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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Preview

The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Preview by Jack Foley

IN A SUMMER of surefire movie hits (or three-quels) it’s almost impossible to predict box office casualties.

But one of the more vulnerable might be Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer given the likewarm reaction to the original among some fans and critics.

The film – starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis – grossed over $150 million and set up the possibility of a franchise.

But even by the admission of one of its own stars, Evans (who plays The Human Torch), it was far from a perfect beginning.

“Our story was handicapped because it was an original film,” he told US magazine Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview.

Hence, the sequel promises more action and more villainy from Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), who spent most of the first film turning bad rather than really providing the Fab Four anything to deal with.

What’s more, the superheroes must also face the arrival of enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, who comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction.

The Silver Surfer has long been a fan favourite and for the purposes of this sequel, he’s an all-CGI character that’s been brought to life, Gollum-style by Hellboy actor Doug Jones.

As for Doom, McMahon told IndieLondon whilst promoting his recent film Premonition that there was plenty to look forward to.

“Dr Doom comes back and he’s pissed off at the fact that he’s been melted and frozen and sent away in a casket on a long cruise. So when he comes back he’s bitter and twisted. To me it’s kind of like the Dr Doom that I know from the cartoons and comic books.

“He’s always been a bit of a different character once we put him on film to what I felt he was. But his whole thing was: “Take over the universe, own everything, destroy the Fantastic Four and manipulate anybody’s powers if he can.” So that’s what he does…”

So, with Doom acting the “badass” and constantly scheming and the seemingly indestructible Silver Surfer adding to the Four’s concerns, don’t bet against returning director Tim Story really helping The Fantastic Four to find their feet this time.

And if that’s not enough, we’re also promised more of Jessica Alba, whose Invisible Woman/Sue Storm is given much more substance as she attempts to settle into married life with Gruffudd’s Mr Fantastic.

Advance trailers certainly suggest a bolder approach, while early word from distributor Twentieth Century Fox suggests its aiming to broaden its appeal to a higher age bracket.

Could it be that one of the more obvious tips for box office under-performance could yet have a Silver lining? Find out when Rise of The Silver Surfer opens in UK cinemas on June 15.

Watch the trailer