According to the Saturday Night Live skit “Get in the Cage, with Nicolas Cage,” “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” has the two classic elements of a Nicolas Cage movie. First, all the lines in the movie are either whispered or screamed, and second, everything in the movie is on fire.
The sequel takes place five years after the first, and Johnny Blaze is still attempting to control the curse placed upon him by the devil. He is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is contacted to help a secret sect of the Church asks him to help save a boy from the devil.
As it turns out, the boy is actually the son of the devil and is being hunted for to be a part of a ritual to ensure the devils continuing presence on earth. When Johnny Blaze encounters the mother of the boy, they set out to find the boy and save the world.
On their tails is a group of bounty hunters hired by the devil to retrieve the boy. What they didn’t count on was the Ghost Rider coming out. When Blaze’s greatest wish comes true, he comes to terms with what earth could be like without the Rider.
Throughout the film, the true nature of the Rider is revealed, that he is actually the Angel of Justice, who came to earth and became corrupted. Having realized the Rider’s necessity, Blaze attempts to reach the angel within the demon.
The movie was directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who also directed “Crank” and “Crank: High Voltage.” The effects of those two movies are reflected in “Spirit” and one aspect of the film that left some audience members puzzled was the use of cartoons at the beginning of the movie to introduce the story (and Idris Elba’s character Moreau being stuck in a tree).
The CGI is good enough, with the Rider’s head and his slinging people around on his chain providing some of the best action. When the Rider commandeers a giant piece of mining equipment and turns the scene into a fiery game of “Whack a Mole,” combined with his weird laughter provides a kick as well.
Nicolas Cage has been n some terrible movies lately, and “Spirit” is no different. The supporting cast was decent enough and it sure was fun to see Christopher Lambert of “Highlander” fame running around on the big screen again. “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” is a movie where thinking provides a headache when trying to follow the story too closely. All in all, this was not Marvel’s best investment compared to the “Avengers” set up.