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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Several uses of words/terms like "ass," "pissing me off," "crap," "what the hell," "freak," "screw-up," "damn," etc.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.