So what is the problem with Rise of the Silver Surfer? Well, it's not the reference to the pensioners who learn to surf the internet - I know how the Norrin Radd is, I've got a few comics from when I was 12 (yes, ha-ha... last year).
Okay, before you proceed... SPOILER ALERTS. You've been warned.
Now then, why it didn't work:
- One of the subplots regards Sue Storm wanting a quiet life. She badgers Reed to quit the high-life so that they can settle down and have kids away from the limelight. Reed agrees because he loves her and it raises momentary tension with Johnny and Ben (as much as the writers could be bothered with given all the other goings on). So, how do they resolve this issue, having brought it up once as character conflict before a big fight midway through the film? Well, they don't speak of it again until the very end when Sue admits the world needs them, they can't give up the team... whoo-bloody-hoo. Aside from her near-death experience there is nothing to give us any inclination of internal dramatics to resolve this issue. Like much of the plot tensions in Silver Surfer, the writer's have opted for a switch rather than a character arc: I do want to split the team up and have kids >> Actually I don't!
- The Surfer's only purpose is to prepare a world for annihilation by Galactus. That's all well and good. He's been doing it for a millenia and he's very good at it. Those of you that know Surfer lore know that he agreed to become Galactus's (he may be a God, but he doesn't get the Ancient Greek God-nod of Galactus' [no extra 's']) herald to save his home planet, Zenn-La, and the woman he loves - fair do's. His planet is saved, he's imbued with cosmic powers. His purpose is to serve. So why is it that a) we and Sue Storm are told that she reminds the Surfer of the woman he loves back on his homeworld when he saves her? and b) it is the fact he fancies Sue that makes him finally resolve at the end with no other explanation or show of character arc to stop Galactus from destroying Earth? I mean, c'mon! We could have done with the Surfer saying how it is, the world will die so that He may live, and then show him understanding how giving and nurturing us humans can be - puke into bucket. Instead the writers opted for their simple switch: he serves Galactus... now he doesn't.
- Galactus is the almighty world devourer, who appears as a giant cosmic cloud of burning magma and inferno, with fingery tendrils like hurricanes. Fair-do's. I'd have liked to have seen him personally inside all that, just like in the comics. Might have been a bit cheesy, since his whirling cloud of doom was quite impressive, albeit not being scary in anyway. Couldn't they have shown his face inside it all when the Surfer returns to him?
- You do not... DO NOT... simply kill off the world devourer. For crying out loud. For the Surfer to have done that, and then survive himself! It just goes to prove the point that the big baddie, the big time-lock situation they set up, was like a deflating balloon with a hole. Anti-climax.
- Just don't get me started on anything else in this turgid bit of poop. Bring on Transformers... aside from the changing face of badguys in it - The Surfer's the badguy, no Doom's the badguy, no Galactus's the badguy. Who do I root against? Give me something not cliched.