Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review: Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance SPOILER ALERT

I did not hate this movie.  I did not love it.  I did not leave the theater thinking I had seen something unique, but I did like it.

I do not know anything about Ghost Rider.  I have never had any interest in this character.  I did not watch the first film.  I had been planning on watching it before going to see this film, but I never got to it.  I saw the awesome trailer for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance when I saw the new Underworld film a few weeks ago.  Both my girlfriend and I were sold on this film from the trailer.

Let me repeat SPOILER ALERT

I found the monologue at the beginning much to lengthy and spoken without passion making it drag even longer.  It's always helpful to have a back story but it has to be said in a way that is engaging and this just wasn't.  I also did not like the animation style they used to visualize the story.

I have never been a big Nick Cage fan.  In fact, years ago I refused to watch his films not because of his acting ability but because I just didn't care for him.  In recent years he has grown on me, but his portrayal of Johnny Blaze makes me wish I was still boycotting his films.  One scene had Cage acting crazy and attempting to keep Ghost Rider from coming out.   The effects were cool, but his crazy act was confusing.  I kept looking at the screen thinking "what is he doing?"  He didn't look crazy or believable, just strange.

What I really do not understand is exactly how Roarke "dies."  If his body is just a host how is throwing him into the earth getting rid of him?  And it's literally just that.  Ghost Rider throws him into the earth and tells him to go home and POOF Roarke has been defeated.  I don't get that.  Also as a character, Roarke just seemed powerless and not much of a villain without his mob about him.  Again I don't know much about this comic, but I would think the devil has more then a few powerful tricks up his sleeve, but he winds up being defeated ridiculously easy.

The movie trailer showed promise of a very eventful action film and this film only really brings it at the end of the film.  There are plenty of opportunities through out the film where I sat there wondering why Ghost Rider was not kicking butt and instead getting his own butt kicked.  I get it.  He needed to "find" himself and "purpose" before he could really bring the action.  I get the purpose, but it seems like they really didn't have any fireworks for Ghost Rider so it was all held off until the end.  In reality the trailer was a better action film then the movie.

The last thing that I did not like was the cheap juvenile humor.  It made the 12 year old boys in front of us giggle, but listening to Cage discuss the flamethrower just seemed out of place and unnatural.  Then again that could have been the delivery and the unneeded shot of it in action.  I don't think comic films need humor.  I don't.  I think the added humor in many of them makes the films come across as cheap.  Humor has it's time and place.

On the bright side, I absolutely loved Idris Elba, Violante Placido and Fergus Riordan.  I think that Moreau was an excellent character and Elba brought it, but he was completely wasted with little action and acting like a wise drunk man.

Then you have Johnny Whitworth who played Ray/Blackout and was a joke the entire film.  As Ray he was unbelievable as a drug lord and then once he was Blackout he was more entertaining and became unneeded comic relief.  Why does our villain have to be a funny bumbling idiot?  I like real villains.  Give me Loki (who definitely MADE Thor).

Overall, I did like the film, meaning its not completely awful.  It's mediocre by far.  Some reviews are even saying that the first film was better and I have heard plenty awful about the first film.  My suggestion is to wait until the film is released for rental.

I also did not see this film in 3D.  However, I do not think that would have changed my opinion.  After seeing the film I can't imagine what 3D even has to offer for it.

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