Film Review: ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ Begs Audience to Accept Mediocrity, Stupidity

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CHICAGO – At the very least, I can take some comfort in knowing that the YouTube montage of Nicolas Cage freaking out has some new (and golden) material. As cursed as Cage’s Johnny Blaze character is by the demon inside him known as the Ghost Rider in the newest chapter, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” so is this movie cursed by unthinkable dialogue, lackluster acting, obnoxious camerawork, and confusing editing.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

Cage reprises the role of Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider in a sequel being released five years since the original “Ghost Rider”. In the new film, Johnny is hanging low in Eastern Europe (natural for any guy that hulks out into a flaming-headed, motorcycle-riding demon), when he is called upon by Moreau (Idris Elba) to protect a young boy named Danny (Fergus Riordan), who the devil himself, Roarke (Ciaran Hinds), is after. Conflicted by losing himself to the demon inside and protecting the kid, Johnny is forced to dance with the devil and bust out into a flaming skeleton in leather to protect the somewhat good from the truly evil.

StarRead Tim Martens’ full review of “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” in our reviews section.

Though we have no frame of reference as to who these characters really are (Johnny is the only returnee from the first film) and the story is quickly thrown at us like the afterthought of a rambling idiot on a college quad, the action of the film is somewhat entertaining, albeit nauseating. The fighting sequences are filmed at peculiar angles with quick cutting and cameras that are constantly shaking, getting me closer to jumping out of my seat to puke rather than to cheer. It’s not that the scenes aren’t action-packed, they just might give you a panic attack.

From cut-scenes where background is explained to moments of conversation, directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor find it necessary to continue the shaky cam and quick cuts between odd angles as well as add in ridiculous animation. Some moments of note: explaining the devil can take different forms with a series of photos of evil dictators and world leaders that is capped by a picture of Jerry Springer and a joke between Johnny and Danny about what Johnny does when he has to urinate while morphed as the Ghost Rider (cue unfathomable shot from behind the Ghost Rider as he sprays a flame-thrower stream from his nether regions).

StarContinue reading for Tim Martens’ full “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” review.

“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” stars Nicolas Cage, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Ciaran Hinds, and Fergus Riordan. It was directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. It opens on February 17th, 2012 and is rated PG-13.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Photo credit: Sony Pictures

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