Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTim Story
Screenplay by
Story by
  • John Turman
  • Mark Frost
Based on
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyLarry Blanford
Edited by
Music byJohn Ottman
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • June 15, 2007 (2007-06-15) (United States)
  • August 14, 2007 (2007-08-14) (Germany)
Running time
92 minutes[2]
Countries
  • United States[1]
  • United Kingdom[1]
  • Germany[1]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$120–130 million[2][3]
Box office$301.9 million[2]

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer[b] 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. The film stars Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Michael Chiklis as the title characters, with Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Andre Braugher, Beau Garrett, Doug Jones and Laurence Fishburne in supporting roles. The plot follows the Fantastic Four (and Doctor Doom) as they confront, and later ally with, the Silver Surfer to save Earth from Galactus.

The film was released on June 15, 2007 to generally mixed reviews and grossed over $301 million worldwide, but earned less than its predecessor which grossed $333.5 million worldwide. A third film was planned but ultimately cancelled. The series was rebooted in 2015 with the release of Fantastic Four to poor critical and commercial reception. Marvel Studios eventually reclaimed the film rights of the characters, along with the X-Men and Deadpool, after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney.

Plot

A mysterious, meteor-like object enters Earth's atmosphere, tracing cosmic energy causing fluxes in weather and power outages, and creating mysterious craters. The government approaches Reed Richards to track the movements of the object. Reed and Susan Storm prepare for their wedding amidst a media circus. As the wedding begins, Reed's systems detect the phenomenon approaching New York City.

Johnny Storm pursues the object, finding that it is the Silver Surfer, a silver humanoid on a flying surfboard. He confronts the Surfer, but is overpowered. Later, when Susan tries to check on Johnny, their powers switch; when they touch again their powers revert. Reed's examination of Johnny reveals that exposure to the Surfer has set Johnny's molecular structure in passive 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 Surfer visited previously had all been destroyed. Reed determines that the next crater will appear in London, and the team travels there. They arrive too late to stop the crater, and the Thames drains into it. This also damages the London Eye, but the team manage to save it from collapsing.

The military has the Four reluctantly work with Victor Von Doom, having been freed from his statue-like state by the Surfer's energy passing over Latveria, and his body healed during an encounter with the Surfer in the Russell Glacier. Deducing that the Surfer's board is the source of his power, Reed develops a pulse generator that will separate him from it. In the Black Forest, Susan is confronted by the Surfer, who reveals that he isn't the one trying to destroy Earth. The military opens fire on him, which distracts him and allows the Fantastic Four to use the pulse, separating the Surfer from his board.

The military imprisons the Surfer in Siberia, where they torture him for information. Suspecting that the Surfer is not who he appears to be, the Four have Susan use her power to privately speak to him. She learns he serves Galactus, a cosmic entity who must feed on life-bearing planets to survive. His service to Galactus is what prevents his world from being destroyed, and that the Surfer's board is a homing beacon leading Galactus to Earth.

Doom steals the board using a wrist-pad device he created in secret to gain control of the board and its powers, and escapes to China. The Fantastic Four rescue the Surfer, and pursue Doom in the Fantasticar, confronting him in Shanghai, where he impales Sue with a metal spear made from cosmic energy. With the Surfer powerless, Johnny absorbs the combined powers of the team to battle Doom, disabling Doom's device, while Ben Grimm uses a nearby crane to knock Doom into the harbor.

Galactus arrives as Sue dies in Reed's arms. The Surfer regains control of his board and uses its power to revive Sue, before flying into Galactus with help from Johnny. The conflict results in a massive blast of energy, engulfing Galactus in a cosmic rift, seemingly destroying them both. Johnny's second exposure to the Surfer heals him, and he can no longer switch his powers with his teammates.

Shortly after the events in Shanghai, Reed and Susan get married in Japan, only to be interrupted yet again by an alert that Venice is sinking into the sea; to Reed's delight, Sue has the wedding finish quickly before they race off along with Johnny and Ben to save the city.

In a mid-credits scene, the seemingly lifeless Silver Surfer floats through space, until his eyes open and his board races back to him, indicating that he is still alive.

