Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

Ghost-Rider_SoVIf this sequel had any balls, they’d take the reins of Johnny Blaze and hand the character over to someone talented like Idris Elba. At least then there’d be an interesting angle to this wretched sequel to a painfully mediocre movie that barely anyone remembers. Nicolas Cage once again proves he has no business being in film, reclaiming the role of Johnny Blaze, the balding mid-fifties biker who was cursed as Ghost Rider after making a deal with the devil. In case you didn’t know that, there’s five minutes of bad exposition along with Cage narration explaining the entire mythology of the Rider and what he does in particular, cue terrible animation. Most of the time during the opening animation, Cage sounds like even he doesn’t take this garbage seriously, and spend most of it making light of what is supposed to be a terrifying and mystifying character in the comic book universe.

He even makes mention that the Rider will suck the souls of any sinner, including anyone who illegally downloads. Look out you heavy guys in Wisconsin downloading a cam of the new Tyler Perry movie, the Rider is coming for your ass! To balance out the sheer horrors of what Nicolas Cage calls acting, Idris Elba is cast as plot device man, another fellow biker who seeks out Johnny Blaze and promises to lift the curse. What’s the new quest of Ghost Rider? Why, reclaiming a powerful child who may hold the fate of the world in his hands, of course! What an original premise! Ghost Rider for the most part is turned in to a joke, who spends most of his time rampaging in the most outrageous ways and is tossed around and blown up by his enemies like a Looney Tunes episode.

Any chance of the character redeeming himself and retaining his dignity and mystique is destroyed once Nic Cage is able to tear up the scenery with his horrific acting, that segues in to barely interesting flaming skull effects that fail to breathe any life in to the character of the rider. The Rider for the most part is a secondary character, playing second banana to the likes of Idris Elba who, even with the horrible French accent, is able to out act Nic Cage and the CGI without even flinching. The character is only introduced twenty minutes in to the movie after an almost endless series of exposition and filler, and rarely is able to keep an interesting screen presence. The character itself is a one dimensional prop used to be bounced around and engage in pretty dull action sequences that never quite inject the persona with charisma or appeal that kept it relevant for so many years in the comics.

The plot involving the anti-christ and Satan’s cult is convoluted and altogether derivative, and in the end, I just didn’t give two squats about anything happening before my eyes. Ghost Rider has plenty of potential to be an exciting and wonderful Gothic action horror character. This sequel and its predecessor fail not only as adaptations but as entertainment, and films, period. I’ve given up expecting any good Ghost Rider movies so long as Nic Cage continues taking part in the films. “Spirit of Vengeance” is yet another craptacular offering from Nic Cage who brings an entertaining character like Ghost Rider down with him in a schlocky, derivative, and incredibly ridiculous sequel.