Monday, September 3, 2012

The Exploding Skull Cage

Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengence(2012)
Directed By Mark Neveldine And Brian Taylor
Director duo Neveldine/Talyor continued their Four Loko fueled headlong action sprints into derangement in the lastest Ghost Rider film. 
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengence finally gives Nicholas Cage room to act as his trademark man unhinged before the CGI flaming skull takes over. 
The Ghost Rider in this sequel is more demonic, inventive, and all together more interesting to watch than the stiff original.
The story involves Cage as Johnny Blaze a burned out ex motorcycle driver and host to the spirit of vengence that feeds on evil (from war crimes to "illegal downloads"), living in the shadows and ruins of Eastern Europe, lured out of his self imposed exile by a drunken priests claims of redemption provided he prevent a young boy from becoming the anti-christ-the usual super-hero stuff. 
The real spectacle lies with Cage's performance in one gloriously sweaty interrogation scene where special effects showing Cage's face teetering on morphing into a hollow skull can barely keep up with the actors natural manic facial controtions. 
If your not laughing during this scene, than you will know this is not the movie for you. 
Neveldine/Taylor have never feared veering into bieng crude or obnoxious from Crank's repeated public sex scenes, to Gamer's masturabory virtual reality, and finally in Ghost Rider pissing flame.
The flaming piss, for what its worth, is not something that actually happens in the film per say, but is a flash of imagination from the young Satan spawn, when questioning Cage about what its like when the demon of vengence takes over. 
Later it flashes back on screen when Satan describes his mortal body as just bursting with power, and the soon to be anti-christ equates the ultimate power with an old man needing to piss.
Whether or not the director's channelling their inner Takeshi Miike or Cage's scenry chewing will be enough to earn this the new cult classic space it deserves is uncertain.
This version is Ghost Rider as a road movie, which plays to the characters limited stregnths, but for what little there is to work with here everyone involved does their best. 
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengence is a sequel that far exceeds the original film but as a movie its just okay. 
I can't think of much more a Ghost Rider film could possibly be or hope to accomplish, but if Neveldine/Taylor stuck with the franchise , I'd imagine it would at least would be worth watching.-Joe

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