Tag Archives: Marvel Knights

The Art of the Deal… Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

Ghost Rider SOV TeaserAnd while the original ‘Ghost Rider’ focused on just that, Ghost Rider, this one focused on the ‘deal’ to be Ghost Rider. Now, up-front, I’ll admit I’m a comic book guy and film buff and this film is not ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Iron Man’ or even ‘Thor’. However, it isn’t Dolph Lundgren’s version of the Punisher or, luckily, the original ‘Ghost Rider’. (FYI: I saw this film for free at a special engagement Preview.. otherwise, I probably would not have seen it till the DVD or pay cable release.)

‘Spirit of Vengeance’ is a bit more of a reboot than a sequel, and in my estimation better than the original from a comic book standpoint. As a Hollywood flick, it’s simply the same sh!t, different film. The story is recycled from a number of genres, the acting is nothing the Academy need worry about (Nick Cage’s performance was on par for… well, any Cage performance), and some of the action sequences are a bit too herky-jerky for the 3-D, but it isn’t a total loss. The comic lore is advanced a bit (depending on which version of Johnny Blaze / Danny Ketch you want to follow) and even drops hints for returning characters in a possible sequel. Idris Elba does give a fair performance for an underwritten yet prominent character and Christopher Lambert cameos are always fun.
Spirit of Vengeance‘Marvel Knights’ is the mature comic line for Marvel characters and at some point Disney will hand their more adult characters to film makers who understand the difference between making a 90 minute crash’em-up and a story with action. While Punisher: War Zone was almost a step up for ‘Marvel Knights’, this one is a step back. Luckily, it’s only a 90 minute crash’em-up flick and you’ll be on your way to lead a normal, happy life. Bathroom breaks allowed but you probably won’t need it.

2 Stars

Someone Must Punish the Corrupt… Punisher: War Zone (2008)

Punisher War Zone TeaserThomas Jane.. get in the back seat. Dolph Lundgren.. get out. The Punisher has arrived. Though Jane’s Punisher was slightly more emotional and carried more star power, this go ’round is right off the page.

Following closer to the storyline than any of the previous flicks, Stevenson hits his character mark like a gold brick. Cold, nearly emotionless (except for his family and the occasional screw-up) and the perfect machine to carry out the punishment of the corrupt. Though Thomas Jane had a meatier script with a far better supporting cast, Stevenson gets the comic book movie. A villain who was trying a little to hard to be a Joker or Two-Face type (as compared to Travolta’s cold care-free villain in the previous fare) this Punisher stills kills and blows stuff up with a good deal of gusto. The opening 20 minutes alone rivals the glued to your seat final 20 minutes of action the Punisher represents. With a slight recall of Lundgren’s “You’re guilty, you die” type, yet not as emotional or torn as Jane’s brooding sort of anti-hero, this is definitely the Punisher the comics books wrote about.. just not the villain or supporting characters he really needed.

The Punisher

Not quite comic epic, but bring the popcorn and no bathroom breaks.

4 Stars