Ghost Rider back for another trip

Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. - Submitted photo
Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Johnny Blaze is back in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

In 2007’s Ghost Rider, we learned that Blaze (Nicolas Cage) became the Rider after making a deal with the devil. In exchange for his dad’s cancer being cured, Blaze must become Satan’s bounty hunter, dispatching evil-doers. As with all contracts inked in blood, the fine print kills. At the end of the first movie, the Devil returns and offers Blaze freedom from his curse. Blaze refuses, claiming he will use his powers for good.

Now it’s five years later and not only is Blaze not fighting at all, he’s hiding in some ramshackle eastern European town, trying not to go insane (too late) Through no fault of his own, he stumbles upon a plot to kidnap a young boy meant to be the new anti-Christ. The Rider could have gotten out of this rotten deal at the end of the first movie but didn’t. So he has to spend another whole film trying to escape his curse and we have to watch it. We say, see it if you liked the original.

TAYLOR: It seems when a director makes a comic book movie, he asks all his actors to take it over the top. Still, the weird camera angles and frenetic pace made the film leaner and meaner than the first.

HOWE: Why, oh why, did they bother making this into a 3D movie? But the bigger question is, why did they bother making it all?

TAYLOR: I agree that the 3D seemed to be an afterthought. It certainly wasn’t necessary. However, I think there is a market for this film. The first Ghost Rider sold a lot of tickets and this film is better than the first.

HOWE: That doesn’t make it good. I love my comic book and superhero movies, if they are made well. This isn’t. Yes there are the chases, the explosions, the fights and the good against evil factor, but it feels stale. I thought movies like this are meant to make us feel like we are on a roller coaster, not a snoozer coaster. Yawn, is it over yet?

TAYLOR: Well, there was a section in the middle, after the obligatory betrayal of our hero’s trust,  where the action seemed to be of no consequence. An audience member coming into this film without having seen the first, despite being adequately informed of our hero’s predicament, simply couldn’t give two hoots — myself included. But fans will like it.

Howe gives Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance one flaming skull out of five. Taylor gives it 1.5 mad monks out of five.

Brian Taylor and Peter How are movie reviewers living in the Okanagan.

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