Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Blu-ray Review
How is one to describe one of the love it or hate it Marvel franchise? It’s really up to you to decide, but for I, it personally left me indifferent. Nicolas Cage is back as Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and leaves an uneven performance in this darker and pivotal sequel.
In the successor to the first Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage), still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter, is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy from the devil. At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy and possibly rid himself of the curse forever.
Cage feels a bit too old for the role and a complete different person from the first installment. He lost his touch many years ago and this film doesn’t quite get him back into tracks. Idris Elba (who we all remember from Thor) plays the monk and his character is quite enjoyable to watch. He can funny and charming, so that’s a plus.
The story per-se is not astonishing and gets a bit iffy at times. The darker context seems to work well at times, but interrupts the climax that worked a bit better in the first Ghost Rider. There is some humor thrown in there but doesn’t work most of the time and comes off as too cheesy. The only element that truly works is to see a real anti-hero work his way up a moral ladder and that can be enjoyed if you can seclude yourself from the rest.
The choppy and cheap camera work is distracting at times, and makes the special effects look even worse that they truly are. There are some sequences with some backdrop story for the viewers to indulge and calls back to its comic’s roots. Even though it’s cliché to do that, it works for this flick and does a good job at implementing it.
Now for the presentation, the case a standard Blu-ray case and a Ultra-Violet code (instead of digital copies, you enter the code to own your digital content in the cloud).
The movie is presented in 1080p High Definition/ 2.40:1 Audio in English, French (dubbed in Quebec), Spanish and Catalan. Each track sounds fabulous on a good sound system and there is no apparent distortion whatsoever.
The video quality is fine, but as I mentioned earlier, the camera work is choppy and recalls a similar camera work as in the movie Crank (same crew). It works for the type of movie due to the crazy concept, but diminishes its visual quality and it’s a shame.
Special feature-wise, it gives the right amount of goodies a fan of the franchise would want. It has over an hour of the Path To Vengeance (six part making-of-documentary) and gives an extensive look at the work that has been put in the movie over the years. Making cool comparisons with the previous movie, glimpses of table readings with the actors and just looking at the amount of thought and work that was put for imagining and making the sets, it makes you like the movie a little more.
You also have many deleted scenes, but then again, they won’t be good, that’s why they got deleted. But it’s still nice to always have that option when buying a Blu-ray. The Director’s Extended Video Commentary is neat addition and quite funny. It lets you play the movie while listening to the directors joking around and commenting on it. Sometimes a second screen will appear showing you “on-the-set” alternative or just both guys standing there, being funny. It’s a fun way to watch the movie while giving you cool insights. I assure you, this will make you like the movie a tiny bit more.
All in all, even though the movie is not the best thing you’ll find on the shelves, this might be a considerably good buy for Ghost Riders fans with all its features and add-ons, or just a last minute gift for Father’s Day.
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Blu-ray Release Date: June 12, 2012
Run Time: 95 minutes
5 – The Movie
7 – The Video
9 – The Audio
9 – The Extras