As well as the premiere of the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, those lucky enough to attend the Harry Knowles birthday celebration Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festival over the weekend were treated to an early screening of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. This is the sequel to the much derived 2007 antihero movie based on the Marvel Comics character and once again stars Nicolas Cage as the as the vengeance seeking Johnny Blaze. The film is due to hit theatres on February 17th, 2012 and this is most likely an almost complete screening that will represent what will be released in two months time. There had been much hope that because the energetic and frantic filmmakers behind Crank, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, were behind this one that they might be able to jolt some life into this series. Well the early reviews from those websites who were at Butt-Numb-A-Thon suggest that isn't the case, one even comparing the movie to Punisher: War Zone!! And yeah, the 3D sucks! Here's the reviews snippet;
BadassDigest: "'Ghost Rider 2' manages to make me look fondly back on 'Ghost Rider.' Unbearable." SlashFilm: "'Ghost Rider 2' improves over the first film, but script was boring, post converted 3D is not great." JordanHoffman: "'Ghost Rider 2' makes 'Ghost Rider 1' look like 'Dark Knight.'" Scene-Stealers: "'Ghost Rider 2': better, but not badass enough. Holds back too much and story's weak. But its target audience of teenage boys should love it." ScottWeinberg: "'Ghost Rider 2' played. I have nothing else to add." Nooneman: "'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' is next year's 'Punisher: War Zone.' I'll let you decide if that's good or bad. The 3D sucked."
Neveldine/Taylor is an acquired tate, I think, for some movie fans. I think their frenetic shooting style puts a lot of people off, and I understand that. I'm very big on spatial geography in action sequences, and these guys like to put themselves in the middle of everything in their shooting. This movie followed a mind-blowing movie experience at BNAT, so I think it was due to suffer in comparison; that said, I had a hell of a lot of fun with it. It's pulpy, fairly predictable, but Nicolas Cage amps up his Cageness level - maybe to VAMPIRE'S KISS levels, but not BAD LIEUTENANT or "Not the bees!" WICKER MAN levels. He seems to be having a lot of fun with the character, and I enjoyed it for what it was - B-movie pulp, and just all-around goofy. I will say that I wasn't terribly impressed with the 3D, but it's still early.