Brutally Honest Review #4: Don’t Make Another Ghost Rider Movie PLEASE
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) is a waste of time. Everything about it is second-rate, very dull, and I’ve seen Universal monster movies better than this crap. The movie tries to be the Wachowski brothers with dramatic slow motion and stylized action, but fails at both. Nicholas Cage is terrible, but it’s not like he has anything to work with. It gets worse, as the movie saves on exposition and throws us action, plot revelations, and characters without any explanation whatsoever as to who is who.
Ghost Rider is a great concept. It’s an easy story to tell, in my opinion. Johnny Blaze sells his soul to save his family, but he’s cursed to walk the Earth as the spirit of vengeance. That’s it. That’s all there is to the story, really. Right from the beginning, they don’t even attempt to give us a simple story, because they throw in a lot of irrelevant dialogue, kid characters who are stupid, and dumb tag-a-alongs. It’s friggin stupid.
I’m serious, Ghost Rider could really be a great, hard-traveling hero story if they actually did it right. He could travel down the highway and help people/haunt people as he wandered the country, like Bill Bixby in the 70s Hulk. Instead, they have to paint him as a wild murderer, actually FEEDING on human beings. How is he a superhero again? Anyway, the villains blow him up with a grenade launcher early-on, so Nicholas Cage can bring us some more nonsensical acting.
About twenty minutes in, I was still not sure what the heck was happening in this movie. Some bad guys kidnap this kid and I think he was related to Johnny Blaze in some way, but I wasn’t sure. Luckily, Johnny straightens things out as the kid’s mother holds a gun on him. Violante Placido and her make-up try to actually be part of the movie, but both fail. She’s terrible. Her make-up is terrible. THIS MOVIE IS TERRIBLE.
The movie tries to insert some dark comedy here and there, but every single time, it falls flat. THIS MOVIE ISN’T FUNNY. It’s not clever. Ghost Rider pees flames and there are more stupid devil jokes than I could stomach.
In the middle of the movie, Johnny Cage ditches his motorcycle and rides along in the Scooby Van with his new girlfriend. He goes way, way over-the-top, playing his curse like he’s possessed, straight out of The Exorcist. He can’t even speak straight after a while. He plays it like he’s in pain half the time and it’s not fun to watch. Nicholas Cage blows fire out of his nose and that’s supposed to be another joke, I guess.
One of the actors tries his best Sean Bean impression and sums up his contribution to this movie. All of the thugs, gangsters, and villains are interchangeable. Sean Bean orders his men to nuke Ghost Rider with a missile, but he just spins around and burns them all to death. Still more thugs come out of the woodwork, so Ghost Rider drives a flaming construction crane over them. Sean Bean turns out okay though. The action is a mess. Every action scene is jumpy, badly set up, and makes no sense.
Thing about the action is, Ghost Rider immolates everyone he touches with his chain. Nobody is any match for him, much less Sean Bean, so they have to give Cage and Ghost Rider these weird twitches and weaknesses. Luckily, the Devil marches in and creates his own supervillain so we don’t have to watch any more thugs get slaughtered, but Ghost Rider even defeats the Devil without much effort.
All in all, I don’t want to think about this movie anymore. Even the music is bad. Much of the movie plays like a parody, but is never funny. You’d think they might be able to put together a decent car chase scene considering their main character, but they can’t. Christopher Lambert disguises himself for a guest-appearance, but even he can’t save this movie. The end is over-filtered and Ciarán Hinds as The Devil must have heard he was in a comedy, because his acting is WAY over the top and worse than Cage. I hope to never, EVER see a Ghost Rider movie again, which is unfortunate because I heard the rights reverted back to Marvel.