Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

With the summer barely at our backs, the big movies from the season are now hitting DVD. One of the early releases is the second “Fantastic Four” film, which introduced the beloved character of the Silver Surfer.

In “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” the fantastic foursome are getting ready for the wedding of Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Sue Storm (Jessica Alba). However, they are distracted by the appearance of a mysterious Silver Surfer, who is scouting planets for Galactus to consume. The Fantastic Four work with the Silver Surfer to save Earth and defeat the giant planet-eating cloud from space.

In general, both “Fantastic Four” films have been maligned by critics and fans alike, and these complaints are not without warrant. Ultimately, though, both movies have been more comic book than action film, and they do skew to a younger audience. The dialogue is pretty bad, and the acting isn’t that great. However, I watch the Silver Surfer blasting across the screen, I can’t help but love it.

“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” is the kind of comic book movie I wish they had made when I was a kid. My children love them, in all of their unrefined and cheap-laugh glory, and so do I. Both films served as excellent escapism for myself, which is much needed as we lumber into awards season.

Overall, I liked this movie, more than most critics I know. Sure, it’s childish and goofy, but that’s been the spirit of the Fantastic Four since they came on the scene in the 1960s. The double-disc DVD has some nice features on it (including two commentary tracks, extended and deleted scenes, a fly-on-the-wall behind-the-scenes video, still galleries and five short featurettes), but it remains a bit thin for two whole discs. Perhaps if they just crammed all (or almost all) of these features on one disc, it would have been a more impressive release.

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