Movie Review – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)
Directed By: Neveldine/Taylor
Screenplay By: Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, David S. Goyer
Story By: David S. Goyer
Starring: Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage is back as Johnny Blaze, the cursed motorcyclist who metes out vengeance as Ghost Rider in this sequel to the 2007 film. While not a perfect film, it nonetheless improves on the original in a trashy B-movie sort of way.
Johnny Blaze is hiding out in Europe, trying to lay low, keeping his demon at bay…when a man named Moreau (Idris Elba) enlists his help in protecting a woman (Violante Placido) and her boy (Fergus Riordan) named Danny (wink, wink GR fans) from Ol’ Scratch Himself (Ciaran Hinds).
The film gets off to a quick start with an excellent chase sequence and just keeps zipping right along from there. At a breezy running time of 95 minutes, it rarely takes time to slow down. Which is good, especially when your movie is about a demonic, vengeance seeking superhero on a motorcycle that’s souped-up with hellfire. I knew the action sequences would be pretty good with the directing duo of ‘Crank’ at the helm, but there is one scene in particular that involves GR amping up a huge excavating machine that is spectacular. Even the villain/henchman that is doggedly pursuing Blaze & company is pretty cool. Given the power to decay anything he touches, he provides a few PG-13 grisly highlights. Being a little more charred and blackened this time out, the ‘look’ of Ghost Rider grew on me as the film went on, but I still kinda like the original movie version a little more. I still don’t know if Nicolas Cage was the right guy to play Blaze, but he seemed to tone down some of that “Nic Cageness” at the right beats this time out. His motion-capture GR performance was pretty energetic, making sure Flamehead had appropriate demonic glee. Apparently, the long-ago mooted Ghost Rider film script from David Goyer was resurrected and dusted off for the sequel with some rewriting and updating. That screenplay was from around 1999. Interesting that Hollywood finally got around to using at least some version of that script.
While going in with reservations, I was pleasantly surprised by ‘Ghost Rider – Spirit Of Vengeance’. The movie delivered on action, better story and a balanced Nicolas Cage performance. It’ll do…….but someone needs to throw ‘The Orb’ in there. Now that would be the ultimate ‘Ghost Rider’ flick………’The Orb’ on the big screen……one day….one day.