Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Get out your flaming skulls, we're reviewing Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance!
Can you tell I have no idea what a motorcycle really looks like? No? Ok good.
I expected this to be a flaming pile of crap. Well good news! It's technically not a flaming pile of crap, and it's slightly better than the first flaming pile!

Johnny Blaze(Nicolas Cage) still breaks out in flaming skulls even though he's trying to control it. He's cruisin' around Europe when he meets a french biker priest named Moreau(Idris Elba) who makes a deal with him that if Johnny protects this boy from becoming the new Satan, he'll cure Johnny of the flaming skulls. Motor cycle flaming shooting action ensues.

This is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the guys who are responsible for the Crank series, and it really shows. The movie feels like it's going 120 MPH even when it's clearly still stuck in neutral with the handbrake on.  The camera rolls at high speed and jitters like on crack, and it's a joy to watch, but it's wasted with nothing good happening in the script. The movie starts up fast enough, but then comes to a complete halt the moment Ghost Rider actually shows up. Instead of making him animated and crazy(like a guy with a flaming skull would be), he mostly just stands around menacingly, staring at people.

But it's not all boring, there are some fairly interesting action scenes, including one where the Rider transforms a huge piece of machinery into a flaming monster to take out ALL OF THE GUYS.  And they have a generally interesting sub-villain, who I was generally interested in.  ANd then there's Nicholas Cage, in all his quirky caginess. I'm not sure where on the crazy scale Ghost Rider 2 would fall, but there are a few parts where he gets to be rat-bat insane. And he gets THE BEST worst end movie one-liner.

The script however is pretty by-the-numbers mediocre, and there aren't any one liners funny enough or set-pieces explodey enough to save it.  Even Cage's craziness isn't all that crazy all the time, mostly he just has a dull bored voiceover.  And then there are just the dumb moments, like when Johnny is talking to the kid about peeing fire, and they use the clip of him pissing fire. There's no real reason for this, it's just, hey, flaming pee.  And the sequences where he's freaking out trying not to turn are...different.

They have animated credits in the beginning and then throughout the rest of the movie explaining certain parts, and I want to like them, but they're a mess of 3D and stills and animation.  One surprise is the soundtrack, which is surprisingly pretty good. I like the main theme and it does a good job of creating suspense.

Overall it's a pretty Meh movie. it has a few good parts, and it's not especially bad, but it's not great either.  There are certainly worse superhero flicks, but this is definitely one that is destined for the five dollar bin at Walmart. And if you do decide to see it, don't bother with the 3D. At no point did I ever think I was watching a 3D movie, ever.

THE GOOD: a few good action pieces, shot at high speed, crazy Cage, good soundtrack.

THE BAD: slow, generic, not laugh out loud funny, 3D is terrible.

THE VERDICT: Only if you really really really your flaming skull and cage fix. There aren't any action scenes that you NEED to see on the big screen.

MOVIES LIKE IT: Ghost Rider, Jonah Hex, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, you know, the Marvel movies that were passable at best.

ONE SCENE METAPHOR: Ghost Rider standing around looking at guys, waiting for them to strike. It's like he's in a mediocre videogame where he has to wait for them to hit him so he can counter their attacks. WHY IS THE MAN WITH THE FLAMING SKULL JUST STANDING AROUND?!

No comments:

Post a Comment