#8: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)
Marvel’s first Ghost Rider was admittedly not terrific, but it was a simple film, and didn’t do much to get in the way of how fun it was to watch Nicholas Cage pretend to be a superhero whose face was replaced by a skull that was, serioiusly, on fire (Johnny Blaze, aka the titular Ghost Rider.) If anyone can convince me that this isn’t the perfect role for him, I’ll give you a dollar.
Unfortunately, the same can most certainly not be said for its sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Spirit of Vengeance instead opts to focus its attention on an exceptionally convoluted plot that’s never really coherently explained. There are some relatively original stylistic details (like Johnny’s voiceovers about the nature of his powers and the enemies he faces), but both the writing and acting were hilarious bad. And not “so bad it’s good” bad. Just bad.
Cage’s acting, in particular, was in “so bad it’s good” territory in the first film, but for the sequel he veered into “just plain bad” territory. The most egregious examples of this came in his transformation and near-transformation scenes, which lacked both believability and hilarity. (One or the other would’ve done.)
As far as the hopelessly complicated plot… well… I guess it might’ve been interesting if it had given you any reason to care about any of these characters? Or if, instead of doing that, it had embraced the fact that this is a film about a motorcycle-riding leather-clad Nicholas Cage whose face turns into a flaming skull during every action scene? Consider the enormity of what this film accomplished: it actually managed to make that boring.
I know that some of my entries on the Least Favorite side of things are running quite a bit shorter than those on the Favorite list, but I honestly can’t think of much to say when a film is this plainly bad for pretty uninteresting reasons. There isn’t much to analyze here. I think the most perplexing thing about this film is why they bothered making it in the first place. Seriously, why did this film exist?