Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a 2007 superhero film, and sequel to the 2005 film Fantastic Four; both films are based upon the comic books of the same name. The film was directed by Tim Story, who also directed the original, and Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd, Julian McMahon and Kerry Washington reprised their roles from the original. 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 Surfer. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was released on June 15, 2007. It was rated PG by the MPAA for sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.

The movie starts with the destruction of a planet some ways from Earth. From the far side of the planet, a silver object comes speeding around and heads for our solar system, crashing through the atmosphere. In Japan, it makes a huge bay freeze solid. In Giza, it makes it start snowing on the Sphinx and pyramids, and cause a blackout in LA.

In an airport in Dallas Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba) catch the reports about it on the TVs. They gush about how the media is more interested in their upcoming wedding...or rather, the fact that it's the wedding of the elastic Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. Sue and Reed talk about the wedding and how nothing will stop it, which makes Sue's brother Johnny (Chris Evans) nauseous. Meanwhile, Ben Grimm, aka The Thing (Michael Chiklis) poses with kids for photos and Johnny basks in the glow of fans. As they board the plane, a pilot comes up to Reed and says that they've overbooked slightly, so two of them -- Ben and Johnny -- will have to fly coach. On the crowded plane, Ben wedges himself into a seat -- between two people and very awkwardly -- and tries to take a nap, but at one point looks out and sees Johnny in Human Torch mode and flying alongside the plane, making him grumble, "I hope it rains."

Once they're back in New York, everyone is once more getting ready for Reed and Sue's wedding and putting the mysterious weather events out of their mind, although Sue worries about the effect their powers are having on their lives. Reed manages to calm her down just in time for Johnny to come in and talk to Reed about his bachelor party, which Reed reluctantly agrees to attend in order to get Johnny to NOT wear a team uniform covered in endorsement logos and to leave something he has covered underneath a giant tarp alone. At the same time, half a world away, in Latveria, there is a box inside a rustic old mansion. Inside, a pair of eyes flash open in anger...

Back in New York, we see Reed and Ben and Johnny leaving the Baxter building and heading to a club for the bachelor party. Ben digs out a seat at the bar as Johnny tries to get Reed to loosen up, which he eventually does, giving a drunken speech on the big bang and twisting his body in every conceivable fashion while dancing. At the same time, army general Hager (Andre Braugher) and his aide, Colonel Frankie Raye (Beau Garrett), arrive at the Baxter and tell Sue that they need to see Reed, who knows the general from a rejected weapons deal. They go and find Reed at the club in a very compromising position, and after disentangling himself, they move to the kitchen where as Johnny makes eyes at Frankie, the general shows them pictures of the silver object that's been causing the disturbances and requests that Reed build a sensor to track it with. Reed turns him down, and recommends another scientist, saying that he's getting married this weekend and won't be able to. He and Sue head out, and Sue says that she's impressed and not to worry about what she saw, since it's nothing compared to what she did at her bachelorette party.

Back in Latveria, while a man with a welding torch works on some kind of statue, the statue immediately comes alive and lets loose a ball of electricity at the man, frying him. The figure breaks free from his remaining bonds, and takes off the mask it wears and throws it at a painting of a man named "Wilhelm Von Doom."

Meanwhile, Ben goes out onto the roof to find Reed building the sensor for the general. Reed looks up embarrassed, but Ben says that he won't tell Sue. Reed asks that Johnny not be told either just as Johnny lands and flames off, but Johnny promises to be quiet. Some time later, the figure in Latveria, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) watching a monitor showing the path of the silver object and musing, "What are you....and what can you do for me?"

Finally, wedding day arrives. Johnny arrives in a flashy car with a flashier date (Vanessa Minnillo) and plays the crowd a bit before inviting some press inside. Reed is finishing work on his sensor and tells the general it's ready before turning it on and linking it to his PDA, which he stuffs in his pocket as Ben comes to almost literally pry him away. He reminds Reed that he's getting married in an hour, at which point Reed's legs go out from under him and become all jelly like (funny scene).

In the kitchen, Ben and his blind girlfriend Alicia Masters (Kerry Washington), who is also the maid of honor are fussing over Ben's pin when Johnny comes in all pressed and dressed. Alicia says "Hi, Johnny" and when he asks how she knew, she smirks and says, "Honestly? You always smell like ash." She makes her way to Sue's room where she calms a nervous Sue down and says it's okay for even superheroes to get the jitters. Finally, the two girls go out into the lobby where Johnny and Ben marvel over Sue's dress and the two pairs finally go out, with Johnny telling Sue that their father would be proud.

