Dir. Mark Nevaldine & Brian Taylor
“This thing... There's got no conscience, just hunger. The Rider's gonna come out. And when he does, he'll destroy whoever's got it coming.”
Not much can prepare you for this crazy follow up to 2007's ‘Ghost Rider’ (which wasn’t much cop but made a respectable $237,702,59 worldwide). Nicolas Cage must be as surprised as anyone to get the chance to return as Marvel’s darkest hero - Johnny Blaze – a guy possessed by a flame headed demonic entity called ‘The Rider’.
So Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a kind of reboot of the franchise, bringing in the hit directors of the Crank movies and looking to bring some more frenetic, darker action to the big screen, this time in really unnecessary 3D.
"MANIC CAGE ALERT!!"
Plotwise we’re in Eastern Europe where it seems that the devil going under the name Rourke (Ciarán Hinds) is up to no good and trying to trade in his aging body for a younger model. The boy who is the dark lord’s target is his son Danny (Fergus Riordan) whose mother Nadya (Violante Placido) is doing all she can to keep him away from his evil dad.
Also on hand are a renegade monk named Moreau (Idris Elba) who is also trying to save the boy and badass gunslinger Corrigan (Johnny Whitworth) who sides with the devil to try and obtain the boy for him.
Cue a loud, silly, good-looking adventure – shot through with jump cut cinematography and random action sequences. Sure it’s flashy stuff but it doesn’t make much sense or engage very much. The best thing about it is the manic energy of Cage who hasn’t been this mental on camera since his twitch-em-up Wicker Man performance.
There are a couple of memorable scenes including a fun road based vehicle attack / chase and a spiritually charged communion where Johnny Blaze tries to save his cursed soul. Corrigan is briefly bumped up to be a super baddie who can corrupt anything he touches which makes eating tricky as his food crumbles to mouldy dust before it gets to his mouth (apart from an indestructible Twinky).
"If the Twisted Metal film isn't better than Ghost Rider 2 - it will be a crime!"
Spirit of Vengeance really isn’t a classic addition to the superhero cannon and is unlikely to be fondly remembered by many – it’s a quick stupid blast of dark tinged action with a license for Cage to go absolutely nuts in his patented overacting masterclass.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
2 – Odd and manic doesn't equal great, anyway you look at it!?
Awesomeness öö – Cage is so far OTT it almost rocks
Laughs ööö – the acting is funny
Horror ööö – vaguely demonic goings on aren't pretty
Babes ööö – Violante Placido is hot
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – redemption theme figures hard
"But maybe never again..."