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Ghost Rider: Spirit of

by

Jeff Nelson

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is tedious and shouldn't have been made to begin with.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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With all of the superhero buzz spreading about, especially after some major successes, the movie studios have decided to bring even the smaller of superheroes to the silver screen. Well, Ghost Rider is a series of comic books that I highly enjoyed as a little kid. Once the first film adapting him to the screen was announced, I was extremely excited. It ended up being a disappointment and I was angry with the casting decision of Nicolas Cage as the leading role. When the teasers for the sequel were being released, I got even more pumped up. It appeared to promise a darker tone to the film than the first, but once the PG-13 rating was declared, my hope took a nose dive. This is a dark hero who is extremely violent and should be portrayed as such on film. Why direct the films to a pre-teen audience when it should be towards older teenagers and young adults? Money.

When the devil resurfaces with aims to take over the world in human form, Johnny Blaze reluctantly comes out of hiding to transform into the flame-spewing supernatural hero Ghost Rider. He must rescue a 10-year-old boy from an unsavory end before it's too late. Naturally, audiences don't attend superhero flicks in order to receive an incredibly written story with beautifully crafted dialogue. Viewers want to see a lot of explosions, violence, guns, and car chases. In Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, we're offered a horrible story, even by action flick standards. The dialogue is incredibly tacky and by the end of the film, I still didn't find myself caring about any of the characters in the slightest. Even Ghost Rider was extremely watered down and does a bunch of things that he would never do. The Rider is known to destroy everything in the way without hesitation, although he simply stands there and takes the beating without putting up much of a fight. There's even a bunch of sequences where the Rider is actually injured and beaten up by ordinary humans. It simply doesn't make any sense. The movie feels long for what it is and it actually becomes tedious as it drags for the majority of the running time. The villain doesn't feel as threatening as he should and the Rider has much more difficulty fighting off his minions than the actual main villain himself. This screenplay feels like an absolute rush job. All of the darkness and carnage that I was hoping for isn't displayed here. This is just an utter mess that should never have been green lit.

Unsurprisingly, Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze. I still believe that he's a horrible casting decision here. In order to do the hero justice, they should have done a complete reboot with an entirely new cast. Cage is unconvincing and it's clear that he's in this only for the paycheck. Idris Elba is a nice surprise here, although even he cannot save this mess. The remainder of the cast is at the same level, which is below mediocre. I'm also not expecting incredible acting from a movie such as Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, but the casting department of this feature appears to be sloppy. I would have enjoyed to see an unknown actor in the role of Johnny Blaze to provide him a new face that we haven't seen in other flicks.

The teaser trailers looked absolutely incredible. Why shouldn't they? This is a big budgeted action flick. Well, as expected, the film doesn't let down in this department. The character of Ghost Rider actually looks better than he did in the first as they gave him a much more burnt and dark look, as opposed to the cartoonish appearance he was given in the first flick. Unfortunately, the action sequences are very repetitive and none of them leave you wanting more. It's just more of the same instead of bringing the insane amount of destruction that Ghost Rider fans are craving. As for the audio transfer, this is a top notch disc. Each speaker is oozing with sonic delight. Be careful with the volume knob, though, as this is a loud track. The subwoofer has an expected heavy workout here. The surround sound channels are filled with a ton of data. Be ready to be absolutely immersed in this fantastic audio.

I expected quite a bit more from the guys who created Crank. They're known for being absolutely insane and bringing a lot of violence to the silver screen. I'm suspecting that the studio wanting them to write something that's appropriate for pre-teens, therefore giving the movie a PG-13 rating. Don't be fooled by the well-made teaser trailers. They're the only cool scenes of the movie. I'm hoping that we will see a faithful adaptation of Ghost Rider that has an R rating and shows our dark hero as he's meant to be shown. Until then, I'm avoiding any future flicks from this series. Nicolas Case isn't right for the part, so I'm not sure why they cast him. The visuals are good, but the actual fight sequences aren't anything new or fun. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is tedious and shouldn't have been made to begin with. Skip this garbage.

My Rating = One Star

Next movie: 21 Jump Street
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