It probably seemed like a sure thing: grant a clamoring, genre-friendly, comic book-reading audience at Harry Knowles‘ 24-hour film festival/endurance test Butt-Numb-A-Thon, an early look at a heavily hyped superhero reboot. But while the likes of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” “Cabin in the Woods” and “The Grey” all picked up good buzz from the sleep-deprived crowd, when Sony decided to show the crowd at BNAT13 an early (but seemingly all-but-finished) cut of the reboot/sequel “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” they probably weren’t prepared for the outspoken geek hate for the movie, which many felt was even worse than the god awful Mark Steven Johnson movie from the 2007. Ouch!
What Culture has handily compiled much of the feedback from the screening and, well, it’s not looking too good. Badass Digest said, “‘Ghost Rider 2′ manages to make me look fondly back on ‘Ghost Rider.’ Unbearable,” and adding later that it’s “A failure on every level, [a] cheap, chintzy, boring and stupid movie [that] doesn’t even deliver the dumb fun you’d hope from a Neveldine/Taylor movie.” Oof. JordanHoffman remarked, “‘Ghost Rider 2′ makes ‘Ghost Rider 1′ look like ‘Dark Knight.’” And the usually chatty ScottWeinberg said, “‘Ghost Rider 2′ played. I have nothing else to add.” Even those who seemed to enjoy it damned it with faint praise. SlashFilm said “‘Ghost Rider 2′ improves over the first film, but script was boring, post converted 3D is not great.” And someone named Nooneman said: “‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ is next year’s ‘Punisher: War Zone.’ I’ll let you decide if that’s good or bad. The 3D sucked.” Even an Ain’t It Cool regular couldn’t muster much enthusiasm. Nordling from Ain’t It Cool said: “I enjoyed it for what it was – B-movie pulp, and just all-around goofy. I will say that I wasn’t terribly impressed with the 3D, but it’s still early.”
The piss-poor quality of the 3D seems to be a universal truth. While no one really wanted another “Ghost Rider” movie, there was a certain amount of excitement, or at least curiosity, since Sony hired “Crank” filmmakers Neveldine/Taylor to take over the franchise. Their kinetic style can often tip over into incomprehension (see: “Gamer”) and with the added dimension of 3D, we can see how this would turn out to be a huge mess. We can all find out when “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” opens on February 17th, 2012. And at least everybody liked “Cabin in the Woods.”