Yes, that is official. The movie is much worse than the first installment. We had much hope and hype when we saw the trailer, and could not wait to go to the cinema to catch it, but all that we felt after the movie was disappointment.
Nicolas Page is back again to revive the franchise, after the initial success, but he seems to have lost his golden touch, after several unsuccessful movies recently. Earlier was Season of the Witch, and now this movie. We love him, but if he continues down this path, sooner or later we will need to think twice before seeing his new movies.
Compared with the first movie, the only plus point is the graphics. There were more flames, more explosions, more fights and more skull displays, and the CGI was more real and on a grander scale, probably thanks to a bigger budget. However, that was the end of it. Nothing else to save the movie from becoming a total failure. The story was weak, the details scarce, the acting mediocre, and the chemistry between the characters cannot be looser.
The movie continued with Johnny Blaze, still struggling with the wrath of the power of the Ghost Rider. Unable to let go of it entirely, he sought solace in the confinement of a church in the middle of nowhere, but then got persuaded to use his power again to thwart the plan of the Devil to come back to power and eternity, and save a boy, whose future was destined to be doom because of a stupid mistake made by his mother during her young and wild days. He managed to achieve that, and in the process, found a whole new meaning of his existence, and the power inside him. He was transformed and became the angel of justice. The boy lived, his mother lived, a lot died. Enough said.
It’s so disturbing to see Johnny struggling to control the power of the Ghost Rider. I remember that he was so cool by the end of the first movie. Of course, he struggled at first, during the first transformations, but he got back his control and composure, and seemed at ease with the change in the end, so I don’t know why, after some time, he started struggling again. It was so irritating to see his half skin half skull head. It just was not right. We did not see Wolverine crying in pain every time he pushed out his claws. We did not see Jacob crying in pain or acting insanely every time he transformed into wolf. No, we are not prepared for that. Not with the cool Nic Cage.
There was a new actor for the role of the Devil as well, a more modern version of the Devil. He looked scarier and more distorted than the first, with his red eye and his crumbled face, but the old man looked more menacing. I prefer seeing him in long black cloak, wielding a staff and looking emotionless. That image exudes more fear, as it give no hint of what he has inside his cloak, or what he can do with his staff. The new guy looks weaker, especially with his involuntary magical movements and his shaky hands. Seriously, this is no opponent to the scary looking Ghost Rider. Not even close.
The introduction of the new antagonist, Blackout, was a feeble effort to make the movie more interesting and gave Ghost Rider a run for his money. However, the new guy was nothing compared to Black Heart, the Devil’s Son, to whom Ghost Rider almost lost, and only won by a moment of wit and a stupid mistake made by that guy himself. This guy seemed scary and devastating at first, with his ability to make everything decay. He could even make the air disappear, which might help to quench the fire of the Ghost Rider. We expected that to happen, but it did not. He could not do much harm to Johnny, and he was quickly subdued. And the worst thing is, he still has a soul, albeit a decayed one, that could be burnt to ass. Too bad. There was one scene in which he could not decay the plastic bag. I thought it was a hint to something interesting, but in the end, it did not. What a waste.
There were a few moments of silly fun, such as the scene where the Ghost Rider peed in ghost form, but overall the movie was just bland. Nothing memorable.
In terms of acting, there was not much to say. Other than the soulful Cage, who could deliver with very little material, the rest of the casts need extra tuition for their acting. The boy was emotionless, stiff and dry, and his mother failed big time to deliver her lines and to express the right emotions for those lines. Maybe the reason was partly because she was Italian, and English was not her strength. When it came to showing fear and anxiety, the camera zoomed into her eyes, but there was no fear inside there. That was really irritating. I really prefer Eva Mendes, not because her acting was better, but at least because she had better assets, which was quite useful in this kind of movies with lots of men, flames, skull, explosions and fighting. The damsel in distress. You got me, right?
As usual, some more photos. I don’t expect them to speak a thousand words. A few words are good enough.
Johnny’s friend and companion
Do you have a soul to burn?
The fiery skull
Spitting out bullets and fire
On his familiar bike
The Devil is not very powerful after all
The soulful Nic. Cannot hate him still.
Angel or demon?
Another look at the Devil
This is how the Ghost Rider pees
The execution that almost happened