Published on February 19th, 2012 | by Charlie Truong1
Review: Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance
The movie studios apparently made a deal with the devil to get a sequel to Ghost Rider made. The first one was a bad movie, and this sequel is sadly no better. I had hopes it would be better due to the directing team behind Crank.
In the film, Johnny Blaze is running (riding?) from his darker self in Eastern Europe. He’s commissioned by Idris Elba’s character Moro, a type of warrior monk, to protect and save a boy named Danny who may turn into the Anti-Christ. On his trail are a group of mercenaries and the Devil himself. Ghost Rider the comic book character has a fairly rich mythology, and it’s very disappointing the filmmakers chose not to delve deeper into it rather than use this generic story. In fact, it’s the departure with the comic book that truly prevents the film from being better.
Yes, Ghost Rider is still a motorcycle riding skeleton who’s on fire. However, in the comics, he actually has a personality. He can actually carry a conversation. Sure, he might overuse the line, “Vengeance will be mine,” but he is able to communicate coherently as a sentient being. In the movie though, he’s more of a force of nature, a danger to anyone near him. I rather enjoyed the dual personality issue with the comic book character, and this could have been explored more in the movie. It’s likely the film did not have the budget to give the Ghost Rider more screen time.
Perhaps it’s my disdain for Nicholas Cage’s performance in this movie that caused me to want more Ghost Rider. Nicholas Cage is just too goofy to play the lead in a superhero movie. The scene where he attempts to interrogate a guy into divulging Danny’s location is laughable. Cage is threatening the criminal in human form, and I would think in real life the criminal would be have a difficult time not laughing. I am really glad he actually did not end up playing Superman as was rumored many years ago.
Poor acting and a bad plot can be overlooked if the movie at least had good action scenes. It did not. The action sequences in the first half of the movie were boring, mainly due to the fact that Ghost Rider did not have a supernatural or superhuman to fight. Ghost Rider against normal people is lame. A more powerful villain is introduced later in the film, but the villain’s powers of decay do not lend themselves to a drawn out brawl with Ghost Rider. And apparently, even the Devil’s powers pale in comparison to the Ghost Rider. When the final action scene is done, you will be left unsatisfied with the last fight.
The chase sequences were poorly done as well. For a movie about a motorcycle rider, there’s strangely little motorcycle riding stunts to be seen. There are many possibilities for incorporating his bike more, yet neither films have done it well. In the big finale, Ghost Rider actually chooses to leave his motorcycle and ride a truck instead!
Unless the studios plan to reboot the character, please let this be Ghost Rider’s last ride.