Cast

Production

Jessica Alba getting her makeup retouched on the film set

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 sequel.[4] Screenwriters Frost and Don Payne were hired to create the screenplay.[5] Payne has said the film is based on "The Galactus Trilogy", as well as comic 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.[6] As of March 2, 2007, Galactus' design was not yet done,[7] and by April 18, until hiring Laurence Fishburne to perform the voice, the filmmakers were unsure of whether the character would speak.[8] Doug Jones was chosen to physically portray the Surfer and supposedly was unaware that he was being dubbed over. Since then, both this film and Hellboy remain the only two films where he has been dubbed over in English.[9]

The film includes the Fantasti-Car,[10] 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".[11] 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.[12] Michael Chiklis' prosthetics as The Thing were also redesigned to allow him to take it off in between takes[13] and for better ventilation.[14]

In August 2006, actor Andre Braugher dropped out of an ER supporting role to be cast in Rise of the Silver Surfer.[15] 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".[16] In September, Jones was confirmed to portray the Silver Surfer in addition to Julian McMahon reprising his role as Doctor Doom.[17] The Baxter Building was also redesigned.[6]

During filming the scene where Sue shows emotions, Story asked Alba to cry pretty as he thought it looked "too real" and "too painful", he also told they can CGI the tears.[18]

Release

Marketing

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.[19] 20th Century Fox launched an outdoor advertising campaign at the end of February.[20] The cast also made an appearance at the Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup NASCAR race in Charlotte over Memorial Day weekend.[21]

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.[22] 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.[22]

Home media

The film was released October 2, 2007 on DVD[23] and Blu-ray.[24]

Reception

Box office

On its opening weekend, the film was the highest-grossing movie at the U.S. box office, reaching approximately $58 million,[25] $2 million more than its predecessor.[26] By its second weekend, the film suffered a 66% drop and a 54% drop in its third weekend.[25] The film grossed $301.9 million worldwide, including a $131.9 million gross in the United States and in Canada.[2] The budget was $120–130 million.[2][3]

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 38% based on 173 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "While an improvement on its predecessor, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is nevertheless a juvenile, simplistic picture that has little benefit beyond its special effects."[27] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[28] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale,[29] the same grade as its predecessor.

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".[30] 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."[31] James Berardinelli of ReelViews.com called the film "so lackluster it makes Spider-Man 3 feel like a masterpiece by comparison".[32]

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".[33] New York Daily News liked the movie: "It's almost a surprise that the sequel is actually better — much better — than the original."[34]

Accolades

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.[35] 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.[36] Rise of the Silver Surfer was nominated for five additional Kids' Choice awards.[37]

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,[38] just as it lost in the "Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet" category, presented by the MTV Movie Awards to Transformers.[39] 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.[40] The film was nominated in eight categories during the Teen Choice Awards ceremonies of 2007, but won no award.[41]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The company is credited as Marvel Studios, despite not being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The rights to the Fantastic Four would eventually revert to the actual Marvel Studios following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney in 2019.
  2. ^ Stylized as Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer on home media, and simply 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer onscreen

References

  1. ^ a b c d "AFI|Catalog- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. 2007. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)". The Numbers. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Michael Fleming (December 4, 2005). "Story booked solid with Fox". Variety. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
  5. ^ Michael Fleming; Dave McNary (May 3, 2006). "Inside Move: Surfer may board Four". Variety. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
  6. ^ a b Ben Morse; Brian Warmoth (January 15, 2007). "2007 Preview: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Wizard. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2010.
  7. ^ Tim Story (March 2, 2007). "Fantastic Four 2 Set Footage & Story Comments". Superherohype.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
  8. ^ Pamela McClintock (April 18, 2007). "Fishburne voices Surfer". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved April 19, 2007.
  9. ^ Why Doug Jones can't be dubbed over in English anymore #insideofyou #silversurfer. YouTube. Inside of You Clips. August 11, 2022. Archived from the original on August 21, 2022. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
  10. ^ Bowles, Scott (November 30, 2006). "First look: Fantasticar flows onto film". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved November 30, 2006.
  11. ^ William Keck (June 1, 2006). "Jessica Alba plans a fantastic summer". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 16, 2006. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
  12. ^ Stax (August 17, 2006). "Fantastic New Title". IGN. Archived from the original on February 20, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
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  14. ^ Director Tim Story's DVD commentary
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  26. ^ "Fantastic Four (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 10, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
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