Ghost Rider - Spirit Of Vengeance: "The Rider's Gonna Come Out. And When He Does, He'll Destroy Whoever's Got It Coming"

Director: Neveldine/Taylor
Writer:    David S.Goyer
               Scott Gimple
               Seth Hoffman
Starring: Nicolas Cage
               Fergus Riordan
               Ciaran Hinds
               Violante Placido
               Idris Elba
               Christopher Lambert
               Johnny Whitworth
Rating:    **

Release Date: Out Now 

Let's kick this off with me saying I've never actually seen the first one, but judging from trailers and the countless reviews I'm guessing it was pretty poor. So to me, that means there probably wasn't a big cry for a sequel to be made, yet here we are with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The sequel is, in my opinion, pretty awful, but judging from the online response it is a slight improvement on it's predecessor. 

So, we catch up with stunt motorcyclist Johnny (Cage) in a remote location where he has been trying to stop himself from transforming into into Ghost Rider. However, an lively monk (Elba) manages to find him and gently pushes Johnny into helping him prevent a young boy from falling into The Devil's (Hinds) clutches. Along with the irritating brat's mother (Placido), they hit the road and encounter many random and pointless battles, that just seem to follow one another in a chain, before an anti-climactic ending that's completely lacking originality.

I guess it is fair for me to say that the first half is better than the second, mainly because it features, quite heavily, Mr Cage flipping out alot and a rather dynamic use of the good old hand held camera. It is when we shift into the second half where it all goes a bit tits up, the script begins to lose track, runs out of ideas, and slowly gives up on itself. Which then of course leads into some god awful set pieces and some boring, and kind of predictable story developments, nearer the end of the film.

The actors do an alright job, and the performances given by Cage, Elba and Pacido just about manage to find the right tone for this type of movie. It is clear that they are having to work hard to produce a sense of urgency by steering clear of melodrama, but sometimes they fail and sometimes they try too hard. Admittedly, there is always something quite fun and zany about watching Nicolas Cage work, I don't know what it is he is jus too darn quirky.

The biggest problem for me was that Ciaran Hinds is never used to his full potential. The film never allows him to  do his thing, whether it's the script or the direction or both, I don't know but it is an terrible shame. If he had had the chance, it still wouldn't have been enough to move past the cliched villain nature of the role, as he has little to do apart from scowl and exude that feeling of evil. 

As much as it pains me to say, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, wasn't a complete disaster. It sets up the premise well, and really does use Nicolas Cage's full acting potential, and they allow him to really go for it. Unfortunately, unlike their burning star, the script soon fizzles out as it loses it's creativness and eventually just wraps up as soon as it can. I really hope this franchise is left to die now, because even though this was just about tolerable, I don't want to sit through another one, and I don't feel it's fair that anyone else should have to either.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Trailer