by Jesus Ibarra
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
Nic Cage returns in this pseudo-sequel of the of the 2007 film Ghost Rider as the titular anti-hero. I call this a pseudo-sequel because really you don’t have to watch the first film to watch and like or not like this movie. If you did watch the first film, or you wanted to because you are OCD like that you will see some differences, and some of the same problems.
This movie is about the Ghost Rider, a Marvel character that is the Spirit of Vengeance that gets bonded to a motorcycle stunt daredevil named Johnny Blaze. Johnny accepts the Rider in order to save his father from dying, and literally makes a deal with the Devil, whether or not if its The Devil isn’t explained, but it doesn’t matter. The Rider preys on the wicked no matter how small the infraction is, by killing you or eating your soul. You can see why the Ghost Rider is an anti-hero in the Marvel universe.
The film follows Johnny coming out of a self-imposed exile to save a boy from becoming a vessel for the devil. That is the plot and the driving force behind Johnny’s character. This film is closer to the comic book character, but it does take deviations like most comic book films. The Rider is much less human in this film as he should be, well because he isn’t, and the movie relies heavily on Nic Cage’s ability to act like a madman.
The film isn’t a critical darling, and really I went in to see Nic Cage act like a crazy man, and the Ghost Rider blow stuff up. You are not going to get Oscar worthy acting, writing, or directing. So don’t go in to see that. It is definitely a guy action film and such, so just go to watch the Rider kill bad guys and turn vehicles into awesome demonic looking weapons.
I did like the action scenes, which are really cool to look at, and I actually liked the director’s style, which seemed more like reading a comic book. The attempt at emotional connection between the supporting cast sort of failed, and I really wished they had focused on the Rider’s angelic origins that are commented on near the end of the film. Is this my new favorite film? No. Is this the best superhero movie now? Also a no. Since the slew of amazing superhero films like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will make The Avengers this May, we have been spoiled and the bar has been set incredibly high.
With that said, this film made me wish the Ghost Rider property would revert back to Marvel Studios, because they know how to translate their characters to the big screen. If you want to catch a passable action film, or have your mind numbed at the action scenes go ahead and watch this movie, because nothing else that’s out this weekend will deliver on that.
Ghost Rider is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.