REVIEW: WesleyGibson's Thoughts On GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE
Everyone wanted a darker Ghost Rider than what Mark Steven Johnson produced with the original film, then there came the trailer to the sequel/reboot directed by Crank Directors Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine which promised that. Did it keep its promise or completely fail? Click for my take...
The first Ghost Rider was surely no great film, with bad acting, cheesy dialogue, and hardly no action. I really got into the rider and he became one of my favorite characters very quickly, and after the failure of the first film I still wanted more Ghost Rider, but with at least, a darker tone. Upon finding out that the Crank Directors Neveldine/Taylor would helm the sequel/reboot which promised a darker and more supernatural tone, I was happy. I thought that maybe they could do the character justice, and I always felt that such a kick-ass character could carry his own film, he just needs that certain push.
The first trailer for the film arrived and I have to admit, I was very impressed, and hell I believed that we were going to have a film that would portray the rider the way he's supposed to be. However, many people were still skeptic to the film, but I supported the idea of it 100%, and I always liked Nic Cage as an actor, so I didn't mind him returning. I know the the majority of the CBM family here likes to shun Cage, and would have wanted a fresh actor for the rider, but that's not how it turned out and we just have to accept that.
On to the reviews. Overly negative with a side of bashing the film at every turn. Some even said the film was worse than the first, and than my support for the film started to fade very quickly. I loved the character, and I love how he looked in this film, but knowing that that was probably the only strong point was really hard to stay behind. I still retained some interest in it and thought that it could still be something at least worth giving one watch, so having said that, me and my wife decided to give it a chance.
Well in my honest view of the film, I have to say that it's better than the first. The film surprised me at some parts, and the movie's best strong point was Ghost Rider (although that'd make sense wouldn't it?). The first part of the film started out very weak and was very hard to watch because of the style of directing. The beginning was a crazy headache of a mess but when the rest came, it did get a little better. The camera seemed to calm down, and things got easier to put more focus into.
Nicolas Cage as Blaze could have and probably should have been portrayed by someone else, but as stated before, that didn't happen. So having said that, there were parts that he over-acted, but he mostly fit the part well. He was crazy and really brought out that Cage complex that many people can't stand today, so if you hate that about Cage, you'll hate this film no matter what. The kid and the woman were slightly on the annoying side, Idris Elba was a highlight of the film, and Johnny Witworth as the villain Blackout was actually easy to watch (way better than Wes Bentley's ridiculously cheesy Blackheart), and I think he did well in avoiding those old villain cliches that seem to plague almost every villainous performance in film. Christopher Lambert was great as always, and I was glad to see him.
The action in the film was about as absent as it was in the first, with maybe little improvement. Even though more stylish, it didn't really seem to help. Ghost Rider in action however was the best part or parts of the whole damn film, and I must say, they did a great job portraying him on-screen. He did look damn cool and was actually creepy, making him more fun to watch than in the first.
CLOSING STATEMENTS: With mostly annoying acting, shaky scenes and hammy dialogue, the film is certainly no masterpiece and is no where near it. The film however, does have a solid middle and end, and Ghost Rider packs one helluva meaner punch than whatever Mark Steven Johnson was trying to accomplish in the first. If you do not like Nic Cage, than this film isn't for you at all, and I will be honest with you, the film does take an open mind to watch, as well as a love for the character in the first place. In comparing this film to the first, I will say that I fall into that very small majority that thinks it's a better portrayal than what the first had.
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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