Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a 2007 American superhero film, and the sequel to the 2005 film Fantastic Four. Both films are based on the Fantastic Four comic book and were directed by Tim Story. Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm are the film series’ recurring protagonists, while Julian McMahon and Kerry Washington reprised their roles from the first film as, respectively, Victor Von Doom and Alicia Masters. Beau Garrett appears in the sequel as Frankie Raye, along with Doug Jones as the Silver Surfer and Laurence Fishburne as the voice of the Silver Surfer. The plot follows the Fantastic Four as they confront, and later ally with, the Silver Surfer to save Earth from Galactus.
While it was the highest-grossing film during the week that immediately followed its release on June 15, 2007 in North America, and while it received two out of fifteen awards nominations, critics gave it generally unfavorable reviews. They noted its improvement over the first film but criticized its flimsy direction and lack of humor. The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 2, 2007
As Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) prepare for their wedding, a silver object enters Earth’s atmosphere, radiating cosmic energy that creates massive molecular fluctuations and causes deep craters at locations across the Earth. The US government approaches Richards to track and identify the movements of the object. He initially refuses, to appease Sue who feels he is again starting to neglect her for his science projects (made worse after she catches him dancing at his bachelor party with three other ladies), however, he surreptitiously builds a radar tracker which will locate the object, as the Army requests.
During the wedding, Reed’s systems detect the phenomenon approaching the city, and as a result the city suffers a blackout, creating chaos and damage, which the Fantastic Four try to minimize. Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) pursues the object, discovering it to be a silvery humanoid riding a flying surfboard. The “Silver Surfer” (Doug Jones, voice of Laurence Fishburne) drags him into the upper atmosphere then drops him back toward Earth. During his fall Johnny finds his abilities fluctuating, and barely manages to survive the fall, successfully flying at the last minute. Later, Sue and Johnny switch powers when they touch, prompting Reed to examine Johnny revealing that exposure to the Surfer has set Johnny’s molecular structure in flux, allowing him to switch powers with his teammates through physical contact. Tracing the cosmic energy of the Surfer, Reed discovers that a series of planets the alien had visited have all been destroyed.
The Surfer has been creating deep artificial craters around the globe. Reed determines that the next crater will appear in London, and the team travel there. They arrive too late to stop the crater, and the River Thames drains into it. Afterwards, both Reed and Sue contemplate abandoning their lives as superheroes in order to provide a normal life to raise a family. The Surfer’s movements around the globe bring him past Latveria, where the cosmic energy affects Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon), freeing him from two years as a metal statue. Doom, able to move again but scarred, traces the Surfer to the Russell Glacier and makes him an offer to join forces. When the Surfer rebuffs him, Doom attacks. The Surfer returns fire, blasting Doom through the ice. The cosmic energy of the Surfer’s blast heals Doom’s body.
Doom leverages his experience into a deal with the American military, who force the Fantastic Four to work with Doom. Deducing that the Surfer’s board is the source of his power, Reed develops a tachyon pulse generator that will separate him from it, while Victor works on an unknown remote-like machine. In the Black Forest, Sue is confronted by the Surfer, during which he reveals he is merely a servant to the destroyer of worlds, and regrets the destruction he causes. The military opens fire on the Surfer, which distracts him and allows the four to fire the pulse, separating the Surfer from his board. The military imprisons the Surfer in Siberia, while they torture him for information. Sue uses her powers to sneak into his cell, where she learns more information from the Surfer. He tells her his master was known by the people of his world as Galactus, a massive cloud-like cosmic entity which feeds on life-bearing planets to survive, and that his board is a homing beacon which is summoning Galactus to the planet. The Silver Surfer has to serve Galactus who will otherwise destroy not only his loved ones but his planet.
Doom, using the device he created earlier, steals the board from the compound, killing the majority of the Army presence there at the same time. The Fantastic Four rescue the Surfer, and pursue Doom in the Fantasticar, confronting him in Shanghai. During the battle, Sue is mortally wounded. With the Surfer powerless, Johnny absorbs the combined powers of the entire team in order to battle the cosmic energy-empowered Doom. Johnny succeeds in breaking Doom’s control over the Surfer’s board, and Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) uses a nearby crane to knock Doom into the harbor, however, Galactus has already arrived, and Sue dies in Reed’s arms. The Surfer regains the control of his board, and his power is restored. He revives Sue and chooses to defend Earth, flying, with an extra boost from Johnny, into Galactus. The conflict results in a massive blast of energy that engulfs Galactus in a cosmic rift, and apparently kills the Surfer as well. Reed and Sue get married in Japan, and Johnny recovers his stable molecular state after touching the Surfer’s board. In a post-credits scene, the Silver Surfer’s seemingly lifeless body floats through space. His eyes then open and his board races towards him, indicating that he is alive.
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First Published: Feb 15, 2012 – Re-Published: Apr 6, 2013