Tripping the light Fantastic

I'm sure no one wants to wait until next Thursday to read my review of "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," which is when it will appear in print since the studio didn't screen it until yesterday, too late for the deadline for this week's issue of the Phoenix. Or perhaps even read it at all. Nonetheless,  thanks to the magic of the Internet and probably to the annoyance of the folks at 20th Century Fox, here it is two days early.


92 minutes |

Even as a 10-year-old Marvel Comics fan I knew that the Silver Surfer (voiced by Laurence Fishburne) was a dumb character: I mean, the guy travels through space on a surfboard. But he comes as a stroke of genius compared to the mess Tim Story has made of this sequel. Stretchy genius Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) plans to wed the Invisible Girl (Jessica Alba), but she’s already started henpecking him, insisting that he “focus on the wedding” instead of tending to his superhero duties. Her brother the Human Torch (Chris Evans) remains as charming as an extra in a Coors beer commercial, and the Thing (Michael Chiklis) still seems to be adjusting to hands that look like rubber catcher’s mitts. When the Surfer drops in, unleashing doomsday, they try to get their act together, and so does the movie. But despite the gratuitous allusions to Gitmo, the third rate effects and two-bit characters make this a summer wipeout.

_Peter Keough

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