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Tales of the Forgotten Sequels: 'Rise of the Silver Surfer'

In Tales of the Forgotten Sequels, we take a look at film follow-ups that have been lost to time, either by accident or on purpose. Did these Part Twos and Part Threes deserve the bargain bin, or were they victims of unfair expectations? Let’s find out!


When stacked against The Avengers, The Fantastic Four can feel like Marvel’s B-team. Their adorable minor-league squad deserves $10 seats and dollar hot dog night. They’re cute but lightweight.

With hopes of making the big leagues, the studio hired director Tim Story (Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man Too) to direct a movie adaptation. Paired with the disastrous Elektra, it cemented 2005’s reputation as one of the worst comic-book movie years in recent memory.

But as we all know, money talks in Hollywood. Marvel commissioned Story to direct a follow-up in 2007, Rise of the Silver Surfer. While the movie made double its budget, very few people remember this sequel even existed. Does it deserve to be a Marvel film footnote? In honor of this week’s franchise reboot, let’s find out!

The Good

The Silver Surfer is kinda cool. If you look past the goofy surfboard and the horrendous CGI work, the Silver Surfer is pretty awesome. An alien creature forced to do the dirty work of a world-eating space monster, Surfy’s backstory has a good payoff for his mysterious entrance and quiet ways.

Jessica Alba for the fellas, Chris Evans for the ladies. Raaaawwwrrr.

Jessica Alba and Chris Evans are one of the only reasons to see The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Working together. Working as a team is a common superhero theme, but when there are only four heroes with a limited skill set, (flight/fire, brawn, stretch, and force field), they tend to save the day in clever ways. Even when it’s ridiculous, it’s still fun.

Chris Evans is actually awake during the movie. Unlike his sleepwalking costars, Chris Evans injects his portrayal of the Human Torch with energy and boyish likability. He’s annoying, self-centered, and obnoxious, but at least he’s something.

General Hager rules. He spends the whole movie yelling, calls Mr. Fantastic a twerp, and makes am “I’m the quarterback of this team” analogy without a hint of irony. It’s so clichéd, it’s damn near genius.

General Hagar means business in The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

The Bad

Spastic editing. Scenes jump from location to location with no explanation, characters appear out of nowhere, and the Ferris wheel scene is so poorly cut, it’s nearly unwatchable. Either the editor had nothing to work with or the studio demanded last-minute cuts. Either way, it stinks.

Miserable CGI. From the Surfer’s shiny body to Mr. Fantastic’s terrible stretch animations, the CGI is bad by 1997 standards. It’s one thing to be dated, but the visuals in F4-2 make The Abyss look like The Matrix. The aliens from the video for “I’m Blue” look more believable.

You now have Eiffel 65’s “I’m Blue” in your head. Sorry about that.

The visuals from Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer rivals that of a 90

The ending. Throughout the movie, Johnny Fire Butt uses his poorly explained “switch powers” disease to make a mess out of the business of saving lives. So how do we end a movie about four people working together to save the day? Give Johnny all of their powers, ruining the only fun aspect of the Fantastic Four team.

Turning the Human Torch into video-game Kirby does two things wrong: It removes the entertaining teamwork and it breaks the film’s own rules. Before the final 10 minutes, he can swap powers with people, not combine. Tsk, tsk, movie.

Mr. Fantastic dances. Anybody craving a Peter Parker from Spiderman 3/Mr. Fantastic dance-off? I am!

Please stop doing this, Mr. Fantastic. Please.

Doctor Doom is a doofus. In the Marvel universe, Doctor Doom is an extremely important and badass villain. In Rise of the Silver Surfer, he’s a bumbling buffoon who can’t get out of his own way. This is comic-book sacrilege.


The Baffling

Nobody cares about your wedding. Take it from somebody who got married two weeks ago: Unless they are involved in your wedding, nobody cares about your wedding. Opening the movie with 30 minutes of “Gee, planning a wedding is hard” drama feels like a whiny Facebook feed instead of the beginning of a superhero adventure. This is made doubly hard when the movie assumes you like Reed and Susan’s relationship, when all we see is Jessica Alba and some guy who looks like Steve Guttenberg from Police Academy having couple trouble.

Note: Steve Guttenberg does not make an appearance in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Just when things get good, it becomes a rom-com/buddy-cop movie. Picture this: Doctor Doom has stolen the magic surfboard and killed General Hager, and is about to help the Destroyer of Worlds devour the earth. What happens next? The Thing gets hit by a giant rock, smooshes Mr. Fantastic like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and makes a “that hurt” joke.

This is the main reason why Silver Surfer is painful to watch. Every time tension starts to mount, we have to pause for a terrible pun or cornball moment. It’s like building a sandcastle just to have a wisecracking jerk knock it down. It’s frustrating to the point of agonizing.

The Silver Surfer saves Jessica Alba’s life using Silver Surfer magic because the producers really thought they were going to make a third movie. Spoiler alert: They didn’t.

The Verdict

Oh, this is bad. Very bad. Like, hide the kids, lock up the house, and flee from this movie bad. The original isn’t a masterpiece, but Silver Surfer is a juvenile cheese-fest that destroys whatever lighthearted fun the original had established.

This is a slapstick stinker with bad jokes, flat characters, and hilariously poor CGI. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a movie that should be avoided at all costs. Flame on, flame out.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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