Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio:  Marvel Knights

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Review Rating: 7

Johnny Blaze and the curse of Ghost Rider is back, to save the Son of the Devil from becoming the Devil himself!

There are good parts to the new movie, and bad parts, but frankly I liked this one better than the first Ghost Rider. It seems more in tune with the comic book, the movie gods tried really hard to make this incarnation of Ghost Rider much more dark and terrible, and yes I am a Nicholas Cage fan. Deal with it. The iconic skull is now black, and the flames are that much more fiery because of it. The bike, and it turns out anything else the Rider (is that why he’s named that, I get it) drives, gets a total badass flaming-skull gothic style makeover. Unfortunately for me, as totally awesome as they tried so hard to make Ghost Rider look, if they were going to go that route it should have been done in the first movie. I did enjoy the new look, but there were parts where I was hard pressed not to laugh. This incarnation does not have any kind of love interest for Blaze, and frankly I think that was a wise decision on the movie makers part. Instead, he ends up aiding the mother of the devil child in a very maniacally protective manner. This allowed them to bring out Cage’s manic side, which I have always enjoyed. The scene where the Rider is struggling to get out while Blaze is attempting to interrogate a bad guy, is the best and awesomely acted instance of this.

So, long about when we catch up with Blaze, he’s off wallowing in his black curse from the Devil, with no real prospects or methods of saving in sight. He’s acknowledged the Rider, but is still desperate to get rid of it, for reasons I frankly don’t understand, because without that we really wouldn’t have a movie. We go on. There is a boy out there who turns out to be the literal son of the Devil, it’s another one of those Pact deals with his mother and Ole Splitfoot, and once he’s ready, the boy will become a perfect physical vessel for the Devil to incarnate into. This is more or less the plot of the movie, with only a few details thrown in to give it flavor. Which is fine with me, all the badass imagery and fighting and soul-sucking scenes don’t really need a whole long tiring explanation behind them. Ghost Rider is sent after the boy, because of course he’s uniquely suited to finding the kid, reminding me rather of Spawn. (The cartoon, not the movie.) Of course, long about the climactic scene point, where the Bad Guys have the boy and are well on their way to fulfilling prophecy, Blaze has supposedly managed to actually rid himself of his Rider. This doesn’t help matters, and to me, rather muddies what little plot there is unnecessarily. If Johnny Blaze could get rid of his Rider all that easily, the Devil and his Pacts have a lot less of a threat than people espouse they do. Anyhow, I won’t give the ending away, other than to say there’s plenty of room open for a sequel. I will wonder though, if the third incarnation of Ghost Rider will undergo yet another radical transformation of the skull and vehicle style, and wonder what that style will be now.

Nicholas Cage stars as Johnny Blaze, best choice for keeping the guy who played Ghost Rider in the first movie at least. Violante Placido, of nothing I’ve ever heard of, plays Nadya the mother of the Devil boy. Ciaran Hinds, of Phantom of the Opera and John Carter and many other films fame, is Roarke, also known as the Devil himself. Idris Elba, of Luther and Thor fames, plays Moreau, the asinine but useful priest on the run aid with Blaze. And Fergus Riordan, of Fragile fame, is Danny the Devil boy.

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