My take on Rise of the Silver Surfer is similar to what I thought of the first Fantastic Four movie. Here's a comic book adaptation that runs a tidy hour and a half, uses special effects judiciously, and all in all doesn't take itself too seriously. It's a pleasant contrast to the bloated sequels out there, and a film you can safely take your kids too.
I posted a link to some Marvel comics information on the Silver Surfer (played by Doug Jones but voiced by Laurence Fishburne) yesterday, and with my curiosity up I visited the comic book store and picked up one of those Marvel anthologies that collects early issues of different character's comics. To quickly summarize the Surfer's origins, Norrin Radd becomes the Surfer after making a deal with a pan-dimensional creature called Galactus to save his home planet in return for seeking out new worlds for Galactus to devour. When the Surfer reaches Earth he switches sides, recognizing the value of the (admittedly imperfect) human quest for survival and improvement. There's a poignancy in the selfless choice to put a whole world ahead of oneself (twice) - it stacks up well on the heroism scale against revenge or involuntary exposure to radiation. I'm not surprised there's a Surfer movie reportedly in development, but will there be an audience for a film where the main character's silver coating precludes him being played by a major star?