Did anyone bother to see Mark Steven Johnson’s 2007 adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider? Anyone? You, in the back?
Because it’s a goddamn atrocious movie, one that cemented Mark Steven Johnson as not just one of the worst comic book movie directors of all time (he also directed the horribly miscast and misguided Daredevil — one of my favorite comic characters ever and a source of great rage for me now), but perhaps one of the worst directors. Period. Which is impressive for a guy who’s only directed four movies — he also directed the blandly terrible When in Rome, and, strangely, the pretty decent Simon Birch. But Ghost Rider is easily the crime he stands most guilty for.
It’s a shame, because it’s actually a pretty good Marvel property that, if done with the right amount of violence and grim, gallows humor, could make a pretty entertaining film. Well, Columbia Pictures is apparently willing to give it another shot, despite the original grossing just $5 million over its bloated $110 million budget. Nicolas Cage is set to return as Johnny Blaze, aka Ghost Rider, the motorcycle rider possessed by the spirit of vengeance. That’s always a mixed bag, because Cage is such a fucking nut these days that you never really know what you’re going to get.
There is relatively positive news, however — Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the writer/director team behind the insane but entertaining Crank series, are in negotiations to direct. Now, neither Crank film is particularly good, but they’re salvaged by the presence of The Statham, and a wildly madcap, viscerally thrilling story. They had a pretty barebones plot, but they were just crazy enough to work.
Unfortunately, that formula probably won’t work for the sequel, which is right now being called Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance — not a great start, that. But, it’ll be interesting to see if Neveldine and Taylor can do something more than just over-the-top action, lurid sex scenes and excessive Statham shirtlessness.
Apologies. There’s no such thing as excessive Statham shirtlessness. I’m surprised my computer even permitted me to type that without bursting into flames.
Regardless, whackadoo Cage and Ghost Rider are coming back to your multiplex. Hopefully, they can come up with better villains than the pathetic, pseudo-emo depiction of Blackheart that was so idiotically rendered by Wes Bentley. By the way, just to show what a shit movie that was? Here’s what Blackheart looks like in the comics:
And here’s Wes Bentley in Ghost Rider:
Yeah. Go ahead and eat a bucket of moldy cocks, Mark Steven Johnson.
(Source: Film School Rejects)