In this follow-up to 2005’s Fantastic Four, director Tim Story introduces us to the Silver Surfer (portrayed by Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne), a mysterious and powerful creature who has come from the depths of space to make preparations for the impending destruction of the Earth. As the surfer wreaks havoc around the planet, Reed Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd), Sue Storm the Invisible Girl (Jessica Alba), her brother Johnny Storm the Human Torch (Chris Evans) and Ben Grimm the chiseled Thing (Michael Chiklis), are called upon to ascertain the purpose of and devise a strategy against the Silver Surfer while, at the same time, dealing with the unexpected return of their mortal enemy from the first adventure, Dr. Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon).

Just like the first movie, check your brain at the door, find a good spot in the center of the theater, sit back and have fun. There’s nothing overly serious about this sequel, yet there’s nothing overly insulting, either. The story is fast paced, the action and humor is often, the effects are top-notch, the slow parts are, thankfully, few and far between and the running time is only 1 hour and 35 minutes; long enough to cover all the bases and short enough so as not to become tedious.

I had taken the time, Friday night, to re-watch the first film in order to refresh myself with the feel and style of the director’s storytelling which allowed me to already have the proper mindset as I entered the theater. Since the origins of each member had been described in the prior film, the story was able to advance rather quickly and while the main plot of the Surfer and return of Dr. Doom would have been adequate for this sequel, alone, I found the inclusion of a subplot dealing with the media and their coverage and infatuation with “celebrities” over real news to be somewhat refreshing, if not a little ironic.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie more than the original and found it to be a fun, unpretentious hour and a half of escapism that asks little of the audience except for maybe a strong suspension of disbelief. Just what a summer movie should be.

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