Saturday, October 12, 2013

Give Us Your Worst, Part 23: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

In 1994, a Fantastic Four movie is made that's so bad, Fox decides not to release it. Ten years later, they produce and release a movie that's actually worse. Three years after that, they make a sequel, introducing the Silver Surfer and a cloud that is not, under any reasonable definition, Galactus. It was, in fact, the worst of the three.

Two years from now, Fox is planning on releasing a relaunch. If the present trajectory continues, mathematics dictates the movie will be so abysmal, its presence onscreen will create a black hole of awfulness that could swallow the Earth.

Rise of the Silver Surfer was already damn near that bad, and they'll have had an additional eight years to screw the characters up further.

You may be wondering what we should have expected from the people who made the previous installment. I'd respond by saying, at bare minimum, we should have been able to expect that the sequel wouldn't be worse than part one. History has clearly proven me wrong.

I just tried typing out a synopsis of this movie, but the result was so awful, I deleted it. Look, I just... here's a paragraph from Wikipedia that explains this better than I ever could:
After an animal has digested eaten material, the remains of that material are expelled from its body as waste. Though it is lower in energy than the food it came from, feces may still contain a large amount of energy, often 50% of that of the original food. This means that of all food eaten, a significant amount of energy remains for the decomposers of ecosystems. Many organisms feed on feces, from bacteria to fungi to insects such as dung beetles, which can sense odors from long distances. Some may specialize in feces, while others may eat other foods as well. Feces serve not only as a basic food, but also a supplement to the usual diet of some animals. This is known as coprophagia, and occurs in various animal species such as young elephants eating their mother's feces to gain essential gut flora, or by other animals such as dogs, rabbits, and monkeys. 
I want to explain why this movie is as bad as it is, but I honestly don't even know where to start. Maybe Sue? Alba has a major role in this movie, very little of which has to do with her as a superhero. Instead, she's stressed about her wedding.

Think about every cliche they could possibly include. Guess what? You missed a few. Unfortunately, the writers did not: the first half of the movie is mostly a string of scenes that would feel trite in a 50's comedy.

Then, at the end, she inspires a male character to save the world.

But before you accuse this movie of sexism, rest assured it mistreats its male characters, as well. Reed and Ben are given next to nothing to do the entire movie, while Johnny gets all their powers at the end to fight it out with a galactic-powered Doom. And yet, when all's said and done, it almost feels like he was absent the whole movie.

The Surfer actually has a few sequences where he looks cool at the end, demonstrating the technology exists to bring him to the screen, but the not the talent. He's got maybe a half dozen lines the whole movie, none of which are remotely interesting.

Then there's Doctor Doom. Look, the character this guy's based on is easily one of the best villains ever created. Hell, you could argue he partially inspired Darth Vader. The fact they can't make him remotely interesting is astonishing.

This movie looks better than Origins: Wolverine or X-Men 3, but it's actually worse. For what it's worth, it's not as bad as the lowest tier, reserved for movies like Barb Wire and The Spirit, but it comes disturbingly close.

If you've avoided this so far, pat yourself on the back. Kudos. Most importantly, keep your distance, folks. This is an awful, awful movie.

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