My thoughts on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - PLUS, Why all the Cage hate?

A review/ editorial for Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance.

The other night a friend and myself saw Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. By now, most of you probably know that the movie so far has performed quite poorly, and a continuation of the series is in my mind unlikely. But why did so many of you choose not to see this movie? Now bare in mind, I am not trying to ram my perspective down anyone's throats or make you do something you don't want to do, but I am curious about a few things.

Let me start off saying that I've seen the original Ghost Rider. I thought it was a decent flick with some good special effects. But I can definitely see where it has it's flaws. I mean aside from telling the origin properly, there were a lot of things wrong with the movie. To me Ghost Rider was always a more fearsome character, and the Mark Steven Johnson tried too hard to treat the movie as a typical superhero movie. In some parts of the movie, it felt a little too sappy as well, and more about Johnny Blaze being upset that he could not have a relationship with Roxanne Simpson, instead of him just trying to fight the curse in general. Also, all of the enemies that Ghost Rider fought gave him no real challenge, and were easily defeated within seconds, therefore giving the film no tension, or reason to be concerned for the Ghost Rider. And seriously, Johnny Blaze ate jelly beans and watched cartoons to keep the rider at bay. Come on.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was completely different on the the other hand, going so far as to completely ignore the events and characters of the first movie. We are treated to an origin early on in the movie, which basically is similar to the origin from the first movie, but more importantly to the comics. This to me was the directors' way of saying the saga of Ghost Rider begins here with our movie. Sure you can argue that it could be a refresher of the first movie, but I would disagree because the sequence is shot in a completely different style, much shorter, and uses different actors. The movie also does not try to cram in a cheesy love story. Granted there is a female lead in Nadya, played by Violante Placido, but she is no way romantically interested in Blaze, and he is not interested in her either in that way. Cage's portrayal of Blaze is also more interesting this time around. In the first movie, he was a dumb hillbilly daredevil just trying to get by, avoiding trouble. In this movie, Blaze is living in isolation, and near psychotic(which if you had a curse that set your head on fire, you be too). I found Cage's portrayal to be very creative, and his crazy behavior justifiable. I really like seeing him have to struggle to keep the rider at bay, whenever he would stressed or angry. And when he was the rider, his portrayal was spooky. He would sway around, and move around slowly, to try and psyche out his enemies, and then attack relentlessly without mercy or remorse. i could see the cobra influences Cage was talking about, and during comabt, the rider made good use of is chain to lethal effect. I really felt like Brian Taylor and Mark Nevildine really were really the perfect guys to helm this movie, and their crazy style well suited the character, and was a blast to watch. You can really see their creativity and daredevil spirit in each shot. Hell, when Ghost Rider was on his bike, I felt like I could feel every turn he took, and I love the in your face choreography of the fights. Visually, the rider looked different as well. His skull was blackened from the flames, and his jacket had a burned and bubbly look to it as well. As for the story, it was fast and went at breakneck speed, but it's not hard to follow, like the critics would have you believe.

So now I get to the part where this may seem more like an editorial. Why would you guys not want to see this movie? It was an action packed trippy blast. And it had nothing to do with the first Ghost Rider, other than Nicolas Cage. Maybe he was the reason that kept you all away. And honestly, I don't get the Cage hate. In fact, I feel like it's unfair the way the dude gets so much shit talked about him. Every interview I have seen with him, he is a very nice, classy guy, who loves Ghost Rider, and comic books in general. Yet, no matter what he says, he always gets hate flung at him in ways that few actors get shit flung at them. I mean why do guys do it? I feel like at this point, it's just popular to hate Nicolas Cage, and if you come out expressing any other opinion of the man, your ridiculed. That's pretty sad that some of you choose to conduct yourselves in such a manner. I mean Nicolas Cage went into this movie wanting to do things differently. He has said that he is proud of the first movie, but I think he knew it had it's flaws, so he wanted to try and do things differently to make a better Ghost Rider movie. And in my eyes, he did, and should keep playing the character.

Like I said earlier, I'm not trying to force anyone into anything, but I really felt like the treatment of Cage needed to be addressed, and i wanted to talk about this movie, because I feel that if the first one left a bad taste in your mouth, you'll like this one better, and in your in for a lot of fun if you do check it out. I'm sure that I will catch shit for the tone of this piece, but I would like to hear your thoughts all the same.

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