Rise of the Silver Surfer
|Directed by||Tim Story|
|Produced by||Avi Arad |
|Written by||Don Payne |
|Starring||Ioan Gruffudd |
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Edited by||William Hoy |
Peter S. Elliot
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|June 15, 2007 |
August 14, 2007
|Country||United States |
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (titled Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer on the DVD/Blu-ray release) is a 2007 American superhero film, and 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. Doug Jones and Beau Garrett appear in the sequel as the Silver Surfer and Frankie Raye, respectively, along with 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.
Upon it's release on June 15, 2007 in North America, the film received mainly unfavorable reviews from critics, though some considered it an improvement over the first film. While it was the highest-grossing film during its first week, the film ultimately made less than its predecessor, resulting in a third film being cancelled. The series was later rebooted in 2015 and released to a worse critical and commercial reception.
Reed Richards and Sue Storm 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 government approaches Reed to track the movements of the object.
As the wedding begins Reed's systems detect the phenomenon approaching New York City. The object destroys the sensors while the Fantastic Four protect the crowd. The Human Torch pursues the object, discovering that it is a humanoid, a "Silver Surfer". He confronts the Surfer, who drags Johnny into the upper atmosphere then drops him back toward Earth. Johnny manages to reactivate his powers and survives the fall. Later, when Sue tries to comfort Johnny, she touches his shoulders and their powers switch - he becomes invisible, and she is set on fire; when they touch again their powers revert back. Reed's examination of Johnny reveals 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 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, 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 pulse generator[disambiguation needed] 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.
Doom, pursuing the power in the board, steals it from the compound, using the device he secretly created earlier to gain control of the board and its powers. 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, while Ben Grimm 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 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. The credits cut back to a shot of the Silver Surfer's seemingly lifeless body floating through space, but his eyes open and his board races towards him.
With Fantastic Four grossing $330 million worldwide, 20th Century Fox hired director Tim Story and screenwriter Mark Frost in December 2005 to return for the superhero team's sequel. Screenwriters Frost and Don Payne were hired to write the screenplay. Payne has said the film is based upon "The Galactus Trilogy", in which Galactus also makes an appearance, as well as issues 57-60 in which Doom steals the Surfer's power. Payne has also said the film takes inspiration from the Ultimate Marvel limited series Ultimate Extinction. As of March 2, 2007, Galactus' design was not yet done, and by April 18, until hiring Laurence Fishburne to perform the voice, the filmmakers were unsure of whether the character would speak.
The film includes the Fantasti-Car, a larger role for Kerry Washington's character Alicia Masters, and in June 2006, the Silver Surfer was announced to appear in the sequel as a "villain / hero". The Silver Surfer has been created by combining the performance of actor Doug Jones, a grey-silver suit designed by Jose Fernandez and created by FX shop Spectral Motion which has then been enhanced by a new computer-generated system designed by WETA.
The sequel, whose working title was Fantastic Four 2, was officially titled Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in August 2006 with filming beginning on August 28 in Vancouver and set for a release date of June 15, 2007. Michael Chiklis' prosthetics as The Thing were also redesigned to allow him to take it off in between takes and for better ventilation.
In August 2006, actor Andre Braugher dropped out of an ER supporting role to be cast in Rise of the Silver Surfer. Braugher was cast as General Hager, whom director Story described as "an old acquaintance of Reed Richards and one of the major additions to the movie". In September, Jones was confirmed to portray the Silver Surfer in addition to Julian McMahon reprising his role as Doctor Doom. The Baxter Building was also redesigned.
The teaser trailer was initially exclusively attached to Night at the Museum. It was released to the general public online on December 26, 2006 on the film's official website. The theatrical trailer was scheduled to appear during the film Disturbia on April 13, 2007 but errors occurred and Tim Story announced that it would be released with Spider-Man 3 on May 4, 2007. The theatrical trailer was finally released online on April 30, 2007 on Apple Trailer's website. 20th Century Fox launched an outdoor advertising campaign at the end of February. The cast also made an appearance at the Coca Cola 600 Nextel Cup NASCAR race in Charlotte over Memorial Day weekend.
In late May 2007, 20th Century Fox struck a deal with the Franklin Mint to promote the movie by altering 40,000 U.S. quarters and releasing them into circulation. All of the altered quarters were minted in 2005 and honor the state of California as part of the 50 State Quarters program created by the U.S. Mint. The altered quarters feature the Silver Surfer on the reverse along with a URL to the movie's official website. Once the U.S. Mint became aware of the promotion, it notified the studio and the Franklin Mint that it was breaking the law by turning government-issued currency into private advertising. The federal mint did not indicate whether a penalty would be effected.
The film was released October 2, 2007 on DVD (Widescreen/Full Screen & 2 Disc "The Power Cosmic" Edition) and high-definition Blu-ray Disc. The film was also released on HD DVD outside of the U.S.
On its opening weekend, the film was the highest-grossing movie at the U.S. box office, reaching approximately $58 million, $2 million more than its predecessor. By its second weekend, the film suffered a 66% drop and a 54% drop in its third weekend. The film grossed $289 million worldwide, including a $131.9 million gross in the United States and in Canada. The budget was $130 million.
On the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, 36% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 162 reviews (59 "fresh", 103 "rotten"). On Metacritic, the film had a score of 45%, based on 45 reviews. On Yahoo! Movies the film is rated C+ by critics, based on 14 reviews.
The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis called the film an "amalgam of recycled ideas, dead air, dumb quips, casual sexism and pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo". Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal said the film was "more fun than in the original" but "fails to sustain its modest running time of 87 minutes." James Berardinelli of ReelViews.com called the film "so lackluster it makes Spider-Man 3 feel like a masterpiece by comparison".
Kevin Maher of The Times liked the film's light tone saying "the film is everything you’d expect from a movie that began in the pages of a 1960s comic book – garish, giddy, emotionally simplistic, boldly idiotic and mercifully short". New York Daily News liked the movie: "It's almost a surprise that the sequel is actually better — much better — than the original."
Rise of the Silver Surfer was nominated for fifteen awards, winning two. The film won the 2008 Golden Trailer Award for "Best Teaser Poster", against competition from Saw IV, and Quantum of Solace, among others. At the 2008 Kids' Choice Awards, Jessica Alba won for "Favorite Female Movie Star", over Keira Knightley of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and Kirsten Dunst of Spider-Man 3. Rise of the Silver Surfer was nominated for five additional Kids' Choice awards.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer lost to Cloverfield for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films' 2008 Best Science Fiction Film award, just as it lost in the "Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet" category, presented by the MTV Movie Awards to Transformers. The United Kingdom's National Movie Awards, additionally, selected Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix over Rise of the Silver Surfer in its 2007 "Best Family" category. The film was nominated in eight categories during the Teen Choice Awards ceremonies of 2007, but won no award.
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