Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The popular sequel to the 2005 super-hero movie Fantastic Four, ‘Rise of the Silver Surfer’ sees super heroes Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis returning to do battle with another super-hero from another galaxy – the titular Silver Surfer – whose intergalactic travels invariably result in the destruction on whichever planet he visits. I wasn’t a huge fan of John Ottman’s score for the first Fantastic Four movie, and criticized it for its desperate over-use of choir and for the general limpness of the main super-hero theme. Two years later, and I’m afraid the problems haven’t really been fixed.

Ottman still has his choir belting out ululations at every opportunity, negating their emotional impact due to over-exposure, and the central Fantastic Four theme still sounds as uninspiring as it did before, even when played at full-tilt in cues like “Botched Heroics” or “Springing the Surfer”. However, one thing this film DOES have in its favor is a pretty impressive new theme for the Silver Surfer, which manages to be both ominous and imposing, but also contain a hint of something slightly forlorn, and something approaching sympathy.

After a preliminary appearance on “Silver Surfer Theme”, it goes on to appear prominently in cues such as “Chasing the Surfer”, and the sweeping finale, “Silver Savior”. In many ways, this theme would have better served the Fantastic Four themselves, as in general it makes for a much more satisfying musical statement.

There are a couple of interesting spacey ambiences, in cues such as “Galactus Destroys” (which actually seems to make use of Jerry Goldsmith’s blaster beam from Star Trek!), and some of the action music is quite energetic, especially in “Pursuing Doom” and the jarringly dissonant “A Little Persuasion”, but despite generally being a better score than its predecessor, there is still something missing from Rise of the Silver Surfer which makes it feel like a missed opportunity. One cannot help but hope that someone, eventually, realizes that John Ottman just really isn’t very good at this sort of thing.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Silver Surfer Theme (4:21)
  • Galactus Destroys/Opening (1:53)
  • Pursuing Doom (3:12)
  • Wedding Day Jitters (1:21)
  • Chasing the Surfer (2:32)
  • Camp Testosterone/Meeting the Surfer (3:35)
  • A Little Persuasion (2:07)
  • Botched Heroics (4:26)
  • Someone I Once Knew (2:24)
  • The Future/Doom’s Deal (2:58)
  • Sibling Switch (1:41)
  • Outside Help (2:38)
  • Springing the Surfer (1:57)
  • Doom’s Double Cross (2:41)
  • Mr. Sherman/Under the Radar (1:55)
  • Four in One (3:04)
  • Silver Savior/Aftermath (5:55)
  • Gunshot Wedding (1:18)
  • Norrin Radd (0:49)

Running Time: 50 minutes 47 seconds

Sony Classical 88697-10888-2 (2007)

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