single-disc content, the two-disc includes:

Extended / Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary by director Tim Story)
Family Bonds: The Making of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer documentary
Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book Origins of The Silver Surfer featurette
The FantastiCar: State of the Art featurette
The Power Cosmic special effects featurette
Character Design with Spectral Motion featurette
Scoring the Fantastic featurette
Interactive FantastiCar concept images gallery
Theatrical Trailers
Still Galleries (Behind the Scenes / Characters / Concept Art)

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