Friday, 23 February 2018

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (3½ Stars)

After looking at the Blu-ray cover of the film I was curious about the single word "Brilliant" quoted from the Daily Star. I consider it one of Marvel's weakest films, so I couldn't believe someone would really sum up the film like that, so I searched for the review online. It was written by Alan Frank on 17th February 2012, and I've taken the liberty of quoting the full review below. The word "Brilliant" is taken slightly out of context, since it refers to the directors, not the film itself, but overall the review is good. Mr. Frank liked it, even though he only rated it 7/10.

Interestingly, on his personal blog, published on the same date, Alan Frank only rated it 6/10. The text on his blog is roughly the same, but the paragraph containing the word "brilliant" is missing. Did the Daily Star change the review to make the film sound better?

Not happy with this, I did some research into Alan Frank. I'd never heard of him before, but he's evidently a man who is well known as a film critic who has specialised in reviewing horror films for the last 40 years. One of my fellow bloggers calls him "the industry's most easily-pleased film critic". That's not a bad thing. I'm also easily pleased. Whenever I watch a film for the first time and feel disappointed I try to look for its positive features.

Alan Frank

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Alan Frank, 17th February 2012

“I’m the guy who made the deal with the Devil,” he says, adding: “The darkness inside me only gets stronger”.

And he proves it with the mounting flaming body count that piles up when he starts blazing.

Too many sequels suck. Happily this explosion of action and startling special effects does just what it says on the tin without trying to be trendy or clever.

The hot stuff begins when monk Idris Elba persuades Cage to save a young boy from Satan himself.

Cage agrees, hoping to undo his pact with the Devil by doing a good deed and the screen fills up with freshly barbecued evil-doers.

It’s action, action and action all the way, with just a few (very few!) pauses for thought and for the plot to kick in.

Otherwise it’s multiple mayhem, gunplay, hair-raising road chases and Cage relentlessly roasting all the villains he can.

It would be useful to know his character in the cold weather we’ve just had since he can transform himself into a white-hot killer skeleton that shoots flames that would melt an iceberg in an instant.

But those same shooting flames also make him lethal.

Writer/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who cracked out Crank, definitely do the thrilling business here.

They are brilliant at showcasing Cage’s fiery punisher whilst also letting Satanic Ciaran Hinds, Elba and company have their flings.


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