A lot of actors are not afraid to take on challenges, since they know that if they want to survive in Hollywood, you have to be open minded. You have to take some chances, and not repeat yourself. Some actors are of course famous for certain films, and may have a hard time getting different films for that. But then you have actors who seems to take on any kind of project that is possible. A perfect example of that is legendary actor Nicolas Cage. Since the 80´s he have done so many crazy films, in all categories, that you have to be impressed how open minded he is. He does not seem to worry that much about trying different ways as an actor, and i really appreciate that about him. That does not mean that he have only done great films, he have made some bad choices of films. But i will say this, since we are talking about Nicolas Cage films that may not be perfect, some of them are still fun to watch. He have actually made some fun bad films, who functions for entertainment purposes. And that´s one of the things i appreciate about him, he does not take his career too seriously. One film that comes to my mind is the 2007 film known as Ghost Rider from director Mark Steven Johnson ( director of Daredevil with Ben Affleck ). Ghost Rider is based on the Marvel comics character of the same name, This film tells the story of stunt motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze ( Nicolas Cage ) sold his soul to the demon Mephistopheles / The Devil ( Peter Fonda ), Mephistopheles makes Johhny Blaze an offer, if he defeat his son Blackheart ( Wes Bentley ), he will get his soul back. Johnny is transformed into Ghost Rider, the burning skeleton. If you just want to have a fun popcorn movie night, The Ghost Rider is a great choice. This film have everything you could wish for, fun dialogue, fun action scenes and characters that you will fall in love with. Definetely worth picking up on DVD or Blu Ray, if you are looking for a movie that doesn´t take itself seriously at all. There is a sequel of course called Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance, released 4 years later. It´s nowhere near as good as the first film, so only see it if you want to. I try and keep up with Nicolas Cage films, and at least see some of them. One of the films i have been curious to see is a film called Prisoners Of The Ghostland. This film seemed to be a little bit different than his usual releases, so i decided to give this film a chance. Is this one of the highlights in Nicolas Cage career, or should he consider quitting acting for good after this film?
Many years ago, a region in Japan was quarantined after an accident in wich highly volatile nuclear waste was spilled after a crash between the waste transport and a prison bus, a settlement called Samurai Town, ruled by The Governor ( Bill Moseley ). The outside is a wasteland known as Ghostland, inhabited by half-crazed outcasts. Hero ( Nicolas Cage ), a criminal, was imprisoned in the aftermath of a bank robbery. One night, Bernice ( Sofia Boutella ) one of the "granddaughters", flees from the Governors house with two friends. The Governor order Hero to get Bernice back to him, forcing him to hunt her down, with a special designed bodysuit with explosive charges. If Bernice have not been rescued in five days, the explosive charges will go off on the bodysuit. Hero begin his journey to locate Bernice in the Ghostland.
Knowing that this film is directed by Sion Sono ( who directed the really good thriller Cold Fish ), i knew that this might be a quite different experience. To combine Sion Sono and Nicolas Cage in a Western horror film sounded like a perfect idea on paper, since these are 2 very different personalities. And if you plan to watch this film, you should know the following information. This is the kind of film you can´t look at as a serious film. This is one of those odd films, that many of us probably will never understand, and why some strange decisions were made. Those who know me personally, they know that i appreciate odd films. This is definetely one of the most odd films i have seen this year, that this might actually be a cult film in the future. Does this mean that Prisoners Of A Ghostland is a perfect film? No, there are of course issues with this film, but let´s get into the positive details that i appreciate. First of all i do enjoy some of the odd characters, especially the lead character known as Hero ( Nicolas Cage ). Imagine of a combination of Swedish Bingolotto TV star Rickard Olsson in a leather outfit, combined with Soldoktorn ( The Sun Doctor ) Mikael Sandström´s serious facial expressions, and you have everything you could ask for in a character such as Hero. Everywhere he goes, he makes all the perfect choices that you did not think was possible. And for that, you have to respect Nicolas Cage for choosing such a cool character as this one. I also enjoy the character known as Governor, played by legendary actor Bill Moseley ( who i personally love as the character Chop-Top, in the Cannon Film classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ). He is definetely a character that is hard not to like, with his white suite, and dialogue that matches so well, that some people might actually want to propose to him. Some of the apocalyptic locations have a very odd, but interesting look. I also like the combination of samurai battles, while we also get odd scenes where people begin to sing for some reason. Now to the negative parts ( and there are a few ). This could have been a great film if this film actually had a script that made any sense, but it doesn´t make a lot of sense. If you would ask me about the plot of this film, i honestly can´t explain it all completely. There are parts of the film that are easy to understand, while other parts are really strange. I also find some of the acting really bad. I can accept Nicolas Cage screaming funny, and acting weird, but there are a few characters that does not even make any sense at all, why they are actually in the film. However, all of this still made me enjoy this film, for being so weird and bizarre. Director Sion Sono have actually made a film that will either be loved by fans of odd films, or hated by some others. I think he did manage to bring out something unique with Prisoners Of The Ghostland, by mixing in so many different styles. If you are a Nicolas Cage fan, i think you should at least rent this film on VOD and give it a chance. Prisoners Of The Ghostland is like watching a 3 hour broadcasting of Swedish TV news show Nyhetsmorgon, there is something for everyone here, no matter if you like it or not.