How fucking awful was that first Ghost Rider? REALLY FUCKING AWFUL, THAT’S HOW AWFUL. I generally cite the original as one of the absolute worst of the “Hollywood” comic book movies. At least Ghost Rider looked kind of cool riding his motorcycle on fire, right? And Nicolas Cage….fuck, I hate that guy. I’m really not into the whole religion of Nicolas Cage being incredible because of how terrible he is, I just think he’s terrible. Face/Off, Con-Air, and Raising Arizona being a few exceptions. This movie was a sequel no one wanted to a movie most people didn’t like. Why go see it? Well, clearly you guys aren’t familiar with the forces of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, also known as the guys who created Crank and Crank 2: High Voltage. If you can’t get behind these guys, then you can fuck right off.
Leave it to Nicolas Cage to be able to overact THROUGH flaming skull special effects.
It’s been years since we’ve last seen Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) and he has gone into hiding, as the demon (The Ghost Rider/Spirit of Vengeance/motorcycle skull flame head) that lives within him can sense the presence of evil and causes the demon to show itself. He’s contacted by Moreau (Idris Elba) in hopes that the Rider will be able to track a boy who Satan is hoping to turn into his new host on Earth. In a bit of expositional dialogue, Satan (Ciárin Hinds) can only use his Earthly body for so long before all of his powers melt that body, which is why he needs this new boy to carry out as a Earthly body. Luckily Moreau was right and the Ghost Rider finds the boy, and in return, Moreau offers to take away the demon. Johnny Blaze is mortal again, and he realizes his faults in giving away this “gift”, and luckily the boy gives him back his demon powers? Whatever, Ghost Rider sends Satan back to Hell and it’s a great day for everyone involved. Oh yeah, and there were a lot of flames and motorcycles.
You’re trying to tell me that a guy whose head is constantly on fire might burn his bones? BRILLIANT!
The plot seemed a lot more complicated when I was watching it, but who the fuck was watching this movie for plot? I don’t think I’ve even read a Ghost Rider story that I really enjoyed, so there wasn’t much appealing about what the plot might be. If you’re focusing on just the action and effects and all that good stuff, I really dug it. You could tell that Neveldine/Taylor were restricted by the whole PG-13 , but they still managed to do some pretty cool stuff. What really sold me was a shot where a Moreau is knocked off a cliff on his motorcycle and is flying headfirst over a cliff, only to rotate in midair while pulling out a machine gun and shooting, WHILE FALLING BACKWARDS, at the car that ran him off the road. Maybe not as exciting to read as it is to see, but the camera shooting this scene from over Moreau’s shoulder, clearly with the cameraman flying backwards, was pretty cool. A lot of the shots were done from a really low angle and a lot of it was handheld, which I think is something that most people got annoyed by, but I really enjoyed seeing a big budget action movie shot in this way. The first film also had a lot of Ghost Rider doing shit at night, most likely to really make the flames pop against a dark background, so I thought it looked pretty cool having so many scenes take place during the day. You got to see every part of the character’s design, and I really enjoy where Neveldine/Taylor took it. There was a pretty cool high-speed chase where you really got to see all the flames on his head flicking around and I was pretty impressed with the way it looked. Even small changes like making his head charred and black instead of bone white was something subtle but successful. There were also a few Saul Bass inspired sequences that explained Johnny Blaze’s origin story and had some frenetic and weird montage sequences that reminded me a lot of some Crank sequences. Was this movie “good”? No fucking way. I think Neveldine/Taylor did what they could under a lot of restrictions and were able to make this more entertaining than the original. It wasn’t quite as successful as The Punisher vs. Punisher: War Zone reboot, but it could have been a lot worse.
Wolfman Moon Scale