Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Review


"Ghost Rider" always looked to me like some kind of "Spawn" rip-off. I was always a much much bigger Spawn fan. I never really liked the general concept of that the "Ghost Rider". Sure, he does look cool. But other than that? Is there something memorable about him as a character or his personality? I don't think so. And boy does it show in the first "Ghost Rider" movie from 2007. The first movie was very bland, forgettable and unimaginative. You can easily compare it to other superhero movie flops like "Fantastic Four".
Well, the first trailers for the sequel "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" (Ghost Rider 2) showed a new design for the Rider himself. He looked more serious and more agressive with his gritty black skull and trashed old bike. The action scenes looked pretty okay as well and not too over-the-top. And what about the character himself? Does he at least get more interesting than before?



The plot:
As Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form.

The movie's plot is extremely thin. "Ghost Rider 2" seems to start right in the middle of the story with a very rushing pace and mostly ignores everything that's happened in the first movie. The character of the Rider comes over extremely comical. Even in fights he acts like a troll all the time and rarely makes "cool" use of his powers. Additionaly, the rider has some weird lines about his morals and goals "Everybody has done something evil. Maybe even you illegally downloaded something." WTF?! Next thing the Rider tells us that he's working for SOPA!

Anyway, the plot about him rescuing a boy from the devil is pulled right out of fucking nowhere and not explained where what why how! It's just thrown at you to have an excuse for cool fights. The exposition is a disaster.
And as you can guess up till now, the Rider doesn't get a character improvement. Instead, they manage to make him even dumber!

You can see that the movie WANTS to be totally ludacris. You can tell that the makers of the "Crank" movies put their handwriting all over this sequel with their completely bonkers characters, performances, editing and music. Only problem is: "Crank" is a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously --> so it works. "Ghost Rider 2" tries to be both, serious but then also nuts ---> doesn't work. At least not with this kind of material.

Nicolas Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider and manages to yet again reach a career lowpoint. Cage recently has become infamous for his weird and very bad acting performances in some stinkers like "The Wicker Man" and "Drive Angry". I don't know what he's smoking or if he delibaretly WANTS to act in such crap movies. Maybe it's meant to be one of the great unsolved mysteries of mankind. However, Cage's acting in "Ghost Rider 2" can barely be called acting. It feels like he is really forcing those bad acting scenes like he wants people to make fun of him. Unfortunately, it looks more pathetic than entertainingly trashy. 90% of every line that Cage utters results in a lunatic out of context laughter. It's just plain silly and not funny in the least.
It's just a shame because Nic Cage CAN act! Just watch "Leaving Las Vegas" or "Adaptation"!

The rest of the cast is barely worth mentioning. Due to the fact that there's absolutely no character development in this movie, you won't give two fucking shits about either one of the characters. As a whole, the other performances are most fittingly described as "wooden" and "clichee".

The dialogue is equally as uninvolving. It's just filler for the next action scene to take place. And following the fact that you don't care about any character in the movie, you don't care what they have to say either.

The effects are a mixed bag. Mostly i think that the effects in "Ghost Rider 2" are a big improvement upon the cheesy over-the-top effects of the first one. But except the fact that the rider AND the bike look better now, there are scenes in which the effects look pretty good and then there are others in which they look embarrassingly lousy. Especially the Rider's new habit of fighting in "superfast" twilight-vampire-like stutter movements showcase the worst parts of the effects.
The CGI looks best when the Rider is shown in broad daylight (meaning the very last scene of the movie -.-).
But to be fair, the more serious grungy dirty approach of the Rider is probably the only good thing and good change compared to the first movie.

Regarding what a big mess this sequel is, there are far not enough action scenes to make it worthwhile. After having watched the movie, i can only think of TWO real action scenes.....for such a movie that's a shame. Plus, those action scenes are quite boring to look at, considering that the Rider doesn't really use his powers the way you want him to. The only entertaining scene is the final chase. But it's not good enough to justify sitting through this shitty movie.

All in all, "Ghost Rider 2" is pretty much a giant unfocused slapped together mess of a movie. A basically invisible plot, dull characters and another horrible loony Cage performance complete this additional nail to Nic Cage's coffin. There isn't even enough cool action that could've outweighed the cons!
I never had that high hopes for this movie, but i also never expected it to be this bad. The cooler looking design of the Rider is the only bright spot on this complete waste of time called "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance".


Final Verdict: 1 out of 10

 

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