If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Spirit of Vengeance; the new Ghost Rider film that I was lucky enough to get a screening for from Kingdom Comics has just ended it's screening here in Birmingham, Al. I had the whole ride home to think this over and talked, at length with my buddy who accompanied me; and the biggest thing I am wrestling with is; was it a good movie, or was it a guilty pleasure flick... I think a little bit of both. First things first. This is not a "MARVEL" movie, but a Marvel Knights flick; the same fine folks that gave us Punisher: War Zone(lol- worst villains in cinema history) so I am unsure of how much Disney actually had to do with it. The one thing that is clear is it is MOST DEFIANTLY a Nevildean/Taylor movie. Their style is plastered on every frame, from the look and mannerisms of the titular character to the insane and sometimes convoluted camera work; there is no doubt this was made from the team that made watching Jason Statham running around in high speed wearing a hospital gown such uproarious entertainment. Is it as good as the Crank movies? NO. Is it better than Gamer? Yes. Is it better than the first Ghost Rider? To quote Capt. Malcom Reynolds... "You better laugh when you say that." It is far from a great movie, but it is light years better than the first, I will go so far as to say; this is as good as I could have ever hoped a Ghost Rider movie could be. Stylistically, the movie is amazing, a far cry from the cheap cg display that embarrassed the first movie so much, The SOV here is a thing to see from the way the flames come from his chest, out of his jacket(which always is melting and boiling) and envelope his head. even reacting to movement with wind as he sporadically jerks around. He looks even cooler than my childish mind envisioned him back in the early 80's, to the animated sequences used to tie certain parts of the movie together. And the bike... Holy shit did they ever fix that problem, going from the gaudy as hell(no pun intended) custom chopper from the first, this is a throwback to Johnny Blaze's motorcycle simply catching fire due to the curse. The bike is awesome. While Nic Cage neither hurts nor helps the movie, the rest of the cast I thought did a wonderful job, and everyone involved appears to be having the time of their lives on the screen. Having said that, Edris Elba(who I was afraid would have a very small role) was in a lions share of the film and just tore it up every time he was on screen.(No shit, I know) There is a lot to say, the movie is quite funny at times, quite funny; but the action... damn those men know how to film an action scene. Okay, there were two moments involved in the action that gave me pause, no spoilers, but one involves a grenade and the other involves some Crouching Tiger wire work on the hood of a truck that I think could have easily been fixed; but I digress, if those two things are the worst parts; I'll take em. They do, however prevent this from being a "Full Price" (*if spill.com has a copyright on their rating system, an email will fix the problem, don't sue... I don't have anything*) I will give this a very high Matinee due to the overall enjoyment that you can have, so long, I think; if you like Ghost Rider's history. There are a number of things involved in the movie that I believe are directly from the comics and could pave the way for sequels with or without Mr. Cage at this point. The 3D is used to a good effect and the CG and action are top notch. I do recommend this movie if you are into this sort of thing, but your girlfriend will probably hate it.