There are four different kinds of trying in movies. The worst being the “phone-in”, when you can see the actor, director or editor really not care, giving a zero-filled performance and might as well not have shown up, and just called in his work. There’s the “on par”, where it feels like they are present and ready to do this, but not all the incentive and perks in the world could motivate the person to put in that extra percent. There’s the “performance” where they give the right amount to give a performance that is believable and thought-driven, and powerful. This is the level you want actors to be in, because then you know that they are giving it all.
Then, there’s the “over-done” performances. The actors that do way too much, give an over the top in delivering, and ruins it for the audience and other members of the set. These are the train-wrecks people usually want to see when we voluntarily want to see a bad movie.
But now a bonus level of trying that has emerged over the last number of years. The “Over Doing It Please Stop Oh Come On Why Oh Why What Happened To This Actor’s Career?” level. It’s like a super saiyan level of overdoing the facial expressions and overacting, that there truly is one true master. Nicolas Cage.
Honestly, what went wrong in his career? He was great in movies like Raising Arizona, Honeymoon in Vegas and Lord of War. Ever since Bringing Down The House, he found his inner nutcase, and now it won’t go away, showing up when the moon is right, and destroying everything in its path. Many stand in front to stop this madness, but it only makes him stronger and more destructive.
Interestingly enough, that’s also the premise to this superhero fable “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”, the latest in a sea of crappy superhero movies, that exceeds in actually being so much worse than the first one, you start to realize the little nuances that made the first Ghost Rider an underrated gem.
Cage returns as Johnny Blaze, the cursed daredevil rider, that becomes an uncontrollable skeleton engulfed in flames, who’s power stems from not only forgetting that he can kill anyone he wants with one shot with awesome moves and a chain whip, but also to completely forgets the idea that he can absorb bullets by actually taking damage to bullets.
This time, instead of going on a mass murdering spree of people that have done wrong once in their lives, (in other words, everyone), he must now protect this kid who is apparently the son of the devil. The devil wants him kidnapped back, so they can do a ceremony to make the kid the new human devil. But the only thing that can stop him is Ghost Rider, who is a servant to the devil, so it just makes you question whether the Devil is completely incompetent in making his flame-absorbent errand boy to stand down, or incompetent in hiring certain people to kidnap, extort, and guard an open stadium while a seance is taking place.
My buddy and I were the only ones in the theatre, which initially we were happy to have such freedom to stretch out and choose whichever seats we want, but hindsight now tells me this should have been an indication to switch tickets and join with the loud tired kids in the Lorax theatre next door.
The movie gets worse and worse as we progressed. No plot to follow, and no fight scenes to entertain us until the next fight scene or car chase scene. The sub story that comes up is the classic one from super heroes of lore, where he doesn’t want to be big and powerful anymore, and goes through the ceremony, now he’s normal, and wants it back, and eventually gets it back, and so on and so forth. Everything in this movie is so formulaic, I was waiting for one actor to stare at the camera and scream “Solve For X!”
By the time we get to the half way mark, now that we are talking about pee and flamethrowers, that was the moment when my buddy and I looked at each other with guffaw, shouting “What the frizzle are we watching?”. (Please replace the word frizzle with another word that starts with f, and is not suitable for kids. This blog is not responsible for tainting the minds of the youth, however precautions are taken to ensure the highest quality standards.) (It’s a shame the makers of this movie didn’t do the same)
By the time we had this epiphany that this cannot get any worse, it appears that this career eater had one more victim in the midst as, of all actors, Christopher Lambert makes an appearance. What? Why is Raiden from Mortal Kombat movie in this crap? As he gave an “on-par” performance, the only reason he’s here is because, modifying an old phrase; “There can be only one … Paycheck”.
So, the big burning question you’re probably asking is why I bothered to see this crap, and didn’t I expect this to be bad. And the answer is yes. Sometimes a movie is so bad, you have to see how bad it is. Bad movies can still be entertaining, if everything is over the top, it can still have a charm. Contrary to popular belief, Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever was not that bad of a movie.
Even if Nicolas Cage, he’s turned horrible movies into at least entertaining to watch. The Wicker Man remake, anyone? Sadly, for “Grsov” by the time we see that bad guy who looks like rejected vampire from Castlevania, I was longing for a Tommy Wiseau sex scene to liven up the screen.
Even the end credits were a sure sign that no one gave a crap. Usually for a Marvel movie, the end credits are fancy with graphics and moving words to form names, and all that cool stuff. Here, it’s just a list of names in plain text. But watching the end credits was surely met with celebration that the movie came to a merciful ending.
This movie has the potential to be the worst movie of the year, and it is still to early to determine an outcome yet. It makes me want to compile my year-end list of the worst now, so I can remind you down the road how bad it is. The only positive reaction from us, the audience is a “‘sup” delivery from Cage halfway through. There is no redeeming qualities, and I can’t even recommend this movie an say “You have to see it for yourself”, because I cannot be held responsible for the outcome.