Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" Review

    So, they made another Ghost Rider movie. Huzzah? This is Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance!

    I liked the first Ghost Rider movie. I know, I know, I'm not supposed to. Most people think it Nicolas Cage going over-the-top again and a story that's a complete mess.  And they're right. But, what made the original Ghost Rider enjoyable was the campy fun the movie had. Sure it was crap. But it was good crap. The problem with it's sequel is that it still has Cage giving an over-the-top performance and it still has a messy story, but it has none of the campy fun the first film had.
    This time around, Johnny Blaze AKA The Rider (Nicolas Cage) is asked by monk Moreau (Idris Elba) to get a mother, Nadya (Violante Placido) and her son Danny (Fergus Riordan) to a safe haven, away from the bad guy Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth), in exchange for lifting Johnny's curse. However, as Johnny discovers, Carrigan is working for Roarke (Ciaran Hinds), the man who cursed Johnny, and that Danny may very well be the Anti-Christ.

You might want to get that looked at.
    The story, in case you haven't guessed, is completely ridiculous. And that can work. But the film approaches it's story so straight forward and seriously, that the messiness of it is even more obvious. This can probably be attributed to the film's directors Neveldine and Taylor. The have previously directed the films Crank (which I haven't seen), Gamer (Which is offensive and awful) and Crank 2: High Voltage (Which is easily one of the worst films ever made), so their track record hasn't been that great. This is easily their best film, but that mostly is because of them having to tone the film down due to it's PG-13 rating.
   Their trademark shitty cam... sorry, shaky cam is present here, making the fight and chase scene hard to watch without wanting to throw up. This film continues with the directors tradition of using a story a filler in between their precious action sequences. They try to bring a religious theme to the film, which is laughably stupid and shallow. Because, as one might have guessed, putting religious undertones in a film where the main character pisses fire, doesn't quite work out.
    The whole film is an exercise in "It's too bad". There is a lot to like in this film. Ghost Rider is still to me one of the most woefully misused comic characters ever and has a lot of potential. The special effect is this film, especially on Ghost Rider himself, is much better than in the previous film. There are some great Nicolas Cage lines in this film. "He's scratching at the door!" is delicious awful. The cast is good, but here they're left with nothing to work with. Neveldine and Taylor just don't know how to use what they're given. 

How can you make a bad movie out of
something this bad-ass!
    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is nowhere near as good as the first Ghost Rider movie. Neveldine and Taylor craft a downright idiotic story, yet are so convinced that is works that they never let the film have some much needed fun at it's own expense. The cast is fine and Cage is of course having a lot of fun. The effect are even pretty good. But the story is downright awful and Neveldine and Taylor just don't know how to use what the have to their advantage. Can somebody competent make a Ghost Rider move now. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance gets 2 stars out of 6. 

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