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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
BLU-RAY disk
06.25.2012 By: Jason Adams
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance order
Director:
Neveldine/Taylor

Actors:
Nicolas Cage
Idris Elba
Ciaran Hinds

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In attempt to protect those he loves from his dark alter ego, Johnny Blaze is trying to live a solitary life in Eastern Europe. That solitude doesn’t last long, however, when Ghost Rider is tasked with protecting a young woman and her son—who may or may not be the progeny of the Devil himself.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Man, I had high hopes for this movie. I love the CRANK flicks and the complete insanity (and likely narcotics) that fuels directors Neveldine/Taylor. They seemed like the perfect people to do Ghost Rider justice after the utter blandness of the first film. Even the sizzle reel they brought to last year’s Comic Con looked awesome. Sadly though, the final product is nowhere near in line with all the fun and creativity suggested.

The directing duo does what they can to spice up what is a truly terrible, lacking script. The idea of Ghost Rider working for the Church or some religious group to help stop evil is an interesting one, but what writers Scott M. Gimple and Seth Hoffman turned in is a boring retread of so many other already cliché stories. Out of all the possible Ghost Rider tales you could tell, seeing the flaming skull look after a mother and son is not even in the Top 50. And the whole thing feels more like a rushed first draft than something that should’ve gone in front of a camera.

Even with terrible writing, GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE still sort of feels like a Neveldine/Taylor movie, what with the constantly moving camera, kinetic hyper-style and blaring rock music. But the filmmakers take the comic book character in an even more cartoony direction than the first film. (Even if the Rider effects look 500% more realistic.) It definitely doesn’t take itself seriously, which might be its one saving grace. Unfortunately, almost all the cool things the movie has to offer—insane shots, big action moments and fire pissing—are all shown in the trailer. It’s like the studio only gave them the budget for five awesome moments and they completely blew their wad early on.

I will say this—Nicolas Cage completely embraces the character and the inherent silliness this time around. His performance is borderline batshit, with random dancing, “mad scientist” moments of insanity, and lines like “You’re the devil’s baby mama!” If there’s any enjoyment from GHOST RIDER 2, it most likely comes from Cage at his Cagiest. And that’s in spite of the decent talent that joins him, most of whom are given nothing to do, like Idris Elba (who’s still not sure which accent he was using), Ciaran Hinds as a dreadfully boring devil, and even Christopher Lambert as a tattooed monk. Like the movie itself, it’s such a waste.
THE EXTRAS
Video Commentary: Neveldine/Taylor assault you via PiP screen as you watch the movie, sharing stories from the filming, insight in to the story and even showing off their aggressive style. It’s a light, fun watch.

The Path to Vengeance: For a movie that didn’t do gangbusters at the box office, I wasn’t expect a feature length documentary amongst the bonus materials. But here you get multiple featurettes chronicling the various aspects of production, totally 90 minutes. The result is almost more entertaining than the movie itself. There’s breaking the story, pre-production, shooting, special effects and final release. Most entertaining is the production-oriented one, which shows just how nuts Neveldine/Taylor and Nic Cage are. (The directors went location scouting and randomly decided to get out the camera and make that the first day of principal photography.

Deleted Scenes: There’s about 10 minutes of extra drama that doesn’t work, some forced comedy and a nifty bit that shows Johnny Blaze in mid-transformation.

An Ultraviolet digital copy is also included.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I never expected a Neveldine/Taylor flick to be boring, let alone one that stars a flaming skull, but GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE’s script is bad enough to drag it down. If you’re a Marvel or Nic Cage completest, it might be worth a view for curiosity’s sake, but I’m having a hard time even recommending it for that.

Extra Tidbit: If you’re a Pink Floyd fan, you may notice Neveldine/Taylor recreating the cover to “Wish You Were Here” in a quick cutaway during the movie.
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