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‘Ghost Rider’ burns out

March 2, 2012

Revenge is normally a dish best served cold, but in this movie vengeance is a dish best served burning hot.  From the collective genius of co-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor comes this fiery, bullet-riddled sequel to the 2007 superhero cinema classic, Ghost Rider.  Reprising his role as the eternally damned, titular superhero, Ghost Rider, Academy-Award winning actor Nicholas Cage does not disappoint in this action-packed motorcycle ride from the bowels of Hell. 

The story picks up after Cage’s character, Johnny Blaze (a.k.a. Ghost Rider) nobly throws himself into isolation to protect his family and friends back home whom he dearly loves.  This heavy burden leads Blaze, perhaps through serendipity, to Eastern Europe, where he is called upon again to unleash “the Rider” and to fight against evil yet again.  In this quest, Blaze finds himself using his ghastly powers to protect a young boy, Danny, (Fergus Riordan) destined to be the anti-Christ and his mother, Nadya (Violante Placido ), who is desperately trying to defend him from the Devil’s goons.  But there is a catch: If Blaze successfully saves the boy Danny, a group of dubious monks agrees to relieve him of the burden of “the Rider,” which Blaze desires more than anything else.

Now, even though this film was produced by one of Marvel’s subdivision companies, “Marvel Knights,” the film was not lacking in the special effects department.  The whole film has a really gritty, fast and grimy feel to it in contrast to the first movie.  This makes for a much darker film than the original.  For example, whereas the motorcycle Ghost Rider drove in the first movie was very clean and shiny, the motorcycle in this film is charred, worn down and dirty looking.  Also, whenever Blaze is in his Ghost Rider form, smoke billows from the top of his flaming skull and his leather jacket is constantly boiling.

The freezing point of this sizzling action flick is the subpar acting and the dreadful dialogue.  Nicholas Cage extinguishes this blazing roller coaster with such lines as, “I will eat your stinking soul,” or “I’m going to say yes!  Hell yes!”  There is also a really awkward part in the movie where Cage’s character flirts with a woman and blatantly says, “I’m flirting with you,” leaving the entire audience watching the film feeling really awkward. 

Despite Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance having lame dialogue, it still has a rather interesting and original story line to go with it.  With good special effects and cool action sequences, this film compensates for the aforementioned dialogue.  Overall, while this film is not an Oscar-worthy movie, it is still a flaming hot thrill ride that will rattle your very bones!

James Gascoin & Zach Monti
Contributing Writers

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