Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

ghost rider spirit of vengeance poster 2012 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some neat effects

Bad story, poor acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance

Studio:  Marvel Knights

Genre(s):  Superhero/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  December 11, 2011 (Austin Butt-Numb-A-Thon)/February 17, 2012 (wide release)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

ghost rider spirit of vengeance nicolas cage special effects

The Ghost Rider is back! …but do we care?

Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is on the run and trying to bury the demon inside of him.  When a woman named Nadya Ketch (Violante Placido) and her son Danny (Fergus Riodan) are targeted by Roarke (Ciarán Hinds), Ghost Rider must rise!  Mephistopheles needs Danny for a ritual, and Johnny aided by Nadya and Moreau (Idris Elba) must keep one step ahead of Roarke and his men, or the world will pay.

Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance is a Marvel Comics action-adventure film presented in 2D and 3D versions.  A follow-up to Ghost Rider in 2007, the movie was released to negative reviews but a solid box office return.  The film was nominated for Razzies for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel and Worst Actor (Nicolas Cage also for Seeking Justice).

Ghost Rider wasn’t a good movie.  It had its moments and Nicolas Cage being Nicolas Cage made it halfway watchable.  The second film is largely a stand-alone, added a lot of special effects, and forgot to add a story.

ghost rider spirit of vengeance blackout johnny whitworth

Don’t you like my 1990s grunge look…in 2012

The movie is a “protect the child” movie which half-way introduces the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider character of the 1990s.  The movie has a few chase scenes and added the nice effect of Ghost Rider utilizing things other than a motorcycle (mining tools, trucks, etc.).  The film ends in a rather lack-luster showdown with a less than interesting villain…any momentum the first film had was lost in this sequel.

Nicolas Cage is Nicolas Cage and his does his “I’m crazy” scenes like normal.  Since this is the standard Nicolas Cage of this period, the movie doesn’t have a lot of “new” stretches for the actor and the oddity of the character from the first film becomes annoying.  He’s backed up by less than stellar characters (no fault of the actors), but the movie isn’t as much of a vehicle for Cage as the first movie.  Blackout (played by Johnny Whitworth) just isn’t a compelling villain to be Ciarán Hinds’ backup.

ghost rider spirit of vengeance peeing scene

I think probably the biggest complaint people have about the MCU and the first Ghost Rider is not enough peeing scenes…problem solved

The special effects feel ramped-up.  The original Ghost Rider had the traditional white skull, but this film goes for a dirtier and grittier Ghost Rider.  It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the movie is so loaded with CGI that it feels like the Ghost Rider has no substance.  Plus, you get a shot of the Ghost Rider peeing fire…twice.

Ghost Rider is a character that was a product of the 1970s and then he was a product of 1990s.  It is a tricky character to nail down and getting the mix of horror and action is tricky…and it definitely shouldn’t be PG-13.  Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance was the last film in the Ghost Rider series and the rights to the character reverted back to Marvel from Columbia Pictures.  The character resurfaced as the Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—Season 4, and there has been talk of a return to the MCU film series.

Related Links:

Ghost Rider (2007)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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