June 16, 2007

Review - Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

Yes, I'm a nerd and I've got a bit of a soft spot for comic book movies, so I might be willing to give them a bit more slack than your average person if they're, shall we say, not Academy material. Still, FF2 isn't a great movie. It isn't a good movie either, but as I walked out of the theater I heard the word "terrible" a couple times, and it's just not that. If I had to categorize the way I would have chosen to watch it in retrospect, it'd be a Sunday afternoon HBO or TNT movie when I'm kind of bored. But I've seen terrible movies and if "terrible" encompasses this movie and movies that are truly terrible than it's simply not a category worth a damn.

The plot made sense. The special effects were well done. Some of the jokes, though not nearly all, got a chuckle. There were nice little bits sprinkled lightly throughout the film. Overall though, things just didn't pop they way I expect them to in a good movie. The movie definitely captured the family aspect of the group pretty well and I thought the Silver Surfer was pretty close to the morose dispationate guy I think he should have been. The movie lost the philosophical depth to the character Galactus that the comic had, but honestly I'm a smart guy and I can't think of a way to do that unless it spanned two movies. Who knows, maybe, like Spiderman 3, this should have been a story spread over two films, but that's not what we got and I think it's patently too big a risk for me to expect a studio to do in this day and age with the budget it takes to make major summer action movies.

FF2 isn't terrible, it's mediocre. Almost everything it does fits into a template of "things that you need in a summer movie" and that's damning enough without turning everything that doesn't delight me into the most recent tragedy on film. I'll save the disgust for something that deserves it and maybe catch bits and pieces of this when it's on TNT and I've got absolutely nothing better to do.


Unknown said...

No, imo the movie is terrible. There is nothing good about it. Every aspect of it was straining with herculean effort toward mediocre, and it mostly failed. With a running time of merely 90 minutes, it still dragged abominably.

I think where we differ is that you see movies as a bell curve encompassing every movie that is released into theaters. A few are very good and a few are very bad, but most reside somewhere in the middle. Fair enough. But that's not how I see it.

I don't care how many other movies out there are even worse than this one. That's irrelevant. The question is whether or not the mvie was minimally entertaining. This one wasn't. It was totally boring. I couldn't wait for it to be over. If I hadn't been with friends, I very probably would have walked out, because I was totally indifferent to the characters and the story.

That's terrible. It's not just terrible compared Lawrence of Arabia, or even terrible compared to Spider-Man 3. It's terrible compared to what a movie like that is supposed to be.

To put it simply, it is below the quality threshold for movies I am willing to watch for free. That's a terrible movie.

MosBen said...

Again, if "terrible" encompasses 90% of anything, it's just not a useful scale to compare a medium, or at least, it's not a useful review system. I don't disagree that the movie has plenty of failings, but if your system can't distinguish between FF2 and Battlefield Earth than it's just not a reasonable method of distinguishing between movies.

In retrospect I would not have paid to see FF2. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone but the hardest of hardcore fanboys that *must* see every comic book movie. But at the same time as a reasonable person I have to have some kind of perspective on things and this just isn't terrible. Terrible can't encompass "things I don't like enough to pay for" in the same way that "horrible person" can't mean "everyone that I don't like."

Unknown said...

Re-read my last paragraph.

MosBen said...

A student that gets half As and half Fs ends up with a C average and has performed in a mediocre manner. A student who gets straight Cs has also performed in a mediocre manner. While you may praise the first student for their As, in the end both are average.

Anonymous said...

Ok, you guys need to give me contributor status. Meanwhile, I'm sticking this here b/c it's comic related.

I just read on AICN that there is a possible Valiant Comics revival coming to comic book stores near us. One of the best series from the company was called Harbinger, a book that Heroes borrowed heavily from in terms of both plot and overall concept. This link has the story and scans of the first issue. If you don't run out and buy the Harbinger TPB you're missing out on the coolest thing to happen to comics in the 1990s. While Marvel was doing (mostly) everything wrong with 13 variant chromofoil covers for the first issue of something like the Secret Defenders, and ploybags stuffed with trading cards, Valiant created the first real characters to rival the those that frequent the Avengers' and JLA's break rooms. Here is the AICN link:


I mean really? Marvel trading cards? I'm ashamed to admit that at one point in my life I spent 2 hours trying to orchestate a trade for a Venom hologram card while being able to hold on to my Wolverine v. Wendigo greatest battles card.

Please take this comment and give it its own post please.