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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance review

Posted : 2 years ago on 2 November 2012 03:32

If you thought the first movie was a catastrophe, in all things that are holy wait till you see this movie. I didn't think they could possibly top the awfulness of the first movie but they did, if anything the filmmakers deserve an achievement for being able to accomplish what seemed like an impossible task. Luckily for us, this movie made less than half of what it's predecessor made, so there shouldn't be any more of these.

I really have nothing nice to say about this movie other than the effects and stunts are cool. Yep, that's it. Now time to start ripping apart this film. I would try to explain the plot to you but I can't because it makes no sense. It's as if some of the pages of the screenplay were torn out and went missing. I guess that's actually a good thing though, because none of the characters would shut up, they all just kept talking and talking.

The acting is just sad. How could Nick Cage go from an Oscar to starring in steaming pile of shits like these? His performance is no longer amusing, at least it was somewhat funny in the first movie but now this is just pathetic sad. The whole time he sounded like a constipated chicken. I get that he's in financial distress, so whatever screenplay gets thrown at his face he takes. Don't you think that he'd get a good script once in a while? The last good movie he was in was Kick-Ass, and that was two years ago. As for the rest of the cast, the performances are embarrassing. Expect to see a nomination of worst cast ensemble at the razzies. Also, Idris Elba, what are you doing in this movie? You're actually a good actor, the only explanation that I can think of is that you needed to refresh your bank account or pay the bills because how can anyone read the script and not think that it's garbage?

The worst of all is that this movie is just boring. There's hardly any action, though there is a car Chase with Satan, which is the first. Whatever little action there is, it's not exciting. This is the kind of movie that I would watch if I couldn't fall asleep. Sadly though, I stayed awake through the whole thing, envying my dad who was asleep and snoring next to me. Now that I think about it, don't listen to me about what I said earlier, about seeing how bad this movie is for yourself, unless you feel like signing your soul over to the devil.

Overall, definitely one of the worst movies of the year. I expect many razzie nominations. The effects are cool but that's about it and is definitely not enough to save this movie. The acting is atrocious, the plot makes no sense, and this movie is just boring. It's funny how the main character's head explodes into a flaming skull at inopportune moments because that's what my head felt like it was going to do if I had to endure another minute of this shit.

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An average movie

Posted : 2 years, 4 months ago on 7 July 2012 07:33

Pretty often, it is rather obvious when a movie will or should get a sequel. This flick is not one of those though... I mean, the first installment was literally trashed by the critics and it was not what you call a box-office success. Yet, to my surprise, they decided to make a sequel and even though there were some positive buzz, I wasn't really optimistic. And, indeed, I was right... Basically, everything about it (the cheap-ass eastern Europe location, the script, the action scenes, Christopher Lambert,...) made it look like a straight-to-DVD job expect for 2 redeeming features : Nicolas Cage and the Ghost Rider himself. Indeed, in his human form, Cage gives one of his weird hysterical performance and it was much appreciated but because 80% of the dialogs were totally lame, it was just sporadically good. The Ghost Rider was indeed pretty awesome and it seems there is lots of potential with such a character but it is like the Hulk, you know, basically it is a guy who doesn't want to transform when we, the viewers, don't want to watch anything else which is just really frustrating. To conclude, I don't think it is really better or worse than the first movie, it is just ... different and it is not really worth a look, in my opinion.

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A generic bore

Posted : 2 years, 5 months ago on 19 June 2012 01:07

"I will eat your stinking soul!"

Stylistically and tonally different to its 2007 predecessor, 2012's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is presented as less of a sequel to Ghost Rider and more of a reimagining/reboot. Nicolas Cage is reportedly a huge fan of the Ghost Rider comics, and he wanted a second attempt at making a movie which does justice to the source material. Thus, Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were recruited to bring their frenetic style to the production. Theoretically, Neveldine/Taylor's style should be the perfect complement for Cage's over-the-top acting sensibilities, and the collaboration should have resulted in a deliriously enjoyable comic book flick. Instead, while it has a few semi-exciting action set-pieces, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a generic bore. It's a rabid movie, yet it's loud, obnoxious, drab and often startlingly incoherent.



