Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)
Plot: Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) continues to struggle with his inner demon, the Ghost Rider. When he is called upon by Moreau (Idris Elba) to save a boy (Fergus Riordan) who the Devil (Ciaran Hinds) wants to use to return to power on Earth, Blaze accepts his role as the Ghost Rider, with the promise of Moreau taking away his curse.
You know, I thought this would at least offer some fun action, and a few chuckles here and there, but Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance failed to do even that. I didn’t think it was possible to get worse then the overly serious, yawn inducing original, but directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor managed to pull it off. I can’t believe this is worse then the first Ghost Rider! Look, I get the film is about a guy who rides around on a motorcycle with a flaming skull head, so I’m not expecting the Dark Knight here, but what I did expect was at least some cool action…it couldn’t even do that! The action is filmed horribly. It’s a bunch of awkward edits, silly close-ups, and my dreaded enemy, the shaky cam…ugh. And the worst sin this commits is that it’s boring. This movie needed to go all out crazy, with nothing but explosions, and take it completely tongue and cheek. But instead, they actually pretended like there was a real plot going on, and it’s just painful to watch. The script is a mess. I don’t even understand what’s going on until about 45 minutes in. The dialogue is atrocious, and it doesn’t help matters that Nicolas Cage is delivering most of it. He’s being the crazy Nicolas Cage you would expect, and maybe this would have been funny five years ago, but we’ve seen it enough times now that the novelty has worn off. It’s not funny…it’s just bad. There were a couple solid performances (Idris Elba and Violante Placido), but that’s it. This movie is nothing more than a relic of the Batman & Robin days: No story or character development whatsoever, just dumb fun, but it couldn’t even deliver on that…wow. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of Ghost Rider on film.
Rating: 3 out of 10 (Really Atrocious)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Idris Elba as Moreau
-Elba did everything he could with what he was given.
Worst Performance: Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
–This might be the worst I’ve ever seen him. I’m not laughing with him, I’m laughing at him.
Best Line: “You were the worst fucking deal I ever made!” –Roarke
-‘Roarke’ is of course the Devil in human form. I don’t know, I felt like that was a pretty interesting thing for the Devil to say. I would imagine that 99.9% of the time in these Devil-made ‘I want your soul’ deals, that it would work out well for him.
Worst Line: “You’re the Devil’s baby mama.” –Blaze to Nadya, referring to her son Danny
-I think I actually saw the Devil when I heard Nicolas Cage utter this line.
-Ghost Rider and Carrigan (who turns into decay villain guy or whatever) have a decent fight in the back of a truck. Unfortunately, this fight leads into the worst scene of the film, which we’ll get to soon…
-Johnny Blaze loses the Ghost Rider curse by sitting on a big holy rock while Idris Elba talks to him…lame.
-When Moreau meets Johnny Blaze for the first time, there’s a decent back and forth, as Moreau tries to recruit him for his mission. It’s not so much the writing as it is Idris Elba elevating the material.
-Ghost Rider throws the decay villain guy off the truck and onto the road, at which point he says, ‘Roadkill.’ Like I said, it’s a relic of the Batman & Robin days.
-When Johnny Blaze is giving a narration of his back story during an animated sequence, it’s the one time Cage has charismatic delivery, and it reminded me a lot of Kick-Ass, as he narrates during a similar animated sequence.
Bad Ass Moment:
-I can’t remember what it was, but at one point Ghost Rider touches a large piece of machinery and sets it on fire…the movie needed more stuff like this.