Movie Review: Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance

Review : 7/10

I’ve meant to get to this review since Matt and I saw this Thursday Night at Midnight. When I first heard that they were making a sequel to one of the worst superhero movies I had ever seen I obviously had little faith in this film. However when I heard that Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (The duo who were responsible for both Crank films) signed on to direct the new Ghost Rider I was intrigued.

I’ll start by saying that this is definitely better than the first film, leaps and bounds in fact. Ghost Rider as a character is treated more as a force of nature and a true movie monster than some troubled hero. Mark and Brian got the tone of the film down for this movie and Nicolas Cage is obviously aware at this point in his career that he is known for campy performances.

The film opens up right away with an animated montage explaining to you who Ghost Rider is, how Johnny Blaze became said demon and where he’s at now. Idris Elba plays Moreau, a monk who seeks Johnny out for his help in finding a boy.  The boy is in line to inherit the powers of the devil and become the Antichrist, which if happened would mean  the end of the world. He offers Johnny salvation from Ghost Rider in exchange for him getting the boy back and preventing the apocalypse.  That’s about all the story that you need to know.

Nicolas Cage as the Anti-Hero Ghost Rider

As I said this isn’t going to be remembered as a great film, but I will consider it a fun film to watch with friends. The special effects are great. Flames and Black smoke billow out of Johnny Blazes Leather jacket as the leather bubbles and cracks from the heat during the transformation. There is a transformation scene in the middle of the film that was really fun to see which demonstrated a perfect mix of camera work, special effects, and Nicolas Cage going nuts in front of the camera that was a standout in the film. However some FX work was a bit spotty. Corrigan who later becomes Blackout in the film looked more so like a villain out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When so much time is spent designing and perfecting the Ghost Rider I’d expect a little more design d be put into its main villain. Corrigan essentially looks like Powder with a long white wig, not so threatening. Also I was expecting a bit more with the 3D, while the few scenes where it works are great, you can definitely see this movie in 2D and not feel like your missing anything.

If what you’re looking for this weekend is a fun action movie with little thought put into the story than this is for you. As a Ghost Rider film I think it’s a success, you get a better version of the character and you can tell everyone involved had a fun time bringing it to life. While the story is conventional and the dialogue is spotty the action and special FX make this a film that I feel is just good enough to see in theaters. The audience leaving the theater seemed like they had a good time and that’s really whats important. Have a few drinks before heading out, go see it with friends and enjoy the ride.

Mike DeVivo

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