I thought long and hard about seeing the movie after hearing about this, but finally came to a compromise:
I donated several times more than the ticket price directly to Mr. Friedrich.
That's a whole hell of a lot more effective than a boycott, by my assessment.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show?
Well ... I'm very glad I watched Ghost Rider on FX last night before seeing Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance [SoV] today. It makes for good compare-and-contrast.
I liked SoV, but stylistically, it's a very different movie, and seeing the first one the night before really underscored that. It's filmed and set in Eastern Europe, and ... well, you know how SF/horror/Action films from Eastern Europe are frequently a little ... off-kilter?
It's like that.
The directors also gave us Crank, with Jason Statham, so if you cross that frenetic energy with Eastern European surrealism and just a touch of the framed, compositional, comic-panel style of the first movie, that should give you some idea of the style
It kinda works.
Nicholas Cage was also a lot more ... NICHOLAS CAGE in this one. As in, the directors showed him the Nick Cage Losing His Shit video on YouTube, and said, "THIS. We want to see THIS!" The Johnny Blaze of Ghost Rider was far more sedate and underplayed than this Johnny.
That's right. You heard me.
The set-up opens the movie, so it won't be much of a spoiler: Johnny's bravado at the end of the first movie hasn't worn well after five years of playing host to the Rider. He's pretty close to the edge through the whole movie, and you know how much Cage loves stepping over that edge.
The effects and camera work are excellent. The Rider looks far more dangerous than he did in the first movie, and far more like a burning, smoldering ghost than clean white bones wreathed in cozy fireplace flames.
The plot's a bit pro forma, but sometimes, all a movie needs is a thread to hang the eye candy together and an enthusiastic performance or two.
If you liked Ghost Rider, you may or may not like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. if you liked Ghost Rider, and also liked movies like the Resident Evil series and Priest, you're more likely to like this.
This is probably a Wait For DVD movie for most of Your Obedient Serpent's audience, unless you genuinely enjoy Nicholas Cage having the time of his life playing his favorite character and living up to all his stereotypes.