Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011) – The Idiot Box

I put off watching Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance because the only thing I would hear when it was spoken about was how much it sucked. I will agree that it wasn’t a great movie, but I’ve seen movies that were a lot worse and didn’t have anything going for it. Most of my problems with the movie come from how it was shot and edited, which is a pretty major thing to have issues with. There was the bones of a good story but everything that was put into making it into a movie made it a special combination of boring and flashy.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was directed by Neveldine/Taylor. It was written by Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, and David S. Goyer with story by Goyer. This is the last movie that Neveldine/Taylor did together. They made the Crank movies together, and they brought the same over they top frenetic energy to this. It didn’t mesh well with the character of Johnny Blaze or Ghost Rider. I found myself laughing at parts I shouldn’t because everything was so ridiculous. Gimple is a major player in the multiple Walking Dead series going on currently. Goyer has written a number of movies. Hoffman worked with Gimple on some shows. They all continued to work after this movie.

The cast is eclectic and random. Spirit of Vengeance stars Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth, Christopher Lambert, and Idris Elba. This is kind of Cage’s movie since he’s the only one returning from the first movie. He doesn’t go full Cage unless he’s supposed to be holding back the transformation into the Rider but most of the time, he’s an understated man as Johnny Blaze. Idris Elba gets to have a lot of fun as a drunk monk on a motorcycle. Whitworth gets to play two different versions of the same role, one maniacal then other over the top homicidal.

The plot of Spirit of Vengeance takes place eight years after the first movie. Johnny Blaze is in Romania hiding from everything and everyone. Also in Romania is a boy named Danny who is wanted by the devil. This is because his mother made a deal with the Devil and Danny is the son of the Devil. Blaze comes across Danny and his mother Nadya after Carrigan attacks them on the behest of the Devil. Blaze clashes with Carrigan multiple times, including after Carrigan gains supernatural powers. Blaze is offered a chance to get rid of his curse, which is why he can transform into the Ghost Rider.

One of the few high points of the movie is when Ghost Rider is on screen. There was a redesign for Ghost Rider to make him appear more on fire. This gave the skull more of a charred look and his riding outfit more of a bubbling melted look. The original look had a fresh skull and nonmelted leather outfit. The use of Ghost Rider in the action scenes is cool. It also feels like he’s out of place in an action movie because he feels more like something out of a horror movie. The music by David Sardy is pretty good. The score goes along well with the movie.

Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance is a mess of a movie. I can understand why this killed the franchise as a whole. Ghost Rider was used in Agents of SHIELD but it was a different version of the character. I hope that they can use one of the different versions of Ghost Rider in the MCU, because he’s such a visually interesting character that he needs to be seen. I watched the movie on HBO Max, but it leaves at the end of November. I give Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance a 4 possessed earth movers out of 10.

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