Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011) Review

The Ghost Rider in Columbia Pictures' GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE.

Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance

Time: 96 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and Offensive Language
Cast:
Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
Johnny Whitworth as Ray Carrigan/Blackout
Fergus Riordan as Danny
Ciarán Hinds as Roarke/Mephistopheles
Violante Placido as Nadya
Idris Elba as Moreau
Director Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage), a man who made a deal with the Devil who called himself Roarke (Ciaran Hinds), is on the run trying to make sure no-one is harmed by his alter ego, The Ghost Rider. He is approached by a Monk named Moreau (Idris Elba) who tells him that he can help be him free of the Rider, but first he needs Johnny’s help to protect a boy, whom Roarke has plans for, to help him take human form.

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I always thought that the best way to create a Ghost Rider film is to not take it too seriously and seeing as the filmmakers of this film made Crank, it should be better than the original, which was too serious. In many ways this film is better and worse than the first film. On one hand it doesn’t take itself as seriously and Nicolas Cage actually seems to be crazier but on the other, there’s painful editing and the story has plenty of plot holes. In either case, Ghost Rider 2 is still a pretty bad movie.

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This movie’s script does have even more problems than the original film. First of all there’s absolutely no character depth or development for any of the characters, not even Johnny Blaze seems that different by the end. There are a lot of plot holes, for example there’s a moment when the devil gives a henchman the power of decay (however it only decays certain things if it’s convenient). The devil then sends the henchman to get the boy back even though it would be near impossible to do without toughing and therefore decaying and killing him. Also the way the Ghost Rider acts in the first film made a little more sense than here. In his first scene, he would just stand around before he goes up to a henchman and just stares at him, doing nothing for like a minute. There’s even a strange moment when Ghost Rider urinates fire, this goes in the complete opposite direction of being boring and becomes downright stupid and borderline bizarre instead.

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Nicolas Cage is more animated than in the previous movie, which I have to say is a big improvement over the original. In the previous film he seemed to be quite bored, which was the wrong performance in this sort of film. In this film there are plenty of over the top moments that he has. There is one scene in particular where he’s interrogating someone and he’s trying to keep the ghost rider spirit from coming out and it’s definitely one of his best freak out moments. Idris Elba is trying his best to give a good performance, despite being in a pretty bad movie. Ciaran Hinds gives a decent performance as the devil, being more of the manipulator sort but it would’ve work much better in another movie. In this movie he doesn’t do anything cool or threatening, which would be the more preferable type of devil in this sort of movie. The climax of the film is him driving a car. I didn’t think I’d say this but Blackheart in the previous film put up a better fight than him, that’s a bad sign.

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I don’t remember if I liked the editing of the Crank films but Ghost Rider 2’s editing is just awful. A lot of the action is filmed being quite shaky and incomprehensible. I will give credit that Ghost Rider does look cooler and some of the action scenes are quite creative, like Ghost Rider turning a crane into a giant flaming chainsaw but it ultimately most of it is hard to get into.

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Is Ghost Rider 2 worse than the previous film? When all things are considered, yes, it’s editing and cinematography can be quite annoying and the characters aren’t interesting at all. Despite this we have Nicolas Cage being his enjoyable insane self and some of the action is quite enjoyable. If you’re going to see this film, just know exactly what you are going in, it can be fun as a guilty pleasure.

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