Movie Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

First of all, who made a deal with the devil to get a sequel made for Ghost Rider? Could that be the reason why Nicolas Cage has gone off the rails in his career?

It is hard to imagine that he is an Oscar winner after witnessing many of his recent movies including this ludicrous sequel.

Cage returns as motorcycle stuntman Johnny Blaze who has now taken up residence in Romania as he tries to find a curse for his curse. (think Incredible Hulk except with 1/2 the budget)

During his search, Blaze runs into priest/man-of-action (Idris Elba) who is trying to save the soul of a young boy.

The priest promises Johnny a cure if he helps him with the boy. Satan (Ciaran Hinds) and Blackout (Johnny Whitworth) are also after the boy. It turns out that the boy is actually the “son of satan” and has a connection to Blaze.

The movie is just basically one long chase movie where you have Cage trying to fight off his demon side and Elba having fun with his action scenes.

Elba must have been having fun because his accent was all over the place and his character’s fondness for wine is kind of delightful.

Cage on the other hand is a mystery. You don’t really know where he stands in this film.

Is he trying to play it straight or be an ass? I didn’t like the evolution of the character and I partially blame that on the script which was dulled than a door nail.

I did like this design of the Ghost Rider more, with his charred leather motorcycle suit and how his head had different degrees of flame.

I think it would have been funny if when Blaze turns back that his motorcycle suit was just charcoal forcing him to scramble to find new clothes.

Ghost Rider is a difficult character to write as a comic, let alone a film. So how do you make this character interesting? There have been over 300 Ghost Rider comics and each of them shows a struggle. He looks good, has an interesting origin but really that is it. It is his aesthetic that keeps bringing creators back to him. He only has two real villains opposed to Satan himself. The character has no personality when he transforms and not to mention the character can’t emote anything because, well, he is just a skull.

I really hoped that directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor would bring something new and off the cuff. They are famous for pushing barriers and getting really insane behind the lens if Crank and Crank 2 are any indication. But this is just a paint-by-numbers kind of movie.

Let’s hope this is the last Ghost Rider film and that one day really soon a creator can take this character and actually make him more interesting than a Hell’s Angel tattoo.

(1.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer

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