Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer

Last week, Janet, Christopher, and I saw Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer, the second in the series of movies based on the comic book. This movie was quite a bit better than the original.

I have always been a fan of the Silver Surfer. He struck a deal to be the slave of a world-devouring monster so that his girlfriend and home planet would be spared. As a result, he roams the galaxy looking for worlds with life-energy for his master, Galactus, to consume. I always found his story to be an interesting moral dilemma for a comic book to explore. (Is the Silver Surfer a villain or a hero? It depends on which planet you live on...Earth or his home world.) I was reminded of our world's child soldiers, the poor and homeless orphans who are kidnapped and forced to serve in corrupt militias around the world (look around for more information about child soldiers). They commit horrible acts, but they are doing so because of the evil men who have enslaved them.

I liked how Susan Storm convinced the Silver Surfer in the movie that he had a choice. He did not need to serve Galactus. He could choose to save Earth. Sometimes we need the encouragement of others to do the right thing.

I also appreciated the wish of Susan and Reed to live a normal life together. In the end, they chose to use their powers to protect and benefit humanity, even though it meant living as celebrities without the privacy and anonymity of a private life. Their sense of responsibility reminded me of the message of the Spider-Man movies and comic books ("With great power comes great responsibility").

I like good summer action movies, and I thought that this was a good one. I enjoyed it as much as Alien vs. Predator from a few years ago (and that one was surprisingly good). In addition, Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer promoted good, solid, ethical ideals...choosing to do good even when it meant sacrifice, and a strong sense of social responsibility over personal self-interests). It was worth seeing.

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