To save his dying father, stunt biker Johnny Blaze (Cage) signed his soul over to the devil, and as a result was bequeathed with a supernatural curse which sporadically transforms him into a flaming skeleton. In order to keep his curse in check, Blaze chooses to hide out in Eastern Europe and live off the grid. Until, that is, he's tracked down by an old friend - alcoholic warrior priest Moreau (Elba) - who offers Blaze the opportunity to get his curse removed. Blaze's task is to protect a young boy named Danny (Riordan) who's on the run with his mother (Placido). As it turns out, Satan (Hinds) wants Danny, and has sent out several mercenaries to retrieve him.

While flimsy plotting is almost customary in action movies, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is worse than most; its story is poorly-structured, and most narrative beats don't make much sense. Not to mention, for some reason the film leans hard on its hackneyed plot rather than cutting loose with feverish action, which completely kills all sense of momentum. Sure, screenwriters Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman and David S. Goyer probably aspired to focus more on storytelling than mindless action, but the problem is that the storytelling is incompetent. Spirit of Vengeance is in sore need of humanity, as well. Great comic book films create genuine weight by concentrating on central characters and their arcs (see Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films), but the writers here were clueless about how to properly achieve this. It's clear that Danny was included to humanise Blaze, but the subplot fails to gain much traction. It doesn't help that all of the dialogue throughout is so painfully stiff and uninvolving. With the titular Rider receiving a scant 10 minutes of screen-time, Spirit of Vengeance mostly involves boring characters spouting boring dialogue.



To the credit of Neveldine and Taylor, the look of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is just right. Stripping away the glossy, overly Hollywood demeanour of the 2007 picture, this is a grittier film ostensibly aimed more at adults. Not to mention, the Ghost Rider character (which looked utterly cartoonish in the 2007 film) looks spot-on here with a black and charred skull. But this is about the only aspect where Spirit of Vengeance succeeds. Neveldine and Taylor retained their proclivity for batshit insane antics, but what's missing is the sense of energy that they brought to the Crank movies. Furthermore, as violent as the film sometimes is, it's clearly marred by the restrictions of its PG-13 rating. Neveldine and Taylor excel as directors of R-rated junk food, not neutered comic book movies. Some action beats do work, but the 5 minutes of worthwhile awesomeness does not make the film's other 85 tedious minutes worth enduring.

To keep budget costs down, Spirit of Vengeance was shot in drab locations in Eastern Europe. As a result, it looks ugly and cheap, more like a direct-to-DVD movie than a theatrical experience. And as fun as some parts can be, Neveldine and Taylor's efforts are incompetent at times. Take, for instance, a scene towards the beginning in which the Rider stares at a mercenary before eating his soul - Blaze stares at the guy for so long that it's unclear what's happening and it actually looks more like the two are about to kiss. In another scene, Blaze attempts to hold back his inner demon while riding his motorcycle. It's a scene which drags on and on, filled with shots that may look cool but fail to further the plot or develop the character in any worthwhile way. Also odd are the inconsistencies relating to the Rider's tolerance to injury. He's knocked unconscious by a grenade at one stage, but later on another grenade only causes him to spin horizontally while levitating in midair (a huge "WTF?!" moment). We never find out how the Rider can be killed, and this strips the film of emotional stakes.



As Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider, Nicolas Cage clearly gave it his all; he chews the scenery with hammy gusto and endlessly mugs the camera. At times it works, but Cage's insanity is often more grating than entertaining. Idris Elba is the only acting bright spot here. Elba has genuine movie star charisma, and he seems to match the tone of the material. None of the other cast members merit a mention, though it's interesting to note that Highlander star Christopher Lambert has a minor role as a priest...and he's utterly wasted.

From the trailers, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance looked like it was going to be a fun movie, but it really isn't much fun at all. While there are a few nifty action beats here and there, they fail to compensate for the bland storytelling and woeful scriptwriting. It's a misguided, empty-headed mess which fast becomes a test of endurance. Maybe third time will be a charm for Ghost Rider...

3.4/10



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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 6 May 2012 04:51

even the magic of Nicolas Cage didn't do the trick. This time the bone of contention is the bone of contention is a child half devil, half man and both the parties are after him and in between the story is the fillers.

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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance review

Posted : 2 years, 9 months ago on 27 February 2012 04:33

not as good as I expected. was a bit disappointing

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