It seems odd to think it now, but there was once a time when comic book adaptations were just another breed of blockbuster rather than intricately woven and ever-expanding shared universes. And one of the last to be released prior to the debut of the MCU, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, has now been added to Disney Plus for your viewing pleasure.
The 2007 outing for Marvel’s First Family picks up a couple of years after their origin story and battle with Doctor Doom. The arrival of an extraterrestrial on a surfboard causing havoc is initially thought to be a destructive menace working alone, but it’s revealed that he’s the Herald of Galactus, a cosmic entity of such immense power that it needs to consume the energy of life-bearing planets to survive, and it will take the combined efforts of all involved to stop it.
This sequel wasn’t as financially successful as Fox had hoped, resulting in teases like a Silver Surfer spinoff and the introduction of Nova ultimately going nowhere, plus the eventual production of 2015’s Fantastic Four, and we all know how that turned out. Nevertheless, it was a hit with many fans who still remember it fondly, even if it’s still debatable if the decision to alter Galactus from a godlike humanoid to a sentient interstellar thunderstorm was the right one.
All things being equal, Rise of the Silver Surfer is probably the best of the three live-action Fantastic Four movies to currently exist (four if you count Roger Corman’s unreleased and hilariously cheesy effort made in 1994 to maintain copyright). It might not hold up to the standards of epic storytelling we now expect of our superhero actioners, but you could certainly do a lot worse than taking in its brief and undemanding fun.