Idol Chatter

silver_idol.jpgI love all things superhero. But I have to be honest and say that while I enjoyed the first installment of the “The Fantastic Four” on the big screen, there’s simply no comparison between this film franchise and the likes of X-Men or Spider-Man. The second installment, “The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” in theaters this past weekend, didn’t do anything to elevate the fabulous foursome to a new, higher level of action-packed drama. In fact, if anything, this 90-minute film marks a sharp decline in the plot and chemistry between Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny.
The movie’s two fatal flaws: long lulls between action scenes (isn’t that why we go to superhero movies?) and terrible onscreen chemistry between Reed (Ioan Gruffud) and Sue (Jessica Alba), around whose wedding the entire plot revolves. Alba seems better cast against the actor who plays her brother Johnny–Chris Evans–since Gruffud looks a bit closer to a father figure than a sexy spouse.
That said, the movie is a veritable treasure chest of religious allusions.

Most of these are obvious, since there’s little that’s subtle here. Early on a newscaster reporting about the mysterious blackouts and strange environmental occurrences happening all over the globe asks: “Are these acts of God? Or something else altogether?” We soon learn that, well, there’s a little of both.
The Silver Surfer is acting on behalf of a God, just not a very nice one–and in one of our initial closeups with this mysterious creature we witness him venerating this evil divinity. And the Surfer’s God and the Salvation Foursome are about to clash–since this divinity’s vision for earth is rather apocalyptic.
The climactic scene of the movie not only a clash between good and evil, but a sort of Matrix Revolutions, Neo-like, moment (if you know what I mean) that is a bit misplaced in such a lightweight film, not to mention a bit over the top.
My guess: If producers hope that the third time’s a charm, installment three might well be titled: “The Fantastic Four: Resurrection of the Silver Surfer” since (without giving away the end) the film’s last scene includes a rather obvious hint of what’s next on the horizon.

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