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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

A movie directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

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Johnny Blaze Gets "Cranked"

  • Feb 27, 2012
  • by
Rating:
+3
Nicolas Cage sets his head on fire once again in Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance and the results are mixed.  While I wasn't expecting anything absolutely amazing, I was hoping that this sequel outdid its predecessor.  In some ways it did, but for the most part this was a very standard "get from Point A to Point B" type of flick.

The plot was very simplistic.  Co-writer David S. Goyer, who seems to only write films that are either awesome (The Dark Knight), or terribly mediocre (Jumper), puts his two-cents into this story along with Scott Gimple and Seth Hoffman.  In it, we find Johnny Blaze in hiding attempting to harness the Rider that resides within him.  He's found by Moreau (Idris Elba), a monk intent on making Blaze help him save the soul of a young boy named Danny (Fergus Riordan), who is in the crosshairs of the good ol' Devil himself (Ciaran Hinds).  The Devil wants Danny's human form so that he can unleash a new reign of terror on humanity.

Blaze is eventually convinced to help the boy and his mother, Nadya (Violante Placido), escape to a hidden group of monks who can protect the boy and relieve Blaze of his curse.  Standing in the way is Ray Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth), an agent of the devil who is given the simple task of capturing the boy and stopping the Ghost Rider.

The film is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor of Crank fame, and as is expected, Spirit of Vengeance shares the feel and style of that film.  The editing is dodgy, choppy, and desperate to appear visually cool and the film suffers because of this.  There are a number of times in the film where there appears to be a massive build up to something awesome when......nothing.  I couldn't tell you how many times the Rider looked up into the sky, yelled, expelled a bit of fire, and then hushed up and went about his business.  It was an explosive film that lacked punch.  The first film had a very "cool" style of its own and director Mark Steven Johnson nailed the imagery and feel of the flick perfectly.  Neveldine and Taylor left me wanting.

Yes, the actually look of the Ghost Rider was very nice.  I liked how the Rider was given a much grittier look (even his skull was grimey) and watching him ride his motorcycle that belched fire and smoke looked great, but the action was too paint-by-the-numbers for me.

I'm probably one of the few people in the world who liked Cage's portrayal of Johnny Blaze in the first film.  In this go round, he's lost a bit of his swagger, but definitely "cranked" up the psychotic aspects of Blaze hinted at in the first film.  I also believe that Elba did a decent job with what he was given, but I want to see him in a bigger role in a comic book film (Black Panther perhaps???).  Hinds killed me with his stoic presentation of Roarke (the Devil in human form).  I missed Peter Fonda's portrayal of the bad guy from the first film.  Whitworth added a bit of humor with his role as Carrigan/Blackout, but was pretty much delegated to being a punching bag for Blaze.  The rest of the cast did a decent job, especially for a Neveldine/Taylor outing.

Overall, the film made the Rider a much more menacing antihero and had plenty of action to boot.  However, it lacked the style and general "fun" aspect of the first film.  Is it a better film?  Not in my opinion.  I don't think it is much worse though.

I recommend the film to fans of Marvel Knight's other production, Punisher:  War Zone (a film I enjoyed a lot more than this one).  An R-rating would have helped Vengeance out a lot, as it did War Zone, but I'm assuming that they were going for the more revenue friendly PG-13 rating and killed the film as a whole. 

Hopefully the film will be released unrated on Blu-Ray/DVD, and it will be much better for it.
Johnny Blaze Gets Johnny Blaze Gets Johnny Blaze Gets

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February 27, 2012
What no Eva Mendez? Actually I liked the first film too. I will probably see this film at some point. Nice write-up.
February 27, 2012
Thanks! And no, no Eva in this one. However, if you like Gypsy women with heavy mascara and lipstick and a "Stare too long and I'll cut ya" look to them, Violante Placido will be right up your alley. She's a very pretty lady.
February 27, 2012
Lol. She is pretty but not exotic looking as Eva so I guess she would need a lot of heavy mascara.
 
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More Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengean... reviews
review by . February 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Better Than The First Film, But Not The Definitve Film on The Spirit of Vengeance
Ghost Rider has always been a favorite of mine since I was a teen. I mean, he was the ultimate anti-hero, a man torn apart between his humanity and his deal with the devil. The character reached new heights in the 80’s-90’s and reached a dimension that defined the character under the “Midnight Sons” label. I wasn’t very happy with how the 2007 film turned out, but hey, I guess I understood why it tried to do so many things that it lost its focus. Well, the sequel to …
review by . August 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*1/2 out of ****    The first one might have been God-awful, but there was always a chance that a good "Ghost Rider" movie could be made. When Neveldine/Taylor, the directing duo behind the loads-of-fun "Crank" movies, were announced at the helm of the sequel; I was hopeful. When Nic Cage's return to the role of Johnny Blaze was confirmed, I began to doubt the project more than I initially had. When the trailer came out, I was hopeful again. And when I saw the movie itself, I …
review by . February 18, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         We have already learned that Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) sold his soul to the Devil to become the Ghost Rider, a demonic bounty hunter who takes on the appearance of a flaming skeleton in a leather jacket. He rides a motorcycle, also flaming, and carries with him a chain which he uses as a weapon. About midway through Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, we learn that his powers extend beyond even this – according to what he tells a young boy, …
review by . February 21, 2012
There was no way anyone thought that Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance was going to be anything more than a bad movie. The only debate was if it was going to be so bad that it was good or that it was going to be just terrible. It had all the tools to be the former, I'm just not quite sure if the movie got there. As long as you don't get bogged down by things like acting, cohesiveness or consistency then there is a chance you may find the trashy fun in Ghost Rider 2 that I'm …
review by . February 19, 2012
Not exactly what i was expecting.
I never followed the Ghost Rider series, mainly cause my Mother is Christian; Dude with a flaming skull head No no, "Its demonic" she said. So I wasn't allowed to read the comic or watch the movie. Luckily I have some cool family members who (secretly of course) allowed me to watch it at their house. I pop in this DVD watch it and after is done the first thing that came out of my mouth was “GOD THAT MOVIE SUCKED” I was super disappointed.  Fast forward to January …
Quick Tip by . February 14, 2012
Caption
I've always loved this character and when he was pushed in the 80's-90's as a true dark anti-hero, I really wanted Hollywood to make a definitive movie on the character. I hope to see his classic villains and the trailers did show BLACKOUT; on this I am excited!      The first movie wasn't good, actually it was bad. I do hope that this time, they manage to get it right....though Nicholas Cage hasn't really made a good movie in awhile.      …
Quick Tip by . February 14, 2012
Caption
I want this film to work so badly. The Rider is one of the coolest and most unique characters in the Marvel Universe, and I hope this film does him justice. I enjoyed the first film, but thought it could have been much better. I'll find out this weekend if the sequel betters the original.
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #34
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki

  • Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance is loosely based on the Marvel Knights series of the classic character and is a sequel to the 2007 movie "Ghost Rider", also with Nicholas Cage in the title role.
  • Opened February 17, 2012 | Runtime:1 hr. 36 min.
  • PG-13
    Intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images and language
  • While hiding out in Eastern Europe, Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) must once again become the Ghost Rider when members of a secret church hire him to save a boy from Satan.
  • Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Violante Placido, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth, Fergus Riordan
  • Director: Mark Neveldine
  • Genres: Action/Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Teaser poster art for "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." 
  • A scene from "Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance."
  • view wiki

    Details

    Release Date: Feb. 17, 2012
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Screen Writer: Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman
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