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Fantastic Four 2: Not as big a Fantastic Flop as First

Rise of the Silver Surfer

Gar and I took in a matinee last Saturday.

Typical Sequelitis stuff is creeping in, and it's all very predictable: Sue and Reed wanna get married, see, and have a normal life. The same superhero angst that Spiderman II investigates (and made that movie so good, where in this movie it's only familiar territory). Stresses ensue. The Silver Surfer shows up, and reminds 'em that his job is to herald destruction. Yikes, we better get our (humanity) act together, etc., work together for all mankind, etc, get betrayed, etc...

One thing I'm starting to notice is that the cutesie idea of adding a Stan Lee cameo to every single movie made from a Marvel plotline is starting to lose it's visual power. I mean, c'mon, all of us comic book geeks knew who he was in the first place, right? And a whole other generation is watching So You Want to Be a Superhero these days. Do you really think Stan is all that anonymous anymore? Sheesh! Still, his "product placement" was a nice riff on the whole Hitchcockian "my image must be in every story" concept-- I won't give it away but he kind of gets short shrift (and even refers to himself by his given name, instead of a kindly stranger giving the hero some advice). Excelsior, Stan!

Galactus, whom the Surfer works for or worked for in the Marvel timeline... well, in THIS movie, he's a bit of a disappointment, visually. I was hoping for something like the one pictured. The movie version was a giant turd-colored cloud (I'm not giving that away, btw, you can see it in all the previews). On the plus side, they NAILED the Silver Surfer, right down to solemn Lawrence Fishburne voice over.

The plot result was, eh, kind of predictable, right down to the big "faux sacrifice" ending-- but there was more depth in evidence in both the performances AND the storyline. I actually enjoyed it, for what it was.. which is a comic book movie Gar cajoled me into taking him to.