out of Five
Running time: 95
Enjoyable sequel which manages a decent blend of character-based comedy and comic book-style action.
What's it all about?
The super-powered sequel finds our heroic quartet (Ioan Gruffud as Reed Richards/Mr Fantasic, Jessica Alba as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing) enjoying their new lives as globally famous superheroes. However, a new threat is on the horizon, in the form of planet-devouring entity Galactus and his intergalactic herald, the board-riding Silver Surfer (Doug Jones, voiced by Laurence Fishburne).
When the Surfer's presence on Earth causes a series of disasters, the military come to Reed for help, only for the Surfer to arrive in New York right in the middle of Reed and Sue's wedding. Meanwhile, the villainous Doctor Doom (Julian McMahon) schemes to steal the Surfer's cosmic powers away from him.
The Fantastic Four movies take a much more light-hearted approach than the angst-laden likes of the Spider-Man or X-Men franchises. Consequently, returning director Tim Story puts as much work into the character-based comedy as he does into the action sequences and it's surprising how much of both he manages to pack into a fast-moving 95 minutes.
The script is superb, blending several classic comic storylines without over-complicating the plot. The effects are, for the most part, excellent (though there are one or two dodgy bits) and the action sequences are suitably impressive.
Acting-wise, Evans and Chiklis are the stand outs but Gruffud is allowed to loosen up a bit (literally) this time round and delivers a charmingly geeky performance. Alba still looks weird with her blonde wig and blue contacts but at least she's given more to do this time.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is an enjoyable sequel that delivers humour, likeable characters, great special effects and plenty of comic book-style action, though fans hoping for a glimpse of Galactus should prepare for disappointment.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (PG)