Ghost Rider 3D: Spirit Of Vengeance
February 12, 2012 by staff
Ghost Rider 3D: Spirit Of Vengeance, A DEMONIC biker bounty hunter with a burning skull and a secret Carpenters obsession…
Nicolas Cage jumping the length of a football field and over half-a-dozen Chinook helicopters on a motorbike…
It’s hard to think of a film quite as gloriously demented as 2007’s Ghost Rider (and if you don’t believe me, see for yourself tonight on Channel 5 at 9pm).
But now it’s back and – hold on to your charred helmet – more mental than ever.
For the 3D sequel to the oddball super-hero hit, Cage found a couple of kindred spirits to help him cook up some even more over-the-top action sequences.
Cage, 48, says directing duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor turned the shoot into “a wild, almost daredevil experience”.
Neveldine operated the camera himself, sometimes dangling over cliff edges on a wire, at others holding on to the back of a speeding motorbike wearing Rollerblades.
“They’re both really up for anything,” says Cage. “I think I fit into that too.”
The films are inspired by the star’s favourite comic book character – a stunt rider who sells his soul to the Devil to be a fire-breathing vigilante.
This time he’s in Eastern Europe, where the Devil has taken the human form of Ciar?n Hinds and an outcast biker monk (Idris Elba) persuades him to save a child who may or may not be the Antichrist.
Cage says the comic spawned his first “philosophical awakening”.
He says: “I was eight when I discovered Ghost Rider and, in fact, I had the very first comic.
“I would stare at that picture, at that cover and I couldn’t get my head around how something so terrifying to look at, who was in fact using forces of evil, could also be considered good.”
Deranged anti-heroes have become a stock in trade for the star.
Since he last strapped on Johnny Blaze’s leathers, he’s won plaudits for his barn-storming turns as the single dad and self-styled superhero in the brilliant Kick-Ass and the coke-snorting, granny-threatening Bad Lieutenant Terence McDonagh.
But Neveldine has said that although Cage “seems like a lunatic” on screen, he found “there’s method to the madness”.
The star wants to clear that comment up.
“I’m not insane,” he says. “Damon Macready from Kick-Ass is insane! He’s the one who’s 48 years old and dresses up like Batman and goes out and tries to seek vengeance.
“He’s the one who probably watched a lot of Adam West and tried to talk like him.
“Not me! That’s a character – I don’t do that in my life.”
Of course he doesn’t. But his behaviour on set looks certain to add to his colourful reputation.
For the first film Cage just played Blaze – stuntmen and CGI took over for his flaming skulled alter ego.
This time he plays both roles. And he went for it with some gusto.
Even though his fiery bonce would be painted in afterwards, Cage still painted his head to look like a skull, put in black contact lenses and sewed “ancient, thousands-of-years-old Egyptian relics” into his leather jacket.
“I believed I was the Ghost Rider,” he says.
And he relished the dual role.
“I’m attracted to characters that allow me to realise my more surrealistic and abstract dreams for film acting,” he says.
With his head ablaze, Cage pulls out some weird hand gestures that he says were inspired by an old pet cobra.
It sounds certain to be one of the most enjoyably nutty sequels ever. Although the star has more oddball plans up his sleeve.
“I do have fantasies of doing another Wicker Man, another go at it but this time I want to take it to Japan. Get your head around that one,” he says.
Considering Cage’s character burned to death in the final scene of the 2006 film, that would be some movie.
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