'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' Shockya.com Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
Directors: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, credited as Neveldine/Taylor (‘Crank,’ ‘Gamer’)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds (‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,’ ‘The Woman in Black’) and Idris Elba
Comic book heroes are often synonymous with self-loathing or conflict, questioning of their own purpose and desire to rid the world of those who wronged them and plan to harm the rest of the world. Their misfortunes, combined with their proven track record of stopping the evil that plagues mankind and impressive stunts and visual effects, usually guarantee success on screen.
Unfortunately, the new ‘Ghost Rider’ sequel, ‘Spirit of Vengeance,’ based on the Marvel Comic of the same name, fails to follow in the shoes of other successful movie follow-ups, such as ‘The Dark Knight’ and Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man 2.’ ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,’ much like its predecessor, includes uninspired acting, scarce plot points and unimpressive stunts.
‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ follows Johnny Blaze (played by Nicolas Cage), as he continues to struggle with his curse of being the Devil’s bounty hunter, the Ghost Rider. Rebel monk Moreau (portrayed by Idris Elba) asks Johnny to help save Danny (played by Fergus Riordan), the son of the Devil (portrayed by Ciaran Hinds), on the eve of his 13th birthday. If Johnny is able to deliver Danny to the secret sect Moreau is part of, and help prevent the Devil from taking control of his body, the monk will take away the curse of being the Ghost Rider.
But Johnny also faces the obstacles set by Ray Carrigan (played by Johnny Witworth), the ex-boyfriend of Danny’s mother, Nadya (portrayed by Violante Placido), who’s working for the Devil. Ray is ultimately turned into the demon Blackout by the Devil, in an effort to be given the strength to fight Ghost Rider. Despite the struggles he faces against the Devil and Blackout, Johnny is determined to defeat them both in order to save Danny, no matter what the cost.
‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ had the potential to create a more cohesive plot-line than its predecessor, as David S. Goyer, the screenwriter of ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight,’ co-wrote the script. The scribe has proven his value and skills in creating in-depth, suspenseful stories for films based comic books, and could have done the same for ‘Ghost Rider.’ But Goyer and his co-writers, Scott M. Gimple and Seth Hoffman, failed to create any motivations for any of the characters in the sequel.
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