Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance Film Review
Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Written by Scott M Gimple, Seth Hoffman and David S Goyer
Starring Nicholas Cage, Ciaran Hinds and Idris Elba
Having become fearful of the power of The Rider, Johnny Blaze has hidden himself in a remote corner of Eastern Europe, far from civilization, and souls that need repentance. But his services are called upon when The Devil returns to collect on another deal done.
In a religious sanctuary in Eastern Europe a young boy, Danny (Fergus Riordan) and his mother, Nadya (Violante Placido) are being kept hidden from dark forces that want the boy for reasons unknown. When a gang of thugs attack the monastery, a mysterious man called Moreau (Idris Elba) seems to come to the aid of the pair. The mother and son escape and Moreau chases after them to help, but they mistakenly believe he is part of the kidnappers.
After their escape Moreau seeks out Johnny Blaze, who he knows to be The Ghost Rider, and offers him a deal to use his dark power one last time and then be able to rid himself of his demon once and for all. Blaze accepts the offer and joins Moreau to find and protect the boy and his mother.
After they have been found, it is revelealed that Nadya's deal with The Devil was to mother the child of The Devil. With his earthly form now going in to decay, it was now time for him to transfer himself to the child and become far more powerful on this earth.
if you are familiar with my film reviews, you may think that the review section is a little 'thin'! There is a reason for that, and as you read on, you'll probably work out why! I have made great strides of late to try and ensure I stay away from as much of the hype that surrounds films these days, especially Superhero films, to give myself what I think will be an unbiased opinion of what I go and watch, this is true of Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance.
I have to say that I was a fan of the first Ghost Rider, it's always difficult to introduce a relatively unknown Superhero to the world. The Writers have to spend half the film explaining everything to the uninitiated and then come up with a half decent story. What Ghost Rider did was create a stunning on screen version of a kick ass anti hero. The bike, the skull, the flames and the chain, were for me, spot on.
This second film should have given us a solid story after the introduction, but we are insulted right from the start by narration at various points in the film with Blaze explaining who he is, why he is and what he wants, not needed!! At sporadic points we switch from regular film to sketched images that mingle with the back story telling. Blaze has lost his chopper style motorbike and now has some sooped up trials bike and his leathers have gone from the thorn studded classic version to a get up that looks like he has been dragged through a burning oil slick. I'm sure that this is supposed to represent some sort of changed state of mind that Blaze is enduring, but it doesn't work!
Cage is known for his ability to portray chaotic and unstable characters better than anybody in film, and in one particular scene, where he is 'interrogating' a thug he displays this side but the CGI that goes with it is truly laughable. Just another nail in this huge coffin of a film. Another turkey of a scene was where the transformation of The Devil from Man body to Child body was to take place. A huge arena filled with hooded businessmen, politicians and bad boys (devil worshippers) swayed and chanted like something that would have been more at home in an Avatar resurrection attempt!
Blackout (Johnny Whitworth) is The Ghost Rider's main enemy in the film and has the ability to send anything he touches in to a state of decay and eventually reduce it to dust. Whitworth hams the character up and doesn't do a bad job in making us believe that this once former bad ass criminal is really enjoying his new found abilities, even if he is dead! But it doesn't do enough to lift the films action scenes at all. The only thing I did like was when The Rider jumped aboard a massive earth excavator and turned in to a flaming sledge hammer!
I'm really disappointed that this franchise has taken a huge step backwards, I so wanted another character that we could look to, akin to Blade, something a bit darker and heavier in the Superhero world. Unfortunately it looks like this Rider has gone nice!