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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: Fun Action Film About a Deranged Demon

  • Ciarán HindsIdris Elba...
  • Action & AdventureFantasy...
  • Brian TaylorMark Neveldine
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: Fun Action Film About a Deranged Demon

The devil, who, in his human manifestation, goes by the name Roarke
(Hinds), has ordered his henchmen to kidnap a young boy named Danny (Riordan).
This boy, who happens to be his son, is instrumental to a rite that has to be
performed by a certain time and, if successful, will grant Roarke a stronger
body; one that can better withstand his powers instead of his feeble human one.
A monk named Moreau (Elba) strikes a deal with Johnny Blaze (Cage), a man who
had sold his soul to the devil turning him into Ghost Rider. Deliver the boy to
his temple, where they can avert the coming evil, before the rite takes place
and he’ll rid Johnny of the demon possessing his body and give him back his
soul.

The latest in an avalanche of films based on Marvel characters, Ghost Rider owes its visual style more
to video games than to comic books, particularly whenever Ghost Rider is on
screen rolling up on his blazing motorbike, jangling his chains about and
sucking out people’s souls with his fiery skull. However, as fun as Ghost Rider’s
appearance is, Cage is even more entertaining.  

Ghost Rider is kind of like the Hulk in that once transformed, he turns
into a single minded agent of destruction. But where Hulk says smash, Ghost
Rider sucks out all the souls in the vicinity. These characters, when in their
human forms, do their utmost to keep their alter egos from breaking out and
wreaking havoc. Johnny Blaze wrestles with his dark side and does his best to
stay out of people’s way, so when Moreau offers him the chance to get rid of
the thing plaguing him, he jumps at it with no qualms whatsoever.

Manic, unhinged Nicholas Cage is always a delight. He does psychotic
like no other and can swing between deranged murderer and tortured hero with
ease. The scenes where Johnny visibly battles to keep Ghost Rider from bursting
out of him offer him the chance to be the most demented version of him he’s
ever been. It’s pretty riveting stuff. Combined with Elba’s campy, French-accented,
drunken monk and Hinds’ awesomely evil, manipulative devil and you have a film
that doesn’t take itself seriously at all and is all the more fun for it.

Ghost Rider is
perfectly tailored to teenage boys. Case in point, there’s a recurring joke in
there about Ghost Rider’s pee being like a flamethrower. There are also some
pretty cool motorbike tricks and bazookas galore. The film would really have
been taken to the next level though had it been scored to actual rock songs
instead of an instrumental rock score. Motorhead maybe? It’s just that a
leather-clad demon who zooms by on his blazing motorbike trailing smoke, fire
and destruction in his wake and looks like something straight out of a tattoo
artist’s imagination deserves to be paired with similarly epic music. Either
way, Ghost Rider was a lot more fun than
expected.

Like This? Try

Iron Man, Captain America, The Dark Knight

360 Tip

Spirit of Vengeance is more of a reboot than a sequel. You don’t have to have seen the first Ghost Rider film to get this one and in fact, the only thing they have in common is Nicholas Cage. 

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