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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
(2007 Film)

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The above link is for a two-disc set of both "Fantastic 4" films.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007):  This is great!  Better than the first.  The first time around, I wasn't too pleased when I heard that they casted Michael Chiklis as The Thing and Jessica Alba as Invisible Woman.  They didn't look like the characters we know from comics/cartoons.  I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I saw their performances in that film.  This time around, they're even better than before.  They made Alba a lot "blonder" in this film and she looks and acts more like the Susan Storm/Invisible Woman we expect.  Funny and sexy.  Michael Chiklis still doesn't look like Ben Grimm, but when he's The Thing, dang he's cool!  He captures Thing's dialogue perfectly, and the voice is an exact match to what we would think it would be.  It's hard to imagine anyone else playing the parts of any of the Fantastic Four in future films.  They all did wonderful.

    Of all the cast, Ioan Gruffud is the best match to his character in looks and persona.  His Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic was pleasing from the very start.  Just a very cool, friendly, and funny type of hero.  Slightly nerdy in his genius way, but more than competent.  Job extremely well done.  Chris Evans is also great as Johnny Storm/Human Torch.  This guy is so funny.  Johnny's a lot more arrogant in these movies than I remember seeing him in comics and cartoons, but it really serves the stories and makes him quite entertaining.

    Julian McMahon returns as Victor Von Doom/Dr. Doom.  He plays a really cool character.  Doom is just so dang evil!  So calculating evil!  And so self-assuming.  His Doom is what you'd expect out of a supervillain.  Nasty to the core.  I think McMahon is certainly a highlight in these two films.  It would be hard to do another FF film without his Dr. Doom.

    The Silver Surfer went above and beyond my expectations.  The special effects were astonishing.  I know that they have incredibly good CGI these days, but everyone should be pleased with how they handled the look and actions of the Silver Surfer character.  He is exactly like the comics character version.  But it sure doesn't sound like Laurence Fishburne's voice.  I know Fishburne did the voice for Surfer, but it doesn't sound like him no matter how close I listen.  The Surfer's voice was very cool.  Something about it sounded benevolent, yet other-worldly.  He was just a good inclusion to the film series all the way around.

    I thought how the makers of this film handled Galactus was cool, but some people out there were disappointed.  In the comics, Galactus is in humanoid form and an impossibly big giant.  Here, Galactus is just a dark, destructive gas cloud.  I think the gas cloud version of Galactus is a lot more believable than what they did in the comics.  I liked it.  Pretty much, though, Galactus was a back-seat character to the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer.  Don't let the way they did Galactus upset your entire viewing experience.  As we all know, you can't be that much of a comics purist when it comes to live-action film adaptations.

    In this second film, it's nice to see the heroes finally comfortable with their powers.  I'm so sick of the cliche "superhero curse" that so many characters seem to have in comics and shows these days.  The Fantastic Four actually love their superpowers and don't try to play them down.  I also like it that we finally see the Baxter Building as it is familiar to Fantastic Four fans with the 4 insignia, etc.  The flying Fantasticar also makes its first appearance here.  Awesome addition.  I'm also very pleased with the spectacular action and special effects.  But the dialogue is probably the coolest thing about the film.  All the characters have wit and charm.  The first film was good for that, but this second entry blows it out of the water.

    All in all, this is a film series that is really coming into its own.  Long live the Fantastic Four!