Reviewing one movie at a time…

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)


Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Trailer)

Running Time: 1 hr 35 min – Action, Fantasy, Thriller

Starring Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, & Edris Elba – Directed by Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor

Big JD (Host)

–From the Director Duo that brought you “Crank” & “Jonah Hex”–

(Synopsis)

Nicolas Cage returns as the Ghost Rider for this sequel (of sorts) to the 2007 film “Ghost Rider“.  This time we see Johnny Blaze traveling the world  around Eastern Europe taking refuge.  Until he is confronted by a Monk (Idris Elba) asking for his help in protecting a special young boy.  At first Blaze is unwilling until the monk explains to him that he can in fact get rid of his “curse”.  The only catch is that Mephistopheles/The Devil (Cirian Hinds) wants him too.  So bad he even endows some of his power to bring about a new foe for the Rider to face.  Johnny learns that The Devil (going by the name of Roarke) is wanting to use this boy as a host to walk the earth and spread his will.  What Roarke doesn’t know is that when the Ghost Rider is involved, nothing is that easy.

(Review)

The definition of “Sequel” states:  A published, broadcast, or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one.  So, yes this is a sequel… just checking.   Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor tag team this effort in bringing Ghost Rider back to theatres.  You would think that two brains are better than one?  Not in this case.  Now, as far as a Ghost Rider “movie” I liked this movie better than the first one.  Even with the lackluster critical acclaim it fit more of the Ghost Rider character than the earlier attempt.  Devoid of  the Elvis crap, and “pointing at everything that moves” as well as Eva Mendes.  So, I can’t give them fault in trying to resolve all the 2007 movies’ faults.  They even decided to make Nic Cage do the physical acting for Ghost Rider this time around.  Look kids it’s not Franken-Rider!! In trying to resolve these problems they’ve created some new ones.  Ooh, let’s find out shall we?

The acting and actors themselves were a turnaround that was definitely welcomed.  Except for one Nicolas Cage-bot that hampered many scenes with his overacting and his uncomfortable exchanges with the other actors.  It was unexpected to see them cast him again but honestly it helps keep continuity in play but his second chance was wasted.  Examples may include but not limited to 1) The exchange with the nurse “I’m flirting”.  2) The exchange with Nadya in the car “The rider is gonna … Come out!”  3)  The exchange with the low life at the underground fight club “Scrapin’ at the door!, Scrapin’ at the door!”  and about 30-40 more small instances where you really question this guy’s ability not only to act but to function in society.  I’ll tell you though Moreau (Idris Elba) was the highlight of the movie for me.  Loved his acting and his character was great.  Ray Carrigan/Blackout (Johnny Whitworth) had to have gone to the Stephen Dorf acting school for lame side villains.  I can almost guarantee it.  Cirian Hinds (Roarke) plays his part as the Devil but doesn’t stand out.

That brings up Roarke.  Why “Roarke”?  I mean Mephisto, no wait… The Devil, Mephistopheles, Lord of Evil, Prince of Devils, Prince of Lies, Lord of the Lower Depths, Satan, Beelzebub, Maya, Lucifer, Nick Scratch, the Friend, Legion but he has never ever been called “Roarke”.  What, there wasn’t enough name choice to choose from?  As far as Danny Ketch is concerned it seems like they (David S. Goyer) just wanted to use the name for fan-boy recognition.  Danny Ketch is the 3rd Ghost Rider in comic history.  He is not the following:  Son of Satan, a kid when Blaze meets him, Son to a woman name Nadya.  Blackout was a constant villain for Danny Ketch’s Ghost Rider iteration in comics but that is another change that was made to fit into the story?  Somebody needs to proofread Goyer’s work.  Ray Carrigan/Blackout was a gun-runner for Roarke and at death when Roarke imbues his mystical bad guy powers to him.  This gives Blackout the power of Darkness and Decay.  To find out more about the real Blackout character click here.  Blackout’s comic book persona had the power of Darkness but this new “Decay” thing is new to the character.  Probably added due to the Twinkie scene.

