Saturday, 18 February 2012

Review: Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance (3D)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (3D) poster

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (3D)
95 mins / Dir. Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor

I've done it again, haven't I? I've gone to see a sequel film without having first watched its predecessor. Sometimes that means that you won't get a proper grip of what's going on in the film, and sometimes it means that you've essentially missed out on a 90 minute warning not to bother seeing any future instalments.

The opening of GR:SoV has Nic Cage giving a voiceover to an animated sequence which explains why his head goes on fire when there are naughty people around. Given that that's pretty much all you need to know, I don't think I missed out on too much by not seeing Ghost Rider. Which pretty much leaves the second option in the last paragraph as the winner.

The Plot: Johnny Blaze made a deal with the devil (and was subsequently tricked, natch) to deliver the souls of the evil to Hell. When bad people are around, he goes all on fire and skeletal. Apparently sending bad people to Hell isn't necessarily a good thing in this film, and Johnny is looking for a way to end his curse. Oh look, a child has been kidnapped by The Devil, let's get involved…

The Good: It looks like we're finally getting decently rendered 3D in live action movies. Pretty much the whole movie has a feeling of immersion, and while it adds little or nothing to the action sequences, it's good to know that it's at least being used properly. Likewise, the visual effects are pretty damned spiffy as well. Slo-mo gunfire, flipping cars, explosions and a man with his head constantly on fire are all pulled off rather well (considering the bugbears I'm about to list, anyway).

The Bad: Erm, the plot/script. Nic Cage's half-arsed delivery makes him appear embarrassed to be there, which is saying something given his mixed filmography. The scripting is as flabby and uninspired as the plot revolving around a child being the chosen one who's been abducted by the devil (not A.Demon, The.Actual.Devil) and will be sacrificed/posessed to usher in a new age of darkness.

Somehow, the makers of GR:SoV have taken a simplistic plot, explained everything (albeit badly), and yet I still sat there for huge stretches wondering exactly what the fuck was going on. The film has been produced under the Marvel Knights banner, a subset of the main studio which focuses (and I quote) "on producing darker titles". I'm not sure how dark they think they can get with a 12A certificate, but if that means a lot of the characters wearing black, a needlessly complex screenplay, and The Devil saying the film's singular fuck-word, then I guess Marvel Knights are feeling pretty chuffed around now.

The Ugly: There's a line between fantastical and nonsensical. It's not even a thin line, it's at least a couple of feet wide. GR:SoV manages to be nonsensical to the point where it becomes dull. Yes, you read that right: After an hour of watching a man with this head on fire eat the souls of bad people, I was monumentally bored and just waiting for the film to end. Given that the bad guy in this is The.Actual.Devil, none of what transpires makes any sense. Considering that even the movie pumps him up to be a deity, his 'powers' are nerfed beyond belief, and he relies on inept thugs and a newly made (an horrendously underused) Rotting Man™.

Oh, and that bit at the start where Johnny Blaze is talking to the audience? "Oh, everyone's got something to hide! You might not have murdered someone, but what about that illegal download?" Seriously. Fuck off, Marvel. If you're going to moralise about piracy, at least clumsily paste the message into something worth pirating.

Worth £10+? You know I've got that card? Because this is in 3D, there's a surcharge and I paid £1.50 to see it. I feel robbed for that, so I can barely begin to imagine how punters who've paid full price are going to feel.

I'm not an expert (as regular readers of this blog will attest), but this isn't a good film.


The visuals alone save this from being a 1/7. Everything else here is awful.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

1 comment:

  1. i am waiting for this movie long time,but my waiting is just waste 3d iffect also not be awsome i give2.5 star