What could be said about Nicolas Cage that hasn’t already been said? Well, I’ll think of something, because when looking at his career, it turns out that he has more misses than hits. It is a career with a fair amount of average films, speckled with some really great ones.
What could be said about Nicolas Cage that hasn’t already been said? Well, I’ll think of something, because when looking at his career, it turns out that he has more misses than hits. It is a career with a fair amount of average films, speckled with some really great ones. When he’s good, he’s Wild at Heart, Leaving Las Vegas or Kick Ass. Otherwise, it’s a lot of Guarding Tess, Next, Gone In 60 Seconds and…Season of the Witch! You didn’t think I’d leave that one out, did you?
In Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, this cheery sequel/reboot/whatever to the first Ghost Rider film, Johnny Blaze (Nic Cage) is hiding out in Europe when a wine-swilling religious figure named Moreau shows up and tasks him with saving a boy from becoming the corporeal vessel for the Devil.
I wasn’t particularly impressed with the first Ghost Rider film, big surprise. It wasn’t very interesting to watch. The guy that directed that was the same guy that wrote and directed Daredevil. I think that says all it needs to. But with Spirit of Vengeance, I discovered it was being directed by Neveldine and Taylor and my own spirits rose. I love Crank 2 that they made and I figured if anyone can make this a good, fun movie, it’s them. And on top of that, David S. Goyer wrote the story for this. All right, now we’re getting somewhere. But then you realize that there are two other TV writers doing the screenplay. You wanted these guys to punch up a Goyer script? He wrote The Dark Knight, I don’t know that he really needs any help. Or maybe he just didn’t have time to really work on this screenplay. Well, whatever the reason, it shows on screen.
The action is great here. And frankly, in this film, Ghost Rider is just about the coolest looking comic book character ever. They go dark and ominous for sure. This is definitely a pissed-off demonic spirit inhabiting a guy with a silly name. And he does some badass shit here, no doubt about it. When that stuff isn’t happening, there’s Nic Cage in a role that provides some of his most insane moments. It’s not just cheesey, it’s borderline maniacal. But then, hey, he’s a guy possesed by a demonic angel with a flaming skull as a head, so, you know, maybe maniacal is the way to go here. And generally, after the maniacal stuff, it’s right into Ghost Rider having his vengeance and such, so there’s that.
But inbetween the crazy and the firey vengeance, it’s pretty damn boring. Like, I know people were talking on screen about stuff, but I just didn’t care all that much. All I could think of was, “Hey, how about more of that incendiary ass-kicking? That shit is fun!”
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is pretty high energy with a soundtrack to match. It’s shot with a lot of moving around and seeing stuff from various angles and cuts and kinetic energy. Sometimes a little too much cutting. Let’s hold onto a scene for a full second or two, shall we? Otherwise, it’s right in line with keeping your eyes glued to the screen.
Some interesting casting here, too. Ciarin Hinds is Roarke, aka, the Devil. He’s a fine actor and he seems to have an awful lot of fun chewing up his role. Idris Elba is Moreau, and Christopher Lambert appears as Methodius, the bald Monk dude with writing all over his face. Johnny Whitworth is Ray Carrigan, Roarke’s hired henchman turned weird life-sucking guy trying to catch the boy, Danny. Then there’s Violente Placido playing Nadya, Danny’s mother and this films’ hot European actress.
I can’t say this is more fun than Crank 2, and probably not as fun, either. I was kinda hoping it would be. But maybe if they didn’t mess with the script, or maybe let Neveldine and Taylor write it like with Crank 2, then maybe this would have been more fun. As it stands, it has really fun, delgihtfully bonkers sequences, riddled with blabbity blab I just didn’t care about. Nic Cage is bizarre to watch here, and though Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance isn’t what I might call a good film, I’m still giving it three kittenhands for the stuff I did like. Yeah, I see that face you’re making and I give no shits. Deal with it.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, didn’t mention the 3D because it wasn’t worth mentioning. I hardly noticed it.