Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance—A Review

Ghost Rider 1
Image Courtesy: Yahoo
All is well that ends well. This cliché is true with the Ghost Rider’s second coming. In Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider is hunting for evil in the Eastern Europe. He doesn’t seem the real Johnny Blaze in the old Ghost Rider. He seems old. Of course, Nicolas Cage’s age is reflected here.

I liked the first Ghost Rider, the skull on fire. The second edition has skull on fire too, but a bit different. The differences are impossible to point out, at least for me. May be the second part is shown more real and needless to say the first part was more stylish and fun even though the reality principle was breached frequently. After all that is all what a fantasy requires, the courage to revolt against reality. Or may be the changes in the appearance and feel of the main character are due to the change in director(s). The first Ghost Rider was directed by Mark Steven Johnson and the Spirit of Vengeance by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.   

Though the character Ray Carrigan (a good performance by Johnny Whitworth) opens the movie with style, the rest of the movie fails to hold up to the introductory scenes in style and in appeal. The story is bleak and fails to impress the audience. Perhaps this is what happens when you make a movie with a bad script. The relationship between the boy and Blaze is not worked out well. The man woman relationship lacks the charm and tension of the previous relationship with Roxanne. Indeed, I missed her character, played in the first movie by Eva Mendes.
Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance
Image Courtesy: Yahoo


The most powerful weapon of the Ghost Rider, the weapon with all the thrust of the mythological archetypes, the penitence stare too was not working in this movie. He was of course shown staring into the eyes of some bad people, but it seemed that the Ghost Rider was waiting for the graphics expert to create an effect. The time lag was distracting and created sarcastic laughs inside myself. Blaze appeared struggling with his Rider complex, but there were scenes in which he tries to explain to the boy Danny about how he would pee when his head is on fire. The attempted humour and bike adventure that follows demands an extreme lack of sensibility to laugh.

Fortunately, Spirit of Vengeance doesn’t fall in the category of some Indian movies, which make the audiences wonder why on earth they spent all this billions for. The post interval session was interesting. Especially, the final action sequence, where the penitence stare works at last with the only one ghostly sidekick of the principal antagonist, Roarke, the Devil (Mephistopheles was a better name, I think)

Violante Placido
From Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance
Image Courtesy: Google
Blaze was offered his soul, which he had lost in the decisive contract with the devil, if he helps Danny, the boy, who is actually the son of the Devil himself, the result of another deal the Devil made with Nadya (performed by the Italian actress Violante Placido wonderfully), another victim of disaster. The Devil intends to shift his being into the boy; the ritual for this purpose is the central theme around which the story revolves. For more info on the movie, you can visit the IMDB. A review is not supposed to shade the quality of the movie or its failures with the burden of facts.

I missed the old Ghost Rider while watching Spirit of Vengeance; he had a mythical origin and an intriguing life. The new Rider has action and talent, but Nic Cage and the Rider, both look a bit tired. They transmit the lethargy to the audiences too. I felt my back aching, in the uncomfortable chair of one of the top movie houses in Kannur, a sign that tells me I am not enjoying. There was a twist that hooked me at the end. The Devilish elements in the Ghost Rider are transformed into another power; the angel of justice.  

Nicolas Cage
in Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance
Image Courtesy: Yahoo
Nicolas Cage performs not very close to the real Cage standards. What I noticed about the audiences was that most of them were young adults. And that shows the impact of the Ghost Rider upon the Indian comic lovers’ mind. And there is a huge fan following for Cage here, too. Their comic hero might have disappointed them in his new avatar; however, Nicolas Cage is a delight to watch, performing well or not.         
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