Blu-ray Review: GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGENCE

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release date: June 12th, 2012
SRP: $35.99

Ah, licensing rights. When studios desperate to keep a trademark they usually rush a movie just to keep the title and characters. When the first Ghost Rider movie bombed it was a wonder why they would start production on a second, let alone even want to keep the Ghost Rider trademark. But they did, and instead of a Marvel production that might have actually been fun we get the abortion we got.

“Ghost Rider” is one of the worst comic book movies ever made. The problems were many but two of the biggest were the casting of Nic Cage (and his digital chest) and the fact Ghost Rider didn’t actually do anything. When he appeared he mostly stood around. “Spirits of Vengeance” recasts Nic Cage but ups the ante on action big time. It was smart to hire the guys that did “Crank;” as they are fun over the top B-movies, exactly what could a bad movie like “Ghost Rider” watchable. And bless-their-hearts they do their best. But when you have a history of bad movies, a horrible script and Nic Cage you have the deck completely stacked against you. Now, that is to say, the directing is what it should be. It is chaotic and insane. Great, insane shots should add so much to the movie but it just can’t overcome everything else. The problem with the directing wasn’t that they went too far, it’s that they didn’t go far enough. We needed
bigger and badder. Maybe that would have made Cage’s crazy acting seem like it fit.

Were there other actors in this movie? Because after you finish all you can do is dislike Nic Cage even more. He won an Oscar, remember? He steals the movie away from everyone and everything so after it’s finished you can’t talk about anything else but him.

As for a plot, well, the devil knocked up a woman. He wants the kid back. Ghost Rider goes in to keep the kid from his daddy. This is where I fell asleep for twenty-some minutes. I woke up and didn’t miss a thing. Seriously, I picked it right up and knew what was going on. That should tell you it’s a completely unnecessary movie. There is no point in the film you couldn’t have drifted off for twenty minutes and not known what was going on. In fact, you might enjoy the movie more that way. The action scenes are loud enough to jar you awake. Watch those, they’re pretty good. That’s where the directors actually get to show their stuff.

The graphics are quite good. Ghost Rider looks great every time he shows up. That’s the big plus. The battle scenes are very pretty, thanks to a very underappreciated FX team for working on such a flaming pile of crap. The graphics, while the best part of the film, is not good enough to waste any moment of your life watching it. Just ignore it, pretend it never happened and hope Marvel gets the rights back and in ten years we can get an enjoyable Ghost Rider film.

Jo