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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

A movie directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

< read all 8 reviews

Well at least it's not as bad as Ghost Rider, but that's not saying too much.

  • Aug 17, 2012
*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 was neither hopeful nor doubtful. I was instead disappointed and quite frankly bored. These are not things that I expect from these guys. And these are not things that their biggest fans - and I'm one of them, more or less - want from them. So why doesn't it seem like they even made an attempt to dodge these obstacles?

The devil (Ciaran Hinds) wants a little boy named Danny (Fergus Riordan), who he believes is his son. Danny's mother Nadya (Violante Placido) does not want to hand him over and instead goes on the run with the kid. After he unsuccessfully offers protection for Nadya and the child, French priest Moreau (Idris Elba) must find Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) - a former stunt-driver who made a deal with the devil eight years prior to beginning of the story - so that they may stop the Devil in his tracks. In exchange for saving the boy's life, Moreau promises that he may restore Johnny's in return by driving out the spirit of the Ghost Rider; that famed comic book anti-hero with the flaming skull and the badass motorcycle and chain.

One of the devil's henchmen is a former boyfriend of Nadya by the name of Ray (Johnny Whitworth). After it appears that the Ghost Rider has defeated him once, the devil allows him to get back up again and this time with longer white hair the supernatural power of decay (which he tests on a Twinkie). The devil (also known as Roarke) intends to transfer his soul into the boy's body, since his current one is growing old. So basically it's protect the boy, blow up shit, kill shit, and look as cool as one can look when on fire and doing stunts on a motorcycle and kicking bad guy ass with a giant whip-chain. It's already not much of a plot as it is, yet screenwriters Scott Gimple, Seth Hoffman, and yes, even David S. Goyer manage to make it even less of one.

The only good thing I can say about "Spirit of Vengeance" is that with Brandon Trost on board as the director of photography, you can't really go wrong. For the action sequences, the film retains the look and feel of a Neveldine/Taylor film (since Trost shot both "Crank" films); but for everything else, it's beyond bland. As for the content, the duo makes an attempt to infuse their sense of humor (Johnny Blaze pissing flames and absorbing bullets into his enflamed skull and spitting them back out at a thug's ugly mug) into the material, but the PG-13 rating puts a lot of restraint on just how much they can do. Even if they were given more freedom, it would still suck; because there's just no escaping the terrible acting, terrible effects, and terrible just about everything else. At least the Rider's skull actually looks like it's one fire this time.

But in the end, it is better than the first "Ghost Rider". The action sequences alone far surpass the awfulness of that one. But "Spirit of Vengeance" is still a bad movie. It's only momentarily entertaining and I absolutely despise Cage in this role. Neveldine/Taylor manage to squeeze one great over-the-top crazy Cage moment ("Scraping at the door!") but that's not enough to hold up an entire hour and thirty five minutes of crap. The other films from the directors haven't suffered as much. You either love them or you hate them and I admire the spirit of the filmmakers. They have their own style and insane way of making movies and they try to bring some of that into "Ghost Rider" but fail miserably on a whole. I shouldn't have to trudge through the muck of inane dialogue and dull plotting to get to a few impressive action sequences. I expect so much more, even from a comic book/superhero movie that goes out of its way to show its pride for silliness and absurdity.

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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 . February 27, 2012
Johnny Blaze Gets
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 …
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
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
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
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #3
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


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