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AT THE MOVIES: SUPER SURFER; Fantastic Four back on a roll FILM OF THE WEEK FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (PG).

Byline: MARK ADAMS

THE STARS: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Doug Jones.

THE STORY: After the "death" of Dr Doom the Fantastic Four feel life is getting back to normal.

But the wedding of Mr Fantastic (Gruffudd) and the Invisible Woman (Alba) is interrupted by the arrival of The Silver Surfer (Jones, but voiced by Laurence Fishburne) who is out to destroy the Earth.

With the wedding ruined and the future of the world at stake, it's up to the lovers, helped by FF buddies The Human Torch (Evans) and The Thing (Chiklis) to deal with the Silver Surfer as well as their archnemesis Dr Doom (McMahon).

WHAT'S GOOD? The original Fantastic Four was something of a surprise summer hit a couple of years ago, with critics (though not me!) calling it overlysimplistic and not very adventurous. But cinemagoers lapped up the superhero mayhem.

Now the FF are back. The effects are better than ever - look out for the Silver Surfer visiting good old London Town and causing mayhem on the Thames - although the old-fashioned sense of comic-book adventure is still in place.

There is no angstridden back-story here as in Spiderman and Batman, but simple, all-out action fun that should more than satisfy those in need of pure popcorn entertainment.

Jessica Alba as the slinky Invisible Woman is still unbelievably gorgeous, while Chris Evans has a great time as the cocky but cool Human Torch.

The Silver Surfer is one of the great comic book characters and his majestic presence is pretty well transferred from page to screen. Plus, Dr Doom is back! Excellent stuff...

WHAT'S BAD? Purists will find plenty to moan about here, though there are not many comic book fans who list The Fantastic Four as top of their lists.

The FF were never quite cool enough compared to X-Men or even Spiderman

Poor old Ioan Gruffudd still has his work cut out making Mr Fantastic and his stretchy superpowered limbs interesting, and you can see why the Invisible Woman might be intrigued by the Silver Surfer...although his Action Man style lack of man-parts should give her a clue that isnt much of a future in a long-term relationship.

HOW LONG IS IT ? An exciting 92 mins.

FINAL VERDICT: Rollicking good super-hero mayhem... classic, escapist summer fun for all the family.

Just opened.

3

CAPTION(S):

Hot stuff as Silver Surfer tangles with The Human Torch; Silver Surfer wings in to cause more chaos; Gripping stuff as Chiklis as The Thing wants answers; Screen lovers... Ioan Gruffudd & Jessica Alba
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 17, 2007
Words:431
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