Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer



Much better than the first; OK for tweens and up.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: October 1, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Teamwork; loyalty; doing what is best for the common good.

Positive role models

The four decide to stick together for the greater good; Johnny realizes he can be selfish and learns to be a team player; a rival redeems himself through self sacrifice.


Lots of explosions and crowds of people in jeopardy; the foursome, Johnny in particular, fight the Silver Surfer and Victor Von Doom. Someone is speared and temporarily dies. Another character is killed, but there's no blood.


Several moments of spoken innuendo: Johnny asks The Thing how he and his girlfriend "you know;" Reed thinks scantily clad women at his bachelor party are "exotic dancers," but Johnny says they're just "hot." Johnny's girlfriend says being with him requires "fireproof lingerie" and "lots of aloe." Sue and Reed kiss on several occasions, and she tells him "I'm so hot for you right now." Johnny comes out of the shower in just a towel.


Several uses of words/terms like "ass," "pissing me off," "crap," "what the hell," "freak," "screw-up," "damn," etc.


Crunch, Keebler, Gillette, Fox News, Circuit City, E! News, Daily News, Dolce & Gabbana.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Club-goers drink beer; Ben drinks from oversized glasses; someone mentions Jell-O shots.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sequel to Fantastic Four is tamer than the original and much more tween-friendly. Like most superhero flicks, it includes loud, cartoonish violence -- but only two characters get seriously hurt or die. Most scenes involve crowds panicking as the Silver Surfer creates huge craters around the world. Unlike other conflicted superheroes, the Fantastic Four enjoy being of service, and everyone knows their true identities. There's some iffy language ("ass," "crap," "damn," etc.) and more innuendo than you might expect (characters talk about getting "hot," Johnny asks The Thing how he and his girlfriend "you know," and so on), but overall it's lighter and less complicated than similar comic book-based action films.

What's the story?

In the sequel FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, wedding plans fall apart for Sue "Invisible Woman" Storm (Jessica Alba) and Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) when the Fantastic Four (who are rounded out by Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing and Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch) are called in to help investigate a series of mysterious craters and blasts of radiation occurring throughout the world. Turns out those inexplicable incidents are the work of the Silver Surfer (body acting by Doug Jones, voice by Laurence Fishburne), who's prepping Earth for the cosmic, planet-eating Galactus to devour. As nemeses go, the Silver Surfer pales compared to Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon). After the Silver Surfer's arrival brings him back to life, he wants nothing more than to swipe the powerful board for his own selfish purposes. So the Fantastic Four has a clear mission: Stop Von Doom and convince the Surfer to defy Galactus.

Is it any good?


Let's get this out of the way: Yes, the sequel is much better than the original, which was universally panned. That doesn't mean that FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER reaches Spider-Man or Superman Returns heights -- but it also doesn't take itself as seriously. At 92 minutes, it's a short, easy-to-follow adventure that will amuse older kids without scaring younger ones.

There's no internal monologue, no introspective brooding a la Peter Parker or Kal-El. The foursome work together, live together, and do what's best for the common good -- well, except for Johnny, who sometimes lets his hubris get in the way. They also have fun doing what they do: Johnny even suggests that they attach sponsors' logos to their skin-tight uniforms, like racecar drivers. It's funny, and in today's celeb-obsessed society, quite believable that superheroes -- especially ones who look like Alba, Evans, and Gruffudd -- would get corporate endorsements, hounded by the paparazzi, and followed by the tabloids.

As a film series, the improved Fantastic Four looks poised for another outing. That might annoy hardcore fanboys, but it's just fine for families who don't mind their superhero mythology a little lighter and less intense.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this movie is similar to and different from other superhero films. What makes the Fantastic Four different from other superheroes? Do you like them better or worse than characters like Superman and Spider-Man? Why?

  • Discuss selflessness and responsibility. Sue tells the Silver Surfer that every being has a choice to do the right or wrong thing. Are there times when you're pressured to do something and feel there's no other choice?

  • What is the appeal of superhero movies? How does this one compare?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 15, 2007
DVD release date:October 2, 2007
Cast:Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba
Director:Tim Story
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Topics:Superheroes, Adventures
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.

This review of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

pretty good

i enjoyed the dodge humor
Adult Written byangel7 April 9, 2008
Kid, 9 years old August 6, 2012


Good action-packed sequel should be rated PG-13.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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