With all the hype that Sony put into the latest installment of Ghost Rider, this movie left much to be desired. What was a good plot failed in execution. And Nicholas Cage was truly bad in this movie, which is a shame since I’ve always been a Cage fan.
Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengence finds Nicholas Cage reprising his role as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider. Blaze wasn’t the only one to make a deal with the devil, and of course won’t be the last one. One could say that Nadya (Violante Placido) made a worse deal: to bear the son of the devil. The time has come for the devil, who goes by the name of Roarke (Ciarán Hinds), to exchange his soul with the soul of his son Danny (Fergus Riordan) and walk the Earth in human form. It’s up to the rider to stop him. This actually makes for great foundation for a very good, dark story. But Ghost Rider was anything but.
For the moments where the rider wants out, I can’t help but think of Tropic Thunder, where Downey’s character tells Stiller’s character that he failed in a movie because he went “full retard.” Well, Cage failed because he went full crazy. It wasn’t believable. It all seemed like a joke. Instead of playing a dark and troubled person, who is in pain when the rider comes, he looks crazy. And that just didn’t suit the character at all. Now, I’m not that familiar with Ghost Rider, but what I do know is that crazy is not his way. He’s dark, mysterious, scary. There was nothing scary about this rider. The action scenes were not as good as the first movie. And the movements and mannerisms of the character were just odd. Not to mention, the camera tricks to add special effects just seemed out of place, especially with secondary villain Ray Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth), especially when he is turned into this demon-like guy who makes everything he touches decay (except for the ambulance he just so happens to drive conveniently enough).
With all the failures of the movie, it did have some bright spots. Idris Elba did a good job with the role he was given. And Fergus Riordan was good as well. But the central theme of the movie is what stands out. Are we bound by the evil inside us? Are we to succumb to what the devil, this world, our surroundings, our upbringing, etc. have called us to be? Is Danny bound to submit to the evil inside him, being the devil’s son? Is Blaze supposed to succumb to evil because of his deal? The answer is no, we are not. They are not. Because there is someone greater who has something much greater for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jesus wipes that evil away. He makes us clean. That deal with the devil, that poor hand that we were dealt. It can all be wiped clean with Jesus Christ.
“The son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven”
Ghost Rider had the potential to be a very good movie. One can only wonder, had Marvel Studios had the rights, the type of movie we could have seen. But as before, Sony failed to deliver a good comicbook-based movie, thus marking the cinematic death of Ghost Rider. But like in comics, maybe Marvel one day can resurrect him.