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Friday, May 25 12:00 AM ET

Trailer Review: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

By Brian Briggs


Trailer Quicktime

Jessica Alba
Ioan Gruffudd

Director Tim Story
Official Site Link
US Opening

June 15, 2007

Rated PG-13
Genre Comic Book Adaptation
Explosions 8
Weapons Energy bolt, falling sign, heat-seeking missiles

Man Quotient

(Explosions + Weapons + Hot Babes - Kisses)/ Minutes

Déjà Vu
Fantastic 4
Geek Factor 55%
See Trailer? No
See Movie? No

I didn't see the first movie in the series, but I did have a Fantastic 4 book as a kid.  I don't think I could read at the time, but the pictures were pretty.  I have a feeling that's exactly how this movie will be.  You won't need any skills in movie criticism, but it will be pretty.

The trailer opens with Al Gore getting punched in the metaphorical face.  There's snow on the Sphinx in Egypt.  No doubt, this will be used by Senator Inhofe to prove that global warming is a hoax.  That's not the only disaster.  A giant sinkhole starts draining the Thames.  Could it all be Bill Clinton's fault?

A spy satellite has picked up a blurry image of what could be a guy on a surfboard shooting through space.  The Fantastic 4 have been called in to figure out what it is, since they're really into surfing. 

It's the Silver Surfer, so named because he's silver, on a surfboard and Platinum Snowboarder wasn't as alliterative.  He can fly through buildings.  He can shoot bolts of energy at mysterious, cloaked humanoids.  He can catch a wave and sit on top of the world.

Jessica Alba
For this movie, Jessica Alba
was done completely in CGI.

Johnny Storm (Fireboy) tangles with the Surfer and gets his molecules all tangled up.  Now, if Johnny touches anyone, he switches power with them.  This is perfect for some contrived comic relief, right before the Silver Surfer destroys Earth.

Mr. Stretchy says that whatever world this guy goes to, that planet dies eight days later.  Astronomy must be much further advanced in the Fantastic 4 universe than it is here.  We can't even directly detect exoplanets yet, but here they can tell if life has been extinguished?  Forget the fact that they have definitive proof of life on at least eight other planets.  Wouldn't that be big news?

Leave it to a geek to worry about something like that in a movie with super powers, flying cars, and Jessica Alba.  I need to get out of the BBasement more.

The trailer ends with the classic pounding soundtrack and quick-cut action montage.  Even for an action trailer, there's less dialog than normal. 

Silver Surfer
Invisible Wall

The comic book version of the Silver Surfer has an interesting storyline, but I'm not sure how closely the movie will follow the comic book.  It's hard to tell with such limited information, but given that this is a big Hollywood blockbuster, I doubt it will be true to the source.

Ending Prognostication: My guess is that the Fantastic 4 prevail, and the fate of the Silver Surfer will remain ambiguous. Opening up the possibility for Fantastic 4-3: The Fall of the Silver Surfer.

Conclusion on Trailer:  Lots of special effects, little exposition.  That's a good combination for an action movie trailer, but this one didn’t do it for me.  I don't have any more desire to see this movie than I did before watching it.  As a trailer, that's a failure.

Conclusion on Movie:  The movie has possibilities, but I doubt it will fulfill them.  I'm also concerned about a villian that is 100% computer generated. Watch your downloaded copy of Spider-Man 2 again instead.

Story Options:

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