The two go out, and Johnny gives Sue away as Ben noisily cries/bawls, and the minister (Brian Posehn) is just starting when the sensor -- and Reed's PDA -- start beeping. It identifies the object's location as New York, and suddenly it's right there and gone, and in the aftermath makes a helicopter nearly crash on top of Alicia (saved by Ben) and the other guests (stopped by Sue). Johnny gives chase and cuts the object off at the Chrysler Building, where he sees the object, a silver figure on a silver surfboard, phase through the building. He chases the Silver Surfer (Doug Jones) all the way to Washington, D.C. where the Surfer suddenly grabs a hold of Johnny and takes them both into space before throwing Johnny back into the atmosphere to land somewhere in Africa. Meanwhile, the Surfer kneels on his board and says that the planet is waiting, and some distance off, the force that ate the planet in the beginning begins to move...

In the Baxter Building, Johnny has just finished recalling his encounter with the Surfer to Ben, Sue, Reed, and the general and his troops. The general orders Reed to find a new way to monitor and/or stop the Surfer and leaves. Johnny says that he isn't feeling great and steps outside for a minute for a quick flight, but falls to the pavement, although he does survive thanks to a last minute flame burst. Sue is a little upset with Reed for not telling her what he was doing, but then rushes downstairs to check on her brother. They touch, and suddenly Johnny turns invisible and Sue bursts into flame and starts flying. Reed sees this and gets outside and figures out that them touching did it, so they touch again and switch back, leaving Johnny normal and Sue naked.

Back inside, Reed explains that Johnny's encounter with the Surfer has made his powers switchable, and Ben seizes the opportunity and trades with him. Eventually, Ben now has Johnny's flaming power, while Johnny has Ben's skin texture. So they change back. Reed and Sue talk and come to the decision that once the current crisis is past, they should just move out and start their own family somewhere else, a decision which Johnny overhears and tells Ben and Alicia about, although Alicia tries to keep both men calm about it, saying it's Reed and Sue's decision.

Elsewhere, in Greenland, a helicopter tracking the movements of the Surfer. It stops at a large hole in the ground that's 200 metres across, and its pilot, Victor, gets out. He waits, and soon the Surfer appears. He tries to convince the Surfer to work with him, but the Surfer (voiced by Laurence Fishburne) simply says, "All that you know is at an end." He turns to leave, but Victor attacks in fury. The Surfer lets loose with some of his own power, and Victor goes flying through the air, demolecularizes, passes through a cave wall, remolecularizes, and crashes on the ground. He picks himself up and sees that where he was once metal, he is returning to an organic state.

Back in New York, the Four are currently riding shotgun on a helicopter. Reed has figured out a pattern of the Surfer's appearances and pinpoints London, England, as the next stop. They head out and Reed lays down a plan, but Johnny interrupts and asks Reed why they didn't tell them they were breaking up the team. He says its not the time for it and they go to work just as the Surfer makes a giant ferris wheel come loose. Sue holds it up with a shield as Reed ties himself around the rigging with Ben supporting from below. The Surfer appears again from below, and Johnny impulsively goes after him but brushes up against Reed doing so, making them switch powers and Johnny go all limp. They improvise and eventually Reed uses the flame powers to weld the ferris wheel back into place. Johnny pulls himself together and tries to apologize, but Reed just tells him to keep back before he does any more damage. As Johnny cleans up, Frankie comes along and says that there's a briefing in five minutes he needs to be there for. They talk, and we see that Frankie is pretty disgusted with Johnny. He tries to break through, but she just storms off.

In the briefing room, Hager is yelling at our heroes. So he's brought in someone to help -- Victor. Ben attacks, and Reed manages to calm him down enough. Victor shows them footage of his encounter and reveals that the board is the source of the Surfer's power, and that if they can separate him from it, he'll be powerless. Later, as Johnny and Ben are at a bar musing about their potential final days, Reed tries to come up with something. Sue gives him a massage to help him relax and says that he needs to slow his pulse down when suddenly he starts and says that a pulse is just what they need. He thanks her, kisses her, and runs off.

After Reed tells Hager that they need a tacyon pulse emitter, everyone starts setting up in the Black Forest in Germany as Victor runs around looking important. They get everything set up, but are stopped when the Surfer shows up right next to Sue's position. For some reason, he talks to her and says that he is not the destroyer but the herald and that he has no choice but to do this, but they are interrupted by the army, who decides to launch an all out missile attack. The pulse is set off, and the Surfer is separated, turning a dull gray color. Victor walks up to him and gives him a spiteful shock, and the army takes both the board and the Surfer.

Hours later, on an army base in Siberia, the Four are being detained and the Surfer is being interrogated quite inhumanely. Reed says that they need to talk to him, and Sue turns invisible and sneaks out. Victor pulls the general aside -- ironically giving Sue the opening she needs -- and asks to work on the board, as he was promised. Sue goes in to talk to the surfer and asks his name. He doesn't respond, and she asks who the destroyer is. He tells her that his people called it "Galactus" and "the destroyer of worlds". He also says that he protected her form the missiles because she reminds him of the love he left behind in order to keep his world safe. Finally, he says that it is the board that draws the destroyer, just as Sue notices a guard watching him talking to apparently no one. Sue bails -- still invisible -- and gets back to the others.

