Monday, February 25, 2013

Ghost of a Chance

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is pretty bad - you probably knew that already. But it's pretty good, too. What's so good about it? How about, skull guy on fire on a motorcycle, also on fire? What's so bad, then? Pretty much everything else.

The sequel to Ghost Rider (how come I didn't blog that? I'm sure I only saw it a few years ago) has Nicholas Cage hiding out in a remote part of East Europe, possibly the western part. He is trying not to flame on and become the Ghost Rider and eat souls and stuff. But Idris Elba, playing a drunk biker/monk (?) convinces him he needs to use his powers to protect a little boy from the Devil, and also the boy's street-wise Roma mother, and it's off to the races.

The Rider's character design is great - all black and charred, with clothes that look like they are soaked in pitch. The flames that surround him are much smokier now, a rich black tire-fire smoke. The CGI is often highlighted by placing it on a black background instead of compositing it over the live action - It adds to the whole comic book appeal.

When he isn't Ghost Ridering, Cage is aching from the beatings, shootings, etc that his alter-ego got, and twitching like a junkie trying to keep from reverting to GR status. In fact, one of the sleazier characters offers to get him "the stuff he needs". Kind of a cute joke. But it does give Cage a chance to gnaw on some scenery, and he doesn't deny that urge. But, come on, it's Nick Cage. It's what he does.

So, we loved the action and the Rider. Really. Unironically. We like Idris Elba, of course, even if he didn't have much of a role. I kind of like Cage, even if I've never seen him in a good movie (haven't seen Raising Arizona). I guess I like him ironically.

Anyways, a fine big stupid Friday movie.

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