Reviews

Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance

2

More damp squib than blaze of glory

Whether you’re trading your soul for your Dad’s life or just another fat pay cheque and a name above the poster, deals with the devil are never a good idea.

It’s been five years since stunt rider Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) signed on the bloody line and became Beelzebub’s flaming-biker bounty hunter. Sniffing out evil and sucking the souls out of bad guys whenever his head catches on fire, Blaze finally wants rid of his cursed vigilante alter ego.

A visit from Idris Elba’s mad monk convinces him that salvation lies in rescuing a creepy child from the clutches of Ciarán Hinds’ scenery-munching Satan and he sets off for Eastern Europe’s cheapest shooting locations to set things right.

Helmed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (purveyors of Crank’s glorious X-rated opera of silliness) Ghost Rider’s second road trip is less the rollicking highway to hell it could have been, and more like the bargain bin of a motorway service station.

Burdened with a saggy midriff that spends far too much time milling about with monks, the film goes flatter than its own post-conversion 3D.

Thankfully, Nicolas Cage is just as multi-dimensional as anybody could ever hope for. Oddly humourless, one of the dullest Marvel adaps still manages to be frequently hilarious thanks to Cage’s wide-eyed, twitchy masterclass in overacting.

Looking like a middle-aged man on a permanent acid trip, his banshee scream of “I’ll eat your stinking soul!” is destined for YouTube greatness on the second volume of ‘Nicolas Cage losing his shit’. Elba and Hinds do their bizarre best to keep up, but they’re both held back by too many years of subtlety and restraint.

A handful of lustreless FX showdowns are used as so-so bookends, but without the Western kookiness and half as much hot-chain-whipping action, it somehow manages to make the 2007 original look pretty good. Not for nothing is the most memorable moment doused in a stream of flaming piss…

Verdict:

Funny in all the wrong places and long at 95 minutes. Cage might be on fine psychotic form, but the flaming skull barely manages a sizzle this time around.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • ChrisWootton

      Feb 17th 2012, 12:13

      Ha love the line: and he sets off for Eastern Europe’s cheapest shooting locations to set things right.. that's exactly what I thought when I watched the trailer on the big screen. Looks awful

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    • Kingkane

      Feb 17th 2012, 12:21

      Ahhh KingofCinema back again are we?

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    • EddieFelson

      Feb 17th 2012, 12:24

      Looks no better than the 1st, which in my opinion was terrible, I will still watch it but probably just the once I should imagine.

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    • FBMBurgess

      Feb 17th 2012, 13:05

      LMAO @ dalidab - definitely the over-reaction of the week! (and this in a week that saw total strangers mourning the loss of a crack-addicted singer)

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    • writerdave87

      Feb 17th 2012, 14:36

      I have a feeling I'll probably enjoy this regardless as I do love to watch Nic Cage just going f*****g mental, but I reckon two stars is sadly probably still about right. Then again, I will watch pretty much anything with Cage in it.

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    • Ali1748

      Feb 17th 2012, 18:03

      Disappointing, I thought the inclusion of the Crank directors might have spiced it up a little.

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    • marc96

      Feb 17th 2012, 18:05

      i think i might enjoy it but wont be spending money to see it in the cinema

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    • LSJShez

      Feb 18th 2012, 18:20

      What the hell happened here! I went in with massive hopes for this - The nutcases behind Crank, Cage let off the leash, improved effects, Ciaran Hinds looking the part. None of it did a thing. Inferior to the original in every thing bar maybe effects. The 3D was an extra £1.50 robbed from me, the set-pieces sucked, Elba was wasted, hell, that stare he does wasn't as cool. I prayed for Sam Jackson to turn up to save it, although I knew he wouldn't. Trash.

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    • writerdave87

      Feb 20th 2012, 0:12

      Er... what? Dalidab you are a f*****g hypocrite, I've seen you rant for pages about how c**p a film is going to be based off one single leaked photograph. You write off entire films because you don't care for one single cast member. You decide films are going to be incredible just because they have some handsome teenage boy or Milla bloody Jojovitch here, and now you're going to tell people (the reviewers have seen the film btw), not to judge it until they've seen it? Jesus you're beyond retarded, I'm amazed you don't spend your entire time concentrating on remembering to breath in and out.

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    • jaykays hat

      Feb 20th 2012, 8:58

      Haywire 3 stars and this film 2 stars? Should have been the other way around.

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    • badger86

      Feb 20th 2012, 13:11

      Seen it, TF (and many many others) were right, denofgeek were very wrong. It was s**t, not really any better or worse than the first imo, just s**t. @dalidab - your pre judgeing film, assuming it will be great without having watched the film. I also recall you deriding 'The Woman' (an amazing film) for being misogynistic (it isn't, quite the opposite actually) without having seen a single frame of the movie. Idiot.

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    • writerdave87

      Feb 25th 2012, 4:04

      bet it's still s**t.

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    • MikeyRix

      Feb 25th 2012, 12:50

      @TheKingofCinema An old proverb about casting stones springs to mind...

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    • ChrisWootton

      Mar 1st 2012, 15:18

      I think it's as good as the film

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    • HotelDetective

      Mar 9th 2012, 8:11

      This film is better than the first Ghost Rider, simply because it is not boring like the first one was. Spirit of Vengeance is a bad movie, but only in that it fails at its goals. It is funny when it is trying to have any serious moment at all; in no small part due to the acting of Nick Cage. It does, however, provide a very amusing experience. Anyone who subscribes to the "so bad it's good" mentality will get real enjoyment out of this movie. Anyone who is a fan of Cage's overacting or just over the top silliness in general should definitely watch Spirit of Vengeance. Honestly, the movie delivered everything it promised in the trailer. Anyone who saw this know exactly what to expect. http://www.videodetective.com/movies/ghost-rider-spirit-of-vengeance/727998

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