Speeding away from a dying planet somewhere in the cosmos, a silver streak called The Silver Surfer makes a bee-line for Earth where he immediately wreaks havoc causing water of the coast of Japan to freeze solid, snow to blanket Egypt and giant craters appear across the surface of the planet. Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four consisting of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd), Sue Storm/Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba), Ben Grimm/The Thing (Michael Chiklis), and Johnny Storm/The Human Torch (Chris Evans) are spending their time dodging the media and preparing for Reed and Sue’s wedding.
Their old enemy, Victor Von Doom/Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon) who was thought to have died, was really only in suspended animation and has awoken with ideas of world domination. Dr. Doom manages to make contact with the Silver Surfer offering an alliance, but the Silver Surfer refuses.
Alarmed by the strange phenomena occurring across the planet General Hagar (Andre Braugher) approaches Reed for assistance. After the Fantastic Four fail in their attempts to track down the Silver Surfer, General Hagar insists that they work together with Dr. Doom. With Doom and the Fantastic Four’s assistance, General Hagar’s army manages to disarm and capture the Silver Surfer whom they then imprison and torture.
Sue Storm discovers that the Silver Surfer is an unwilling servant of a world-devouring entity known as Galactus, and that only the Silver Surfer has the power to stop Galactus. It is at this point that Dr. Doom reveals his true colours by killing General Hagar and stealing the Silver Surfer’s board (the Surfer’s source of power), which Doom believes will gives him the power needed to rule the planet.
The climax of the film sees Galactus beginning to consume Earth, while the Fantastic Four combine their powers to battle Dr. Doom and the Silver Surfer challenges Galactus.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer contains stylised comic-book action violence and some slapstick violence. There are some scenes depicting more brutal violence and one scene depicting torture. Here are some examples of violence.
- Due to a power failure caused by the Silver Surfer, a helicopter goes out of control, crashing into dozens of wedding guests and endangering their lives.
- Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) chases the Silver Surfer, flying through the busy city streets and crashing through traffic. When Johnny catches up with the Silver Surfer, high above the ground, the Surfer strangles Johnny to unconsciousness and lets his body fall to the ground.
- Sue Storm traps Reed Richards in an invisible force field, causing Reed’s face to become squashed.
- Dr Doom shoots bolts of electricity into the Silver Surfer’s body. In retaliation, the Silver Surfer hurls Dr Doom through the air and into a wall of snow and ice.
- The giant craters formed by Silver Surfer cause buildings to fall apart and a giant Ferris wheel comes off its axle. In both disaters dozens of people are trapped.
- The Thing pushes Dr Doom through a wall then strangles him.
- Sue Storm verbally threatens Dr Doom, describing her ability to place a force field in a person’s body and then expand it until the body explodes.
- The army fires several rockets at Silver Surfer and Sue Storm. Silver Surfer's board is damaged by one of the rockets. He retaliates by blowing up some army vehicles. Soldiers and debris fly through the air.
- Silver Surfer is knocked unconscious when he falls off his board.
- Members of the army strap Silver Surfer to a table and torture him with electric shocks. This is followed by a suggestion to use intravenous drugs (a man holding a syringe is depicted) to force the Silver Surfer to talk.
- Dr Doom shoots bolts of electricity into General Hagar, knocking him against a wall. The General shoots back at Dr Doom with no physical effect. Dr Doom then blasts the General with a bolt of energy causing the General’s body to blow apart.
- Sue Storm uses her powers to create a force field that imprisons a group of soldiers.
- One scene depicts an battle in the sky between Dr Doom on the Silver Surfer’s board and the Fantastic Four in a flying vehicle. Dr Doom shoots bolts of electricity into a mountainside, causing part of the mountain to fall onto the Fantastic Four’s flying vehicle, which crashes to the ground.
- Dr Doom hurls a silver spear through Sue Storm's chest. Sue Storm dies from the injury, but is bought back to life by the Silver Surfer.
- Galactus, a giant vortex-like cloud, surrounds the earth and begins to suck up the planet surface.
- One scene depicts the Human Torch and Dr Doom in battle where they hurl flames and bolts of electricity at each other. The Human Torch wraps himself around Dr Doom, strangling him, and causing him to fall into the ocean.
- The Silver Surfer flies into the vortex of Galactus and then uses his abilities to destroy Galactus.
- Reed Richards stipulates that there are to be no exotic dancers at his bachelor party.
- Johnny Storm looks suggestively at a female soldier.
- Johnny Storm suggests that his dates need to wear fireproof lingerie.
- Johnny Storm makes numerous references to the Thing and his sexual relationship with girlfriend Alicia: ‘Just how do you and Alicia …?’ and ‘I can’t even think of a guy who wouldn’t want to …’ Johnny also jokes about the Thing waking up one morning and finding Alicia killed in a rockslide.
- Comparing her own party to Reed Richard’s bachelor party Sue Storm states, ‘That was nothing compared to what I did at my bachelorette party. That was wild’.
- During one scene, Reed Richards states that he is ‘engaged to the hottest woman on the planet’. Sue Storm responds, ‘I’m hot for you right now’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Apart from the threatened use of a syringe in the torture scene, there are no other scenes of concern.
Nudity and sexual activity
- In several scenes, couples – Thing and Alicia, Reed and Sue – kiss each other on the lips. Sue also kisses Reed on the neck and rubs his shoulders.
- In a couple of scenes, women are shown wearing short tight-fitting dresses with exposed backs and low-cut tops that reveal cleavage.
- During a nightclub scene, two women in short dresses with low-cut tops dance in a provocative manner with Reed Richards. Reed uses his elastic body to wrap his arms around the two women, pulling them in close against his body.
- In one scene, Sue Storm's clothing is burnt from her body and she lies naked on the sidewalk. Only her bare arms and legs are depicted.
None of concern
The film contains some low-level coarse language and put-downs.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a super hero action film based on Marvel comic books. The film targets a young male audience (8-15 years), although some of the films jokes are aimed at an older audience.
The story offers an opportunity to discuss some important issues including:
- an individual's right to free choice
- the right to have a family no matter how different you are
- the need to face up to responsibilities.
You can also discuss with your children the values of self-sacrifice, commitment, the advantage of group cooperation to defeat overwhelming odds, and willingness to communicate with, and show empathy towards, those who are different. You can also talk about the issue of torture and whether it is justified in any circumstances.