I could start a pretty intense “debate” with some people about the definition of the word AVERAGE. I say there are degrees and types of average when we are talking about it as a description of something like a movie. I know that average in the world of numbers is just a bunch of stuff added together divided by something else and voila, the average appears. For a movie like Ghost Rider, saying it has a very average affect on me means it’s not bad and it’s not good, it’s somewhere in the middle. That somewhere is the argument/debate starter. I will solidly put out there that there is a sliding scale of average and even inside of one movie the quality of the averageness can change.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance dabbles in many spots of the spectrum. The special effects are mostly pretty darn good with that skull on fire moving and swaying with Cage’s every slithering move. The explosive fiery big piece of equipment at the quarry was less impressive but the size and power of it was good enough to widen my eyes a bit. And then there are moments that made me divert my eyes so not to be terribly disappointed, some being make up effects, some being just really poorly done CGI. That averages out to be ‘so so’ in the attempt to be an epic big action flick.
The dialogue in the whole movie is awful. From scene to scene I was annoyed, disappointed, annoyed some more, insulted, baffled, and then I just gave up. The level of simpleton lines made me wonder about the impact that kind of movie making has on young people and their natural inclination to imitate art. People of Hollywood and other movie making folks, get over your stupidity and lose the lame one liners and attempts at 8 year old humor. It’s not working for those of us who have more than one brain cell.
The story isn’t as impactful as something to do with the devil should be. It’s a bit shallow and the possible ways to resolve the whole thing just don’t do much for my imagination. I mean, you have the devil and his son and what can your mind conjure up with that? Well, someone didn’t really go full Satan in this script and it feels like a shadow of what it could be.
In the end, looking back, the average impression is from the movie as a whole. It spiked a few times with entertaining moments and then hit rock bottom with crappy dialogue and bad special effects, tucked in among the not compelling story and characters. Oh yes, the characters. I did like the young woman who played the mother of the son of the devil. She got my attention and held my eyes every second she was on the screen. I just wish she was in a better movie…maybe some day. After watching the extras and being fond of a few things in this movie I can say it’s a mixed bag of entertaining goodness and nothingness. Hmmm should I be impressed by the volatile nature of Ghost Rider? Should I just think it’s forgettable and move on?
- Deleted Scenes – Want to see the devil rent a car? Well these deleted scenes have you covered. (I am not joking)
- Directors Expanded Video Commentary – Neveldine & Taylor deliver the full walk on video commentary in a style that will suit the Jackass generation. This is an exceptional feature than runs much longer than the movie as they pause and break down certain scenes in detail.
- The Path To Vengeance Six Part Documentary – At 89 minutes long you have a great making of that is almost as long as the movie. Every aspect of the movie making process is covered here including an explanation of how the hard R script was rewritten for mass consumption.
- Riding Into Another Dimension 3D Featurette – This short extra is exclusive to the 3D version of the movie and is tucked away on that disc. It covers the added trouble of shooting in 3D in the rain and fog.
- 2D & 3D versions of the movie & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
I suppose the cover is dynamic enough if you like that dark grungy hell fire thing. I’m not fan of it, it’s kind of boring to me. There are little elements that are cool to look at, swirling flames here and there, and the memory now of the Ghost Rider with his skull on fire to liven up the cover a little bit. Overall it doesn’t flip my switch. I would not have it as a poster in my house. The menu is just navigation as we expect it to be these days.
Audio & Video: 8/10
If you loved the look of Crank and Gamer you will be right at home here as Neveldine & Taylor have a distinct style that you either love or hate. Filmed digitally Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance looks incredibly sharp on Blu-ray. Blacks are deep and fire is redder than the pits of hell. Due to the nature of Digital Photography some of the night shots do exhibit a bit of noise but apart from that Johnny Blaze and friends couldn’t look better.
For a movie made by the Crank dudes I was expecting the kind of boombastic soundtrack that really lit up the subwoofer. Unfortunately that was not the case here, sure the movie is loud and has a lot of gunfire and motorcycle engine noise but seriously I thought I had forgot to power on the sub and had to check half way through. Still bass issues aside the actual composition of the sound stage is impressive with Ghost Rider’s chains swishing around the room in DTS-HD Master audio glory. Impressive yes but not exactly what I was hoping for.
I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the whole of this movie, so having it in my collection is not on my list of things to do. I would say that if you can rent this Ghost Rider tale for about 2 bucks, that would be the right amount for an evening of some pretty good fiery effects and spark a long list of ways this movie could have been so much better.
Overall Score 6/10