Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance (2012)

If you only see one film where a flaming skeleton pisses fire, make it this one

8 years have passed since former stunt-driver Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) made a deal with the devil, and became the Ghost Rider. French priest Moreau (Idris Elba) finds him and makes an offer: save a little boy who the Devil (Ciarán Hinds) is after, and Moreau will free Johnny of the Ghost Rider.

Despite defeating the devil, countless extras and an awful looking henchman, the one villain Ghost Rider cannot overcome is the PG-13 rating, which continues to keep him in a choke-hold, making him restrained within then confines of the PG-13 movie, so not to traumatize the kids watching.

I was ecstatic when it was announced that Neveldine/Taylor would be making a Ghost Rider film, because I believed it would allow the spirit of vengeance to finally be as unrestrained and chaotic as Jason Statham was in both Crank films (which I love). But despite being darker and adapting a more brutal look, the Ghost Rider is just as held back as he was in his previous affair.

The character's look is one of the strongest improvements that have been made to this character, making him look more like a man who's actually gone through a horrendous, burning transformation, as opposed to a skull with a flame digitally imposed onto it's head. You can actually feel Nicolas Cage's presence within this character, as opposed to the last film, where it felt like Johnny Blaze wasn't actually the Ghost Rider, thanks to the stand-in who played the flaming-skulled character then.

That's what happens when you don't wear a condom, kids!

Nicolas Cage was one of the few things which I liked about the first film, but he really manages to give a hammy performance, with the standout moment of this being the interrogation scene. There are some fairly alright performances on display, but any of that acting is held back and forgotten in the shadow of the terrible performance Ciaran Hinds gives as The Devil Roarke, who's been given an unnecessary name change. Hinds' performance is nowhere near as intimidating as Peter Fonda's portrayal, which is the one single thing i'll admit the first Ghost Rider film did better. At least Peter Fonda wasn't scared of Johnny Blaze.

I don't understand why Moreau was French. It's such an unnecessary change for Idris Elba to adapt to, and the awful french accent he used to spout out the mediocre dialogue didn't help things. Perhaps it was to fit his character with his wine obsession, which makes the writer seem a bit racist.

Despite the performances ranging from hammy to awful, the action being relatively unexciting and the direction needing improvement, it manages to be somewhat entertaining enough at times, theres good effects on display and, overall, the film is somewhat of an improvement upon its predecessor. Perhaps one day, this dark hero with his skull flickering in flames will get the R-rated film he deserves, but sadly, that day will not come anytime soon.


Unknown said…
Great review Rodders, just what it was in the first seems apparent in the second :(
James Rodrigues said…
As bad as this film was, I preferred this to the godawful sequel. Thanks for reading
Ruth said…
Heya, I've nominated you for the Liebster award!