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The Fantastic Four meet their greatest challenge yet in FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, as the enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As he races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery before all hope is lost. FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER is the second installment of the live-action film series based on what fans around the globe know as “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine."

It’s a weird time for on screen heroes. Hollywood and the pimple on its ass that is my brethren in the critical community have become obsessed with making heroes gritty, realistic, human, and by extension much less heroic. Batman is being shot with shaky-cams and put in real-life situations. James Bond has been turned into a grinning thug. No one’s interested in seeing someone who always gets things right. Bright, hopeful, and heroic, Superman Returns made just as much money as Batman Begins, but is continually labeled a failure as the press drools all over Batman. Casino Royale had a weaker opening weekend than previous, more fantasy oriented Bond movies, but is still talked about as if it’s somehow more successful. Peter Parker makes billions peddling red and blue angst. If you think that’s all anyone wants, you’re walking around in a fantasy land.

Gritty, dark heroes are fine, but there’s nothing wrong with a little fun every now and then. Look no further than the success of the Fantastic Four for proof. Tim Story’s fun, brightly colored, cartoony superhero movie opened to a critical crushing and received nothing but a kick to the curb by press and pundits alike. Oh it’s not cool to like Fantastic Four, but audiences turned up anyway and had one helluva time.

Look, there’s room for both types of movies in the world. The anti-hero has been done to death, let’s give lighthearted fantasy a chance. Audiences are hungry for it; it’s time critics, nerds, and the rest caught up. They’ll get a chance when the Four returns for Rise of the Silver Surfer.

If anything, Rise of the Silver Surfer looks to be skewing even closer than ever to that cartoony edge. After all, they’re bringing in a bad guy who rides an interstellar surfboard. Despite his tortured origins, there’s just no way to make Silver Surfer gritty. Nor should they. That’s not what we’re looking for from Fantastic Four. Peter Parker can have his angst and Batman can revel in darkness. The Fantastic Four will ride around in a four person flying bumper-car and fight a space alien who travels the stars on a giant, mirrored surfboard. Heck yeah. The only question you need to ask is whether or not Tim Story will be able to invent another reason to get Jessica Alba in her underwear. Let’s hope then answer to that is yes.

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