Ghost Rider Movie Review
admovieso | February 20, 2012 | No comments
Considering that the first Ghost Rider movie was about a man with a skull instead of a head, it’s amazing that nobody seems to remember it. If anyone can get into this crazy story, it’s directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Neveldine and Taylor both look at film as if it’s an extreme sport so they seem like the best team to bring a skull-headed biker, played by Nicolas Cage, to life. It’s rather a surprise that new movie Spirit of Vengeance has some positive and negative aspects. It’s full of thrills but has nothing that ties the scenes together. Since there are no movies playing now that are competition at the box office this weekend, Spirit of Vengeance will probably do well, however only really big fans of the films or those simply seeking thrills will enjoy this new movie release.
Nicolas Cage reprises his role of Johnny Blaze, who has made a deal with the devil, who changes him, once a stunt biker, into “the spirit of vengeance.” Although Cage has gone to Eastern Europe to escape notice, he is suddenly being chased Moreau, a priest with an alcohol problem, played by Idris Elba. Moreau doesn’t want to stop Ghost Rider, he wants to rid Cage of the spirit in exchange for the rescue of a boy named Danny, played by Fergus Riordan, who was kidnapped. Cage and Moreau join forces with Danny’s mother, played by Violante Placido, and Cage lets out his demon and the search for the boy is on. He then discovers that the boy is in the possession of Roarke, played by Ciaran Hinds, the Devil’s representative on earth and a supernatural figure named Roy and played by Johnny Whitworth. Blaze (Cage) has the difficult decision of getting rid of his demons and protecting the boy.
People now expect Nicolas Cage to be in movie pictures of wildly uneven quality. In upcoming movie Sprit of Vengeance, Cage has plenty of lines that will leave the audience laughing but Cage seems more dependable in this movie than in some of his other movies. In this movie he almost plays the straight man. Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, and David S. Goyer, screenwriters, make a mythology out of Ghost Rider and also allow Cage’s quirkiness to shine through. It even allows him to come out with lines like “You’re the Devil’s baby mama.”
However, the movie is very uneven. It starts with a sequence that makes no sense and then throws the viewer into a set that’s very disorienting. Some movie patrons are just going to give up here. It’s also odd that most of the characters look very similar to each other – making the action even more difficult to understand. And the screenwriters look like they’ve patched together a story that seems to take bits from Superman 2 and Terminator 2 without anything romantic or serious about it, even though Ghost Rider has a very distinctive story of his own. Finally, one has to wonder how Ghost Rider, who turns everything he touches to ashes, can hold a boy without turning him into ashes as well.
Set pieces are cool and the imagery, like the exorcism scenes, seems to put viewers right in the center of the action. Brandon Trost is great at making terrific images on a low budget. He is previously known for his work on MacGruber.
On the con side, the director continually uses wide-angle lenses which do not work with the 3D of the film. It causes most images to look 1D. All in all, the over use of the 3D makes the film look shoddy.
Oddly enough, there’s something likeable about Spirit of Vengeance, sort of like Torque and Punisher: War Zone but that’s mostly because the audience comes to the film with few expectations. It doesn’t look like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is going to become a cult favorite or a disaster either. It’s just a little bit better than the first Ghost Rider, which really isn’t very good.