During the week I got Ghost Rider 2 Spirit of Vengeance to rent on blu ray. It would be true to say that I was not particularly anticipating seeing the movie but I thought I would give it a go.
At first I was a bit concerned about the production values. The movie looks like it’s a Hollywood blockbuster that’s trying to emulate the look of one of those Wesley Snipes made in Eastern Europe Direct to DVD things. Or maybe it’s the other way around. In any case the look of the thing was quite jarring.
The movie starts with Idris Elba off of Luther on TV trying to rescue some kid from some bad men who are killing everyone in a monastery/castle place, including Giles off of Buffy. Evidently the fate of the world rests on the boy not being caught by said bad men.
Then we are introduced to Nicholas Cage as Johnny blaze and we get a brief animated recap of Ghost Rider’s origin story with a typical Cage Laconic Voice Over. This was handy as I had not bothered to see the first Ghose Rider, although it sees to match the comics, i.e. he does a deal withe the devil… And that’s about it really.
Anyway, Luther off of TV hires Johnny to rescue the boy from the bad men with the promise of johnny’s curse being lifted and his soul being saved.
Just in case you didn’t know, the curse and powers consist of turning into a flaming skeleton and riding a flaming bike and smithing foes and sucking their souls. Lovely.
So Johnny races off and rescues the boy and his mother.
Oh, I forgot to mention the boys mother. She is played by Italian actress Violante Placido, and she is probably the most gorgeous woman on the face of the planet. In fact every time she was on the screen I would sob with despair at the emptiness of my sad existence next to her beauty.
Ok, so I exaggerate just a little, but she is one seriously attractive lady.
It turns out that the bad men after the kid are the minions of Ciaran Hinds, who is in fact the devil. Like, the actual devil.
Johnny, Luther, the kid and the heartbreakingly beautiful Violante make their way to a community of monks who live in these caves off in the middle of nowhere. And the lead monk guy looks familiar. It’s only Christopher Lambert off of Highlander, with his head shaved and some cool tattoos covering his face.
Luther keeps his agreement with Johnny who gets his Ghost Rider powers removed like in Superman 2, which means you know he’ll need them back shortly.
The devil’s main minion turns up, who has been given powers of decay. One touch and you’re having a really bad day. He has some seriously creepy make up that makes him look one step past death himself and the actor plays him with the right amount of unhinged humour as he sees what his powers do. He makes short work of Highlander and the other monks and takes the kid off to the devil. Johnny, Luther and the lovely Violante head off in pursuit for the big showdown with the fate of the world in the balance. Probably.
As the movie went along I discovered that I was able to forget the funky looking camerawork and I got into the story. There’s a very good cast at work and the Ghost Rider CGI is pretty good, particularly the final daylight battle.
The makers obviously saved up for the final chase and there is some enjoyable action and effects with cars being tossed off the road. The locations are also eye catching and unusual, the makers in some instances turning their low budget Eastern European setting to their advantage.
The best way to view the movie is with the foreknowledge that you have to accept the movie for what it is and understand that it’s no Avengers. With that in mind I found it to be a reasonably enjoyable diversion.
And Violante Placido needs to make more movies.