Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance - 4 out of 5

The Rider rides again!

Despite the critics panning the film and the poor box office return of Ghost Rider, a sequel was produced from the makers of that awful film Crank.  Like the first film, this one was nearly universally panned as it gathered a mere 17% at Rotten Tomatoes.  However, although people hated this one as much as the previous one, I found myself actually enjoying it.  Why?  I'm not going to tell you yet.  I have to tease you in order for you to continue reading the review.

No special effects were used for this...Nic Cage can actually do this.

After the events in the first film, former stuntman turned demon possessed man; Johnny Blaze (Nic Cage), flees the States in order to find some semblance of peace and, ultimately, finds himself in Eastern Europe.  There he is approached by a drink-swigging, bullet-blasting priest by the name of Moreau (Idris Elba) who asks him to help protect a woman and a child named Danny who is being chased by mercenaries at the command of Roarke (aka The Devil played by Ciaran Hinds)--the same devil who gave Blaze his deal and ended up become the Ghost Rider (I say the same devil like there are millions of devils out there doing deals).  Reluctantly, Blaze agrees after a promise is made to rid himself of The Rider permanantly but he soon discovers that The Rider may not be as bad as it was once seemed and that Danny is actually the Devil's son and is about to take his place at his daddy's side.  Along the way,  Roarke is kind enough to resurrect one of the mercs who fell at the hands of The Rider and embodies him with the power of decay (a re-imagining of the comic villain Blackout).

And apparently The Rider is fighting Edgar Winter as well.

Like I said, I actually enjoyed this movie.  Why, you ask again?  I'm still not going to tell you...not yet.

Even concern looks over-the-top with Cage.
With Nic Cage taking the handlebars of Johnny Blaze and the Ghost Rider again, you're guaranteed one important thing:  Overacting in a way only Nicolas Cage can accomplish.  Cage's unique style of acting is an art form that, despite how bad it is, I've found that I love it and would be very upset if he ever improved.  Also, side-note, Cage openly admits he's a big fan of the character of Ghost Rider so when a fan gets to be a part of an adaptation, that is cool in itself--no matter what the end product looks like.

Now that's the Cage we know and love!

I dug the new look of Ghost Rider but that's not the
major reason I liked this movie.
The action scenes are very entertaining in this one (unlike the last one but that shouldn't surprise since the men behind Crank did this one and I don't think story was an emphasis in that piece of crap) and the special effects are shockingly amazing.  The filmmakers even went so far to redesign the trademark look of The Rider and make him look more gritty and realistic (as realistic as a demon with a flaming head can get).  The polished white skull with the pristine leather jacket complete with large steel spikes on the shoulders was abandoned.  Even though this is how the demon looks in the comics, the first film proved that what's in print doesn't necessarily translates to the screen.  A dingier, blackened skull with greasy dark smoke rolling off the cranium is now the end product along with a leather jacket blistered and burned from the demon's boiling personality.  Even the motorcycle was altered from its cartoonish appearance to a more menacing facade.  This fact alone is a major improvement on the first one...and adding The Wire's Idris Elba to the cast doesn't hurt either because that dude is an AMAZING actor.

Idris Elba can be good even in a Nic Cage movie!

Okay, I've teased you long enough and you're all hot and bothered and awaiting my penetrating reason for liking this movie (anyone else aroused right now?).  I've seen a lot of Nic Cage movies--so many that I feel I'm on a personal level with the man and can call him Nic as oppose to Nicolas (you, on the other hand must refer to him as Mr. Cage or Sir Overly Intense Actor the Third).  We ALL know Cage (or Nic as I call him) is an over-actor but he has a very definite, very erratic style to his craft that it appears to be the ramblings of an insane man but it's an art form he has perfected nonetheless and it became a guilty pleasure of mine to watch him goes nutso in movies.  However, never in my life have I seen a movie's production match and create a perfect parallel to the man's one-of-a-kind acting.  That's right, the reason I like this movie is because never has there been a movie that, through it's chaotic use of editing, music and story MATCH the insanity that is Cage's acting.  It's almost as if Nic cut his wrists open and bled onto every aspect of the film, infecting it with whatever runs in his veins and the end product became Nic Cage in movie form.  It's the fact that everything in Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance is a perfect representation of Cage's craft that becomes my solitary reason for thinking this movie is awesome!

Pissing fire has to be the close 2nd in my reasons for liking this movie.

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