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Prinz Lee wrote this review 4 years and 9 months ago

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Echoing each other during their New York Comic Con  panel back in October, 2011 caused a huge roar among geeks, nerds, virgins and me as directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor stated GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE is a totally different movie. Followed by a few more jokes and answering questions from fans that had been lined up, they reiterate it by replying to one of many questions by saying “It’s not a sequel!”

Throughout the Q&A, there was a lot of insight regarding the film which was pretty enticing as they moved along, and then they drop the ultimate by having treated us to a featurette – exposing some of the craziest filmmaking I’ve ever seen, and then follow that rugged ride with an extended trailer.

The CRANK-yank-duo made sure they left a mark upon the audience and they did. I, for one, didn’t really think much of the first one back in 2007, and can say when I heard another one was in the works; I didn’t feel much of a sting. However, I have to say after NYCC’s panel… this film struck a spark on my ass, and charred a desire about it. Seriously, with a resume from these guys which entails the CRANK franchise and GAMER (Which I thought was cool); there might be life for this hell-based comic-book character and Cage’s career. I like the guy, but have you seen his films lately…?

With that said – the time has come, The Rider has returned, and for sure this time around it seems the fierce, skeletal, flame-faced executioner isn’t fucking around!

Former stuntman and bounty hunter of rogue demons Johnny Blaze (Cage), like The Prinz, has been living in self-imposed exile, believing that his powers are a curse. But when he is approached by a member of a monastic order who is looking for someone to protect a mother and her son, who are being pursued by the devil in the figure of a man named Roarke (Hinds), the Ghost Rider agrees to embark on a hellish chase involving unholy pursuits and outcomes.

Well, what’s MY verdict? I have to say I really don’t want to hate on this film. I was really looking forward to watching it and I did. However, I felt there was something missing. There’s a form of loyalty to these comic-book films of which need to be taken seriously. I’m not going to sit here and say I was a “die hard fan of Ghost Rider” as a kid, but I recall the character, I recall those around me who read it, and I vividly remember all the darkness within the stories. And as I’m writing this, I’ve realized what was missing, and that’s its origin of deep darkness! I’m not a fan of taking something demonic like Ghost Rider and sprinkling it with sporadic humor. I’m sorry, but as a minion of Satan, Ghost Rider should not be rated PG anything or have any laughter. It sucks out the key element to what this film’s supposed to circulate on.

Although a bit generic, the movie presents interesting characters, pretty cool scenery (Romania & Turkey), intense action sequences and affects – especially affects. My favorite of all was Ghost Rider’s boiling leather jacket. I remember both Mark and Brian mentioning the study and actions they had taken to visualize what objects would look like as they burned. It was interesting, artistic and quite frankly pretty successful when it came to covering that realm of entertainment.

On the flip: This film’s nothing more than a dry, jumpy ride on its tour of “highway-to-hell.” It isn’t quite defining on any of its characters with the exception for its protagonist of course, and to be honest… I wasn’t really too thrilled with any other members of the cast. They looked “great” on paper, in the trailer, perhaps as a thought as well, but once unleashed; mediocrity isn’t a word I think to best describe any of them.

Cage’s crazy antics never cease to be exposed on his films, as does Elba’s relaxed “know-it-all-so-chill” attitude. I thought Hinds was over-the-top as the devil, Riordan wasn’t really that appealing as a kid from the darkside, nor was his mom (Placido), who pretty much blessed the screen with her hotness. However, I actually enjoyed Whitworth as “Carrigan.” I don’t know what it was, but out of the bunch I just mentioned, in a malicious way his character was pretty badass in my book!

Ghost Rider’s one of those characters I feel Marvel’s neglected when presenting it on the Silver Screen. I’m not sure for what reasons, so that’s something you’ll need to take up with Stan Lee. Seriously, I don’t really think this film’s going to do it any justice. Considering it’s not going against anything that major this weekend – say another, stronger superhero movie – so it’ll bring in some cash. I wouldn’t expect IRON MAN numbers, but a decent amount to keep studio suits happy. But that’s it! I think this is the last we’ll see of The Rider! I may be wrong, but neither film has done this would-be franchise any good.

Overall, it’s a film which has a pretty cool pace at the beginning, but does become wobbly, followed by slips and splatters like Jell-O. It’s emotionally malnourished, but on the cinematic flip of this coin, it does entertain with its visuals. That’s it. I’m not sure why the 3D tag, but that’s Hollywood for ya!

 

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