Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – Review

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – Review

Review by Filmfella Lozz – 3.5/10

The Original Ghost Rider movie came and went in 2007, was complete toss and everybody pretty much hated it. This leads me to believe that it must’ve done so well at the box office comparatively when considering profit; and this was the only reason a sequel was warranted. However, when you get these two guys, Nevaldine/Taylor of Crank fame on board, you maybe start thinking that if it’s done right, and that’s a very big IF, the whole idea of Ghost Rider might just be ok.  It is of course the era of re-imaginings, concepts taken in new directions etc; and it worked for Batman, so who knows. I now know. It was shit.

Nicolas Cage is back for the sequel playing Johnny Blaze, the stunt bike rider who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his father’s life. The price: a flamed skulled leather clad vigilante occasionally possesses him when he gets angry. He’s pretty much invincible when he is the Ghost Rider blah blah blah and then proceeds to kick some bad guys asses yarda yarda yarda. This time around the deal is: prevent the Devil from using a little boy as a new vessel, and get his fiery curse lifted. The Kid’s mother also made an arrangement with El Diablo. Her life saved for her first born. Nice parenting!

Ok, so the premise of the Devil’s son, Anti-Christ, end of the world is well worn. You only have to have caught TV shows Supernatural of the short-lived Reaper to know this.  The only original spin on it in this is that the Ghost Rider is caught up in it. That’s it. This story is alright, you know, if it’s executed well. If the biblical aspect of it was examined, angels, demons, the Devil’s plans, the apocalypse, it may have been worth something. However, Mark Nevaldine and Brian Taylor have chosen a script that only touches upon snippets of that and concentrates on making the movie look cool. Where Crank, and to an extent Gamer had elements of crazy over-the-top cool, this was restricted by it’s 12A rating. So, with a bad idea and no unique aesthetic, what do you have? Some more Nic Cage bad hair on display.

Idris Elba, who I wish Tarantino had cast in his forthcoming Django Unchained (besides the point, I know), was one of the few positive things about this movie. He played the religious French dude who asks for Cage’s help. He was believable and actually looked like he wanted to be there. This is opposed to Cage, who mostly stumbled about looking uncomfortable in his leather get-up and nonchalantly spouts his lines. The moments whereby he almost changes, but then keeps the Ghost Rider at bay, showcase some laughable and cringe-worthy scenes. I’d like to point out here that I’m not Cage-ist. He just chooses to be in shit, and then appears to sit back and wait for his paycheck. It’s a shame. I mean, half of this movie he doesn’t even have to do anything with his face; which leaves just walking about a bit.

On a mere positive note, the CGI was pretty decent for what it is; and the few animated segments looked really nice. Although, I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I can’t actually remember what was in 3D! It’s a bad thing, I think. And I started this paragraph on a high note. Unfortunately, but predictably, there was no high note in this movie.

I remember scoffing at the screen and shaking my head when the Kid’s mom tearfully opens up to Cage and says something like – ‘I’ve done some really bad stuff in my life, but he (the boy) is the only good thing I’ve done’. Cage replies ‘Yeah, let’s just hope he’s not the Anti-Christ’. Sensitive! Funny for absolutely the wrong reasons. And there was this weird sub-plot where Nic and the boy are bonding like estranged father and son. Although, it was a little too close to ripping the scenes of John Conner and The Terminator in Judgment Day. Dare I say that Nic Cage may have taken some tips from Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800. (Sorry, being nerdy). Or maybe from a piece of wood, perhaps.

After promising a darker twist on this anti-hero story, all involved have not lived up to it. So, go see this if you were stupid enough to like the first one. And, news just in: Cage wants to do another one. I urge you to avoid this and prevent a franchise. Thank you.

Check out my article The Hits and Shits of…Nicolas Cage

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2 Responses to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – Review

  1. Chris says:

    My sentiments exactly! my blog, http://www.chris-bestmovieblog@blogspot.co.uk shows we have similar tastes. Keep writing!

  2. filmfellaDarren says:

    I’ve just read your review of Ghost rider: spirit of vengeance whilst listening to a Nic Cage interview of the actor discussing the film. It was slightly surreal to listen to Nic Cage talk up his new film as you tore it apart. Some of his comments seemed to give telling hints about why he has been in such bad films lately. He actuallly said, ‘he believes anything that is worth doing, is worth over-doing’, that, in my opinion, is a very dubious approach. Clearly, Cage likes to be way over-the-top, and with the right director like with Werner Herzog in Bad Lieutenant, it works, but going too far, hamming it up can be horrible to watch. If Cage thinks over-doing things is always a good thing, he might be in danger over becoming an unintentional parody of himself. Troubling comment number two from Cage in this interview was that he said, and this is a direct quote: ‘I realise this film will probably piss the critics off, but I subscribe to the idea that if you are pissing critics off, you are probably doing something right.” All my heroes are people who go out of there way to piss the critics-off.” He’s seems to be getting a very misguided view of acting. He will keep doing movies like Ghost rider, because, in Cage’s mind, he is being, interesting, subversive, weird and strange. I think he is totally deluded; maybe he should start listening to the critics before he disappears up his own arse.

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