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Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Eric Schaen (02/20/2012)
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Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance ReviewPlot Summary
Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance catches up with the cursed stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze (Nic Cage) years after the first film, hiding out in Eastern Europe in an attempt to keep “The Rider” controlled. A warrior monk Moreau (Idris Elba), offers Blaze the chance to lift his curse in exchange for saving a young boy named Danny Ketch (Fergus Riordan) from becoming a vessel for the Devil (Ciaran Hinds). Jumping at the chance to free his soul, Johnny Blaze takes the deal and attempts to wield the power of Ghost Rider for one last ride.

Review
With a summer line up of comic book characters about to blow up the big screen, Ghost Rider feels a bit like an appetizer before the main dish. The 2007 film “Ghost Rider” already introduced us to the character and his origin. Some liked it, many did not. Ever since the trailer for Spirit of Vengeance hit the internet, there has been a buzz about the film potentially being better than the first. Now, admittedly I am not the biggest fan of the first film, although I will say it did have a few good moments here and there. GR: Spirit of Vengeance delivers a different experience that is better in some ways, but still lacking in others.

The films Director’s Neveldine & Taylor, who are known for their high adrenaline ‘Crank’ movies bring a great directing style to the fast pace chases and action sequences that are present throughout the film. The problem is what happens when there are no chases or objects being set on fire. At times their direction feels a bit flat and amateurish. They do try to make use of some of the more interesting locations in the film, but it comes off feeling a bit forced for cinematography sake.


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Your Comments:
Watched it, seems like they started over with the origin because it was almost nothing like the first one(the basic story is the same but completly different scene). However I liked this one better than the first one, the rider is more memerable. My sister watched this with me and the first one and she barely remembers the first but really liked this one.

Posted by: joe on 3/9/2012 8:25:33 PM
I plan on watching this solely because I haven't missed a comic ook movie in theatres scince spiderman one

Posted by: bio on 2/23/2012 8:59:02 PM
I watched this movie last night, and couldn't help but think I could do a better job writing-wise of bridging this movie to the last one while updating the feel.

Ghost Rider now changes during the day: I like that change, but all they had to do was a add an short explanation that the Ghost Rider is gaining in influence.

Ghost Rider now swallows souls instead of the penance stare: This change was unnecessary and they missed out on the chance for serious punishment graphics.

Ghost Rider has embraced his dual nature at the end of each movie, and yet we find him "