GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE 3D
Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage), had once made a deal with the Devil to save his dying father in exchange for doing the Devil's bidding as Ghost Rider. But Johnny is now on the run trying to make sure no-one is harmed by his alter ego. Moreau the Monk (Idris Elba) offers to help be him be free of the Rider through his connections with a mysterious monastery and its monks, but first, he needs Johnny's help to protect a 13 year old boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil incarnate as Roarke (Ciaran Hinds), who plans to initiate the boy as the new force of evil in the world.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Industrial strength sci-fi horror with a pungent spirituality wafting through it, this is not a ghost story. Of course fans of the 2007 original will know that, and won't be surprised to see Nicolas Cage return with his wry eccentricity put to good use as stunt rider Johnny Blaze who turns into the fiery vigilante Ghost Rider, thanks to a deal he made with the devil - played by Peter Fonda back then.
The devil incarnate this time is played by Ciaran Hinds, who relishes the chance to play over the top as the smartly suited, sneering Roarke.
Moreau the Monk (Idris Elba) offers to help Johnny be free of his inner demon, the Rider, via his connections to a mysterious monastery and its monks led by Methodius (Christopher Lambert), but first, he needs Johnny's help to protect 13 year old Danny (Fergus Riordan) from Roarke, who plans to initiate the boy - his earthly son conceived with Nadya (Violante Placido) - as the new force of evil in the world.
Johnny, Nadya and Moreau's rescue mission runs up against by Roarke's gun for hire, Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth) and his henchmen, as they criss-cross the world in a chase against time - and each other.
Astonishing effects, brilliant production design, great locations, relentless pace and some wry lines well delivered give the film excellent entertainment value (in 3D), honouring its promise to its target audience. For example, when Nadya tearfully confesses that having Danny was the one good thing she has done, Johnny looks her in the eye and dryly quips: 'Well then we'd better make sure he's not the Anti Christ.'
An angelic boy as the devil's progeny, Johnny's heartfelt confession to Moreau about his selfishness as the reason to save his father's life and the fire-and-brimstone storytelling are some of the other plusses.
Negatives include smudged fight scenes (camouflaging stunts and effects), too much too shaky hand held camerawork and some plot inconsistencies.
But it all moves so fast that we don't have time to wonder why the devil with extensive powers - Roarke - has to get earthly crims to do his fetch and carry work. This is a comic, remember, and its inconsistencies and excesses are the stuff of comics. Just go with; surrender to its beefy charms.
First published in the Sun-Herald
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GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE 3D (PG)
CAST: Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Jacek Koman, Christopher Lambert, Johnny Whitworth, Fergus Riordan, Spencer Wilding
PRODUCER: Ashok Armitraj, Ari Arad, Avi Arad, Michael De Luca, Steven Paul
DIRECTOR: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor, David S. Gover
SCRIPT: Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Brandon Trost
EDITOR: Brian Berdan
MUSIC: David Sardy
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kevin Phipps
RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 15, 2012
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.