Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

I admit it: I went to see this Nic Cage sequel--and in 3D, too. As I said to Kyle when we were discussing it, it's a movie full of strong pluses and minuses.

Action sequences. They were invariably fun and full of the trademark Neveldine & Taylor trademark crazy cuts and impossibilities.

Minus: Non-action scenes. When the moments turn tender, Neveldine & Taylor show why the Crank films never pause.

Nic Cage as Ghost Rider. When he's crazily burning up the scenery--and his opponents--Cage is big fun.

Minus: Nic Cage as human. He really doesn't play humans well, and that weakness shows here.

Plus: Any scene with Johnny Whitworth in it. His early appearances as Ray Carrigan are good and contain classic bad-guy scene-chewing mania, but when he turns into the white-faced demon with the power to make anything rot, he is absolutely wonderful.

Minus: Almost every shot of Violante Placido. She was good in The American, but here she's lips and eyes and a talent-free zone so completely devoid of charisma that you can almost see the other actors being sucked into the void.

Plus: Great cameos. How good is it to see Anthony Head getting work? To watch a bald Christopher Lambert, his face covered in writing, chewing the scenery for just enough seconds and words to ensure him scale? Pretty damn good.

Minus: The 3D effects. As in most 3D films, they added almost nothing to this Ghost Rider.

Overall, if you're jonesing for the third Crank film (or its equivalent) and are willing to accept a lower-octane substitute, check out Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. If you're seeking a deeply spiritual contemplation of good and evil, stay home and read a book.

1 comment:

Andy Finkel said...

I thought it was a fun movie too. I loved Cage on SNL talking about it...

“It has all the elements of a classic Nicolas Cage movie.”

“Number one: all the dialogue is either whispered or screamed.

And two: Everything in the movie is on fire.”


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