The enigmatic intergalactic herald, the Silver Surfer (Doug Jones) comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As he races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed Richards (Ioann Gruffudd), Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) and Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) must unravel the mystery of the Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr Doom (Julian McMahon), before all hope is lost!
Rise of the Silver Surfer manages to keep a brisk pace from start to finish which, given the 92 minute runtime, probably isn't the hardest thing to achieve. As soon as the Silver Surfer arrives on the scene (which is pretty much as soon as the movie starts) things start going amiss - including the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm. As well as the impending destruction that the Silver Surfer brings the Fantastic Four also have to work with Dr Doom. There are a few neat twists in the storyline, and you never quite know what the Silver Surfer is going to do next but there is certainly plenty of action in the movie, including a stunning action sequence set in London.
One thing that I have found amusing is that some other reviewers and movie goers have complained that the Silver Surfer looked like a clone of the T-1000 from Terminator 2. Can I take this opportunity to remind them that the Silver Surfer first appeared in Marvel comic books way back in 1966 - well before the Terminator franchise was even the smallest thought in James Cameron's mind.
While still not a great movie this sequel certainly offers a lot more entertainment, and visually stunning set pieces, then the original which was a little pedestrian at times. If you're after a great comic book 'popcorn' flick then this will likely fill your needs.
With such an effects laden movie I was a little concerned that the presentation would look to 'CG-ish' in places but that wasn't the case at all. In particular the flame effects on Johnny Storm are fantastic, and the metallic silver and reflections on the Surfer are also quite amazing. Throughout the picture colours are vibrant, but manage to retain a natural look especially with skintones. The transfer is, as expected, totally devoid of any film or compression artifacts. Indeed this is one of the best transfers of a movie to Blu-Ray in our collection.
Other audio options on this disc include French 5.1 DTS at 768kbps, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384kbps, and English Descriptive Audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384kbps. Subtitles are provided in around 10 different languages for the main feature and each of the audio commentaries has subtitles in English, French and Dutch.
Commentary by Director Tim Story:
It's quite clear that Tim Story is passionate about this movie and the entire Fantastic Four franchise. He is quite a joy to listen to with plenty of information about the production of this movie, the problems they encountered and the set pieces used.
After the impressive commentary from Tim Story I was hoping that this group effort would be even better with a lot more interesting stories and comments from the participants. Sadly I actually found this to be the lesser of the two commentaries with limited detail, and periods of silence.
Extended and Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Tim Story (9:41):
Presented in Standard Definition but encoded in AVC these scenes are nice to have, but there's nothing much here to get excited about. Impressively the scenes that are already in the movie are presented in Black and White, while the new scenes are presented in colour.
Family Bonds: The Making of Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer (46:11):
Split into two parts (Pre-Production and Production). This is certainly the biggest and most impressive of the extras this covers and considerable amount of the production of the movie and includes a tonne of 'fly on the wall' footage as well as sit down interviews with a large number of cast and crew. There's a tonne of information here about the creation of this movie. The only disappointment is that this lengthy feature is only presented in Standard Definition.
A look a the flying vehicle used in the movie including the design and artwork that went into the conceptualization of the vehicle, its creation (both real and virtual) and then use in filming for the movie.
The Power Cosmic (15:10):
A look at the Silver Surfer in the movie and the need to get it right to satisfy comic book fans, and non-fans alike. From the poses for the Surfer, to the visual effects, and the filming with motion capture. Fox actually used WETA (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) for the visual effects. Quite an interesting featurette.
Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book Origins of The Silver Surfer (39:02):
A fascinating look at the comic book origins of the Silver Surfer with considerable interviews with Stan Lee. Quite an impressive featurette and one which will interest both comic book, and non-comic book, fans alike.
Scoring the Fantastic (4:39):
A look at scoring the music for Rise of the Silver Surfer with director John Ottman. Nothing detailed, and nothing not seen in other similar featurettes.
Character Design with Spectral Motion (11:34):
A decent enough look at the work that went into changing Michael Chiklis into The Thing.
A series of still photos from the production of the movie.
"Saving the World One Question at a Time" Trivia Game:
A Java based trivia game which is set to provide some entertainment.
"Who Dares Defy Galactus" Strategy Game:
Better then the trivia game this strategy game sees you trying to save or conquer a series of worlds. Learn the rules and you can spend a bit of time here..
Theatrical Trailers (3:42/HD):
Two trailers for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
The disc contains a couple of web links to Fox but clicking on it only brings up a screen to go to the site. I would love it if we could click on the links and be taken to them through the PS3's web browser - even it if did mean closing the disc. Perhaps with Profile 1.1 due out soon then.
Review By: Dave Warner