This movie had a certain “grittiness” that is needed for the character.  I felt the cut scenes helped push the audience through giving them the knowledge needed to continue on.  I could have done without the over the top action camera movements.  I was glad to see Ghost Rider traveling the world as he has been known to do and it catches that same vibe of him running into situations based on his location.  Although, I did not feel that Ghost Rider needed to be “Horror” movie flick type scary-guy.  Which is what I feel was the direction.  At moments it’s pretty cool, but there is too much of it and it takes away from the character.  I loved all action scenes with GR and I wish he would have had more speaking lines.  “Road-kill”.  I also loved that they expanded more on Zarathos the Spirit of Vengeance.

So, on the whole it was better than the first for me.  Nic Cage needs to stop.  Before I end this I have a final question to the masterwork of David S. Goyer (Blade Trilogy, Batman Trilogy).  Does the Devil honestly need sedatives to make the boy relax?

Comic Book Movie Plus:  Idris Elba: Thor, The Losers – Nicholas Cage: Ghost Rider, Kick-Ass

3.5 ‘s

Ran-Dizzle

How do I put this down in words….I think this gave BDS:2 a run for its money, However there were some good parts. The Storyline I liked, it might not be true, again I don’t follow Ghost Rider comics so I am getting caught up on my GR info from JD. What I did really like and maybe it’s just me, but when watching it I felt kind like watching a comic book, not like how they have Motion Comics, but like every screen shot that changed felt like I could see it in a panel in a comic book, I could be crazy, but it was something that caught my attention.

I think Moreau (Idris Elba) was the better actor in this movie, no one else really stood out except for the Infamous over-acting Nicolas Cage, However he did have some improvements, he dropped the phony Texas accent….”Do ya still like I-tallian” Still pierces my mind from the first one, I felt that well…as much as you love comics Nick, perhaps you should stick to like executive producer or something where you can still help with the forming of the movie but not the acting, your hysteric laugh is like nails on a chalk board.

I do have to say over all my favorite scene is with Blackout going through the lunch box and the only thing that doesn’t “Decay” is a Twinkie,(Someone should tell that to Tallahassee that will make him happy) BTW did anyone else hear Roarke say his name…not once did I hear him announce or be announced as Blackout, Odd….
Anyways what you all have been waiting for….. Here is the score….

2 ‘s

Willie Good-Cook

I didn’t go  into this movie expecting much. I can’t say I was disappointed…nor was I impressed either. This movie seemed like they fired the director from the first one and this guy decided to create an entirely different movie and story line. And  what was the deal with Nic Cage’s voice over? He sounded less enthused than a fat man going to the gym. “‘I’m the guy who made a deal with the devil.” Seriously Nic. They pay you millions of dollars for these movies. The least you could do is act.

They didn’t even use the footage of Johnny making the deal with the devil from the first movie. The director re-shot the scene for whatever reason.  The sound track was nothing special either.

What was up with Nic Cage…again. He should have stopped acting after “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” The whole wrap my chain around you and you turn to ashes thing felt very cheesy and blade/buffy the vampire slayer like.

The all white bad guy reminded me a lot of the bad guy from Hell Boy 2, just with better 1 liners. But at the same time these one liners got in the way of creating a truly intimidating/scary villain.

I did like the CG ghost rider however. He was pretty awesome looking. I liked the devil and ghost rider’s bike better in the first movie. Devil in GR1 is 1 centillion times better than the one in GR2. (It’s a real number…look it up.) This movie overall was just ok. The one shining part of this movie was the comedy sprinkled in. Twinkies do not decay. Got it.

Suggestion: Don’t watch this movie unless you are an uber fanboy. Save 2 hours of you life. Go to the dentist. You will enjoy it more. At least you get a lollipop at the end.

1.5‘s

…..

For Those that have seen this movie.  What did you think?

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