Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review: "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance"

Last Wednesday I attended the press screening of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance at Glorietta 4 Cinema 3. Thanks to Pinoyexchange and Warner Bros Pictures Philippines. You can also see this review at Official PEx Movie Reviews:

The first Ghost Rider was not exactly well-loved and Ghost Rider: Spirit Vengeance didn't do that much to elevate itself from the original but it showcases good action sequences and once again features an acting performance that you simply can't take your eyes off even if you want to.

Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) isolates himself in an attempt to keep the demon inside him from hurting people even more but a monk Moreau (Idris Elba) tracks him down to ask his help to save a young boy from the Devil... and the possibility of getting rid of the curse forever.

Ghost Rider: Spirit Vengeance is directed by the team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor famously known for the Crank movies. Having them on board benefited the movie as this team definitely knows how to shoot stylized action scenes effectively. The visual effects and stunt work are well-coordinated and seamlessly integrated.

However, the story is a hot mess. Yes, it goes to a darker route compared to the first one but it's still too all over the place. The movie still has its morbid sense of humor but there are moments when they try to hard to inject humor like in a quick montage showing pictures of the historic figures associated with evil where the punchline was flat.

The acting is solid as most of the supporting cast are good enough to prevent things from going overboard. But they all pretty much have to bow down to Nicholas Cage as the actor is so engaging to watch frame by frame. He still looks awkward in this role but the sheer audacity he gives in this performance is something that you really want to look away but you simply can't. The actor's screen presence pretty much holds the film together.

Ghost Rider: Spirit Vengeance deserves some props for improved action sequences and visual style but the attempt to have a darker tone didn't work that well. In the end though, it will still depend on how you perceive Cage's performance on whether you will enjoy this movie or not. 6.5 / 10

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