Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance takes several steps up from its original, which isn’t saying much since the first was just all around terrible. Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who brought us the Crank films certainly have what is takes to build a high-octane action flick, if only they had a decent screenwriter to work with.
Vengeance is not a prequel nor is it really a sequel, its more of taking the comic book source material and developing it into another story about Johnny Blaze. Neveldine and Taylor do a decent job of bringing us to the present, even if you didn’t watch the original Ghost Rider. A good portion of the back-story is told through lifeless animation that is completely unnecessary and it actually hurts the film since we lose focus of the current story.
The film begins as we see Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) hiding out in a dark hut in Eastern Europe, trying to conceal his inner demon he so desperately wants to be rid of. When Blaze was just a teen, he made a deal with the devil in order to spare the life of his father. In that deal, the Devil put a demon inside of Blaze, transforming him into the Ghost Rider when he is in the presence of evil.
Moreau (Idris Elba), a drunken warrior Monk (which I’m sure there are many of out there), tracks Blaze down because he needs his help in saving a young boy who the Devil (in this film, Ciaran Hinds) wants. If the boy were to be given over to the hands of the Devil, a really really bad thing will happen. Moreau tells Blaze if he is able to help him track down the boy, he will rid him of the curse.
Blaze agrees and jumps on his motorcycle in order to find the boy. But, will Blaze ride as himself or let the Ghost Rider take over?
A huge reason why Vengeance exceeds its original is the fact that Cage actually plays Ghost Rider in this one. I can’t believe other stuntmen acted out Ghost Rider in the first one, it looked too fake and you can tell it wasn’t Cage. The directors’ choice to finally have Cage play Ghost Rider made all the difference. Cage wore a skull mask while filming and in the design room, the CGI was added to create the infamous flaming skull.
Vengeance’s plot is just so-so and it includes some of the goofiest dialogue and acting I’ve ever seen in a film. However, its self-aware of its ridiculous and corny moments that it could be considered a great bad movie.
The 3D is basically non-existent and that’s because it wasn’t shot in 3D, it was added in after. So if you choose to see it in theatres, save yourself a few bucks and see it in 2D, but I would recommend watching this movie on a rainy Saturday afternoon or if you’re a Nic Cage fan.
Vengeance is over-the-top, dumb and out of all the recent Nic Cage crap action flicks, the actor can at least play around a bit in this one.