Reviewing Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Understanding Eli

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Reviewing Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

It's perhaps odd that I'm discussing a different superhero (well, antihero) movie on a weekend when the massivly popular Avengers Movie has been released (which I did see and did very much love). None the less, odd or not, Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance is on my mind even though the movie was released months ago.

I had written most of this review shortly after seeing the newest incarnation of my favorite character, but decided to let everything settle before truly freshing out my feelings on the subject. It's rather difficult for me to unbiasly look at the movie afterall. My obsession with this badass flaming skeleton for a large chunk of my life kind of blinds me. Combine that with me being one of those nearly always positive people who sees the good over the bad in most everything, and you got a guy who's going to like this movie no matter what. The fact is, I just love seeing this character on the big screen in whatever fashion.

What I personally enjoyed most about this second incarnation was the character himself. Not Johnny Blaze per se, but Ghost Rider, Zarathos. His look, his actions, his abilities, his voice, his bike, everything was fantastic. I honestly only wanted to see what Ghost Rider would be like after all, and this movie did not fail me. The fact that he was badass in his dark and eerie way was an awesome sight, and I couldn't wait for him to get back on screen...

... which brings me to a negative of the film, and yes I can acknowlege negatives. I just don't like to. In this case however, it's perhaps not a good thing when I don't care about the plotline of a film and am just waiting for the title character to break free again. I'm not sure if this was because of a poorly developed script or just my pure enjoyment of the title character himself, but that's how I felt and perhaps is a negative which I should not ignore when discussing a film. I did like the style of the movie and what the directors brought to the franchise, but the story itself was lacking something unique. Sure, it was a fun ride with some neat elements, but it's as if the whole story was recycled from something we all saw before.

With regards to the other characters in the film, I can't really say I loved any of them as much as I did Zarathos, but again, I didn't have to. I was there to see Ghost Rider. I would say that Blackout was pretty great though, and he did have some of the most memorable moments in the film. Fans of the character were probably a little miffed that he wasn't exactly like the comic version, but I actually thought he was an upgrade and that Whitworth did a great job in his performance of him.

Speaking for actors, let's discuss Nic Cage and his performance. With all due respect to Nic and his abilities, the film probably could have had some new blood injected into the character. While the character of Johnny was a massive upgrade to the first film (IE, no jelly beans) I would have been interested to see what another actor would have brought to the table. I mean, I deeply respect that Nic is a fan of the character, but I can't help to wonder what things would have been like it it weren't him in the role. I did enjoy some of the choices don't get me wrong, but the problem I have with Nic is that I can't see beyond Nic. It's hard to truly see him as Johnny, ya know?

All in all, what I like about Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance definitely trumps what I didn't like about it. The character I loved for so long was very well executed and truly all that matters is that I got to see this character on the big screen again. There is definitely nothing wrong with that!

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