Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

This is an interesting case of a sequel. It isn't a complete reboot as it stars the same lead actor as the same character, but for all intents and purposes it's ignoring the events of the first film. I'm not even sure if it contradicts the events of that installment, but that doesn't really matter here. All you have to know is Nicolas Cage is back as Johnny Blaze- a biker who made a deal with the devil (Ciaran Hinds) for his soul and now he loses control and turns into biker-demon named Ghost Rider. It's ridiculous, but hey, so is getting bit by the radioactive spider or turning into the big green rage-monster.

Something I've always been impressed about with sequels is how when they are done well, they are really able to feel like more accomplishing stories. You don't have to worry about introductions and origin stories, instead you can just leap right into the action and spectacle of it all. Spirit of Vengeance is definitely not concerned with having to justify any familiarity with the previous film and is instead concerned with just pure lunacy and insanity courtesy of its directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. They are the edgy and over-the-top filmmakers who are responsible for the Crank series and Gamer. 

If you haven't seen Crank: High Voltage, then you are probably missing out on one of the most bizarre satires since... well I'm honestly having trouble thinking of a comparison. Thanks to the various Internet communites, Neveldine/Taylor have formed an awareness about their name/work/brand/etc. They walk a fine line between trashy fun and trash. Therefore, their films walk a fine line with my own sensibilities, but the fact remains that this film is a thinly written action set-piece extravaganza that can be happily added to the Youtube clips of Nicolas Cage losing his shit in everything from Vampire's Kiss to The Wicker Man.

So, to call this film bad, well that might be something that the filmmakers take as a compliment. That's pretty much all there is to say about a movie where the protagonist pees fire.

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