Monday, October 1, 2012

Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance (2012)

Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is still trying to fight the dangerous curse of the Ghost Rider. Blaze is constantly moving from one place to the next, and for him, living a normal life isn’t an option. But a mysterious man named Moreau (Idris Elba) could have the answers to his problem. Moreau can help lift the curse, but Blaze must use his powers to help him, if he wants his freedom. Danny (Fergus Riordan) is the Devil’s son, and Roarke/The Devil (CiarĂ¡n Hinds) needs him to complete a ritual. This ritual will enhance Roarke’s powers, and if this ritual is completed, The Devil could become unstoppable. Danny has been kidnapped, and his mother, Nadya (Violante Placido) needs help, if she wants to retrieve her son. Blaze has one shot at lifting the curse. He must save Danny from Roarke, and return him to his mother, or the curse of The Rider will stay with him forever.

Ghost Rider (2007) was horrendous. It was an awful film, and I was expecting something better from the sequel. Well, Spirit Of Vengeance is better, but still, it’s nothing to brag about.

The horrible CGI effects really bothered me in the first film. The CGI effects in the 2007 version were atrocious, and the Ghost Rider was just laughable most of the time. He didn’t inspire fear, and he didn’t provide an intimidating presence. Seriously, I shouldn’t laugh at a man with a flaming skull and superpowers, but the Ghost Rider from the 2007 version provided way too many unintentionally funny moments for me. Also, his cheesy sinister laugh and his weird voice made everything much worse. But they did make some improvements in the CGI department for this film. The Ghost Rider did look like a dangerous and unstoppable force, and for the most part, Cage could look pretty intimidating, during his scenes as The Rider.

The Ghost Rider is supposed to be a bad ass, and I’m sure everyone in the audience can see this. After all, The Rider has a skull, that’s always on fire, and he’s pretty much invincible. The Rider is a destructive and frightening force, but The Rider just dominates his opponents throughout this film, and the constant beatdowns did feel tiresome after a while. The Rider rarely faces any true challenges in this film, and you have to watch Nicolas Cage constantly tear through the bad guys, with chains wrapped in flames, possessed vehicles, and his fire breathing barrage of bullets. You might enjoy Cage’s path of destruction in this film, but the constant beatdowns just started to bore me after a while.

And I can’t forget about Nicolas Cage’s performance. Look, I know Blaze is supposed to lose his mind here. After all, he does have powerful and angry force inside of him, and The Rider can pop out at any moment. It’s a tremendous burden to live with, obviously. But Cage could’ve toned down the “psycho guy, who could snap at any moment” persona. Most of the time, Cage’s performance was so over the top. He wasn’t funny, and he wasn’t intimidating. Cage just looked like a guy, who needed some serious psychiatric help and medication. “The Rider could come out any minute! So don’t mess with me, because bad things will happen!” This was the thought process of Cage’s character throughout the film. His wild tirades do become annoying VERY fast, and I was just waiting for Cage’s transformations to happen, because once he became The Rider, he wouldn’t have to talk so much. Cage’s crazy guy act was painful to watch in this film, and he almost killed the Ghost Rider character for me.

Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance features a better supporting cast, and there is a noticeable upgrade in the acting department. The CGI effects improved a lot, and unlike most people, there were times, when I actually enjoyed the directing in this film. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor did provide a thrilling and fast paced experience during the action scenes, but they’re directing couldn’t save this one. Spirit Of Vengeance features some very cheesy dialogue, the numerous attempts at providing humor didn’t make me laugh at all, and the comedy in this film is just dreadful. Also, Spirit Of Vengeance does feature a few entertaining action scenes, but most of the time, this film can feel so boring and bland. I’ve picked a few bad movies this year, and I've made some horrible choices, but Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance is near the top of my “mistakes” list for 2012.

I was prepared to go with a zero, but the 3D effects did deliver, and I really enjoyed the supporting cast. Also, Neveldine and Taylor did give a good effort on the directing side of things, and some of the action scenes are enjoyable. Still, Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance is a pretty bad film. Although, this one was doomed from the start. Ghost Rider (2007) was such a massive piece of trash, the chances for some redemption were almost impossible, and the embarrassing box office numbers for this film’s opening weekend prove this. A lot of people haven’t forgotten about the awful 2007 version, and who could blame them? It really was a bad film, and Spirit Of Vengeance didn’t have any realistic chances for a successful run at the box office. Spirit Of Vengeance could’ve been the perfect action/fantasy film, and moviegoers would still avoid this one. The original film has ruined any chances for a successful Ghost Rider film series, and this should be the end of the Ghost Rider franchise. But anything can happen in Hollywood, unfortunately.

Final Rating: 3/10

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