Meanwhile, Hager and Victor are taking the board out of its container when Victor suddenly attacks the general. He puts on his mask and cape and steps on the board, turning silver in doing so. The general comes to and fires his pistol at Victor, but Victor just channels the power and blows the general apart. He breaks out of there just as our heroes get it together and bust the Surfer out, but they get cut off by a very nervous looking Frankie. Johnny calms her down and reasons with her, and she lets them go just as Reed summons a ride for them -- the Fantasticar, which is what Johnny was looking at earlier. They pile in and locate Victor, and give chase.

Meanwhile, Victor is reveling in the power of the board just as Galactus, a giant dark cloud of energy, has begun arriving. The Four catch up, and the Surfer lets slip that his name was Norrin Radd. They find Victor over Shanghai, and he attacks, forcing Reed to split the car into three sections -- him in one, Ben in another, Sue and the Surfer in the third, and Johnny flying alongside. They try to take Victor, but can't get close enough, and he makes them all crash. He finds the Surfer and Sue and makes a spear appear out of nowhere. He throws it at the Surfer, but hits Sue instead, not that he cares. Reed finds them finally and screams, and the spear disintegrates. Johnny realizes that they can't take Victor, and he asks for their powers. They hand them over, while Victor watches the destruction around him. An invisible Johnny with the powers of all four members sneaks up on him and starts whaling on Victor, eventually crushing the pulse emitter and throwing Victor into a river. He gets back to the others and hands the powers back just as the board returns to its owner. The Surfer gets his power back and heals Sue, telling Reed, "Cherish every moment with her, and tell her that she was right....that there is a choice." He rockets skyward -- assisted by Johnny -- and heads into the center of the cloud as Johnny goes back to Earth. He finds the heart of Gah Lak Tus and turns his power into himself, destroying Gah Lak Tus in a powerful explosion of energy.

Back on Earth, the four heroes see this and realize what it means. Johnny hugs Ben in glee and then hugs him again when he realizes that his powers are no longer switching. The group begin walking to find their separate ships, and Reed and Sue reassure Johnny and Ben that they will never leave the group, and that their only plan now is to finally get married. Johnny asks if this one will be a media circus.

Reed and Sue are getting married with a small gathering of friends -- along with Alicia and Frankie, who has started dating Johnny, apparently -- in a Chinese province somewhere. The reverend who was doing their last wedding starts the service when he is again interrupted by Reed's pager, to his disgust. Sue asks what's wrong, and Reed tells her that Venice is apparently sinking entirely. They tell the reverend to skip to the end, which he does, and kiss long and hard. They head to the car when Ben reminds Sue to throw the bouquet, which is heading right for Frankie. But Johnny burts it into flames, claiming that it was his reflexes. Frankie shakes her head, and Reed, Sue, and Ben pile into the fantasticar as Johnny takes flight and split up and head off, pausing only to trace the outline of a giant Fantastic Four symbol in the sky.

Back in space, the Surfer's board is drifting some distance away from the Surfer, who appears silent and gray and unmoving. Suddenly, the board comes alive and heads straight for the Surfer.

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 Fantastic Four #48-51, 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 they were still unsure of whether he 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.

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, actor Doug 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.

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer got a PG rating from the MPAA, the first Marvel film since Howard the Duck to earn this rating. The first Fantastic Four film earned the higher rating of PG-13. However, when asked about the rating at SuperHeroHype, Tim Story said that he didn't change anything and also said he wants younger people to see this and have a good time as well.

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 supposed to appear during the film Disturbia on April 13th but errors occurred and Tim Story announced that it would be released during the Spider-Man 3 film on May 4th. However, the theatrical trailer was finally released online on April 30th on Apple Trailer's website. 20th Century Fox launched an outdoor advertising campaign at the end of February.

Although many reviews agree that the movie is superior to the first film, the movie has thus far received mixed reviews. Currently the movie only holds a 39% at Rotten Tomatoes.

Those who liked the film, however, praised it for its great CGI-action packed story and the depiction of the Silver Surfer character. The Times, for example, gave the movie credit for its simplicity in bringing the story to life. Furthermore, IGN wrote in its review that "it has enough fun, action and wit to keep fans and non-fans interested and entertained". Empire magazine gave the movie 3 out of 5 stars, calling it bigger, better and more polished than the first.

Nonetheless, the film has also garnered negative reviews. The New York Times called the movie an "amalgam of recycled ideas, dead air, dumb quips, casual sexism and pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo", whilst The Wall Street Journal said the film even failed to sustain its modest running time of 87 minutes.

Screenwriter Don Payne has said he'd love to write a spin-off for the Silver Surfer and explore his origins, either in flashbacks or a prequel film. Actor Julian McMahon is signed on for a third film. J. Michael Straczynski, writer of the current Silver Surfer: Requiem series for Marvel, is writing the Silver Surfer screenplay.

Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer was nominated for the "Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet" Award at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards, but it lost to Transformers.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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