Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Starring Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Johnny Whitworth, Idris Elba, and Christopher Lambert

Directed by Neveldine/Taylor

Release Date: February 17th, 2012

The Rider is Back! Years after running away from his deal with The Devil (Hinds), stuntman Johnny Blaze (Cage) is trying to escape his fate intertwined with the spirit of vengeance, the Ghost Rider. He is soon met by Moreau (Elba) a French priest who claims that is Blaze helps him save a young boy, the curse of 'the Rider' will be lifted and Johnny can be a free man. However, the Devil has agents of his own to use against Johnny.

Similar to The Incredible Hulk and Punisher: War Zone, Spirit of Vengeance cuts ties with its' predecessor to make its own identity to stray from the less-than-stellar 2007 Ghost Rider. The only cast member form that film is star Nicolas Cage who returns as Blaze/Ghost Rider, and makes the character more  bleak and dark than previously seen; there's no scenes of Blaze eating jelly beans out of martini glasses. Here, Blaze is a tortured and slightly on edge man, someone who fears the darkness in him and he realizes the Rider is no hero, but a madman made of flame.

The film is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the duo behind Crank and Crank 2, the high-octane action movies that used hyper-kinetic film editing and unusual camera shots to great use. Here, they make the film into a 1970s style with a dark anti-hero who may be against the villain, but he can also turn on Danny and his mother Nadiya. I like that Neveldine and Taylor use a lot of bleak and muddy colors in the film, as it shows that this is a harsh and cruel environment the story is set. Also, when showing Ghost Rider, they use a lot of neat visual cues, such as smoke when Ghost Rider is attacked or that his leather jacket is melting when turned into the Rider.

Does the film has short comings? Sure, the plot is occasionally sidetracked by exposition and I would've loved more of Carrigan/Blackout using his rot powers in a comedic way, but the movie still works in a action movie fashion.

Final Thoughts: If you needed a proper Ghost Rider movie, check this out. If you're a die hard Nicolas Cage fan, this is a MUST SEE.

Rating: 4 out of 5 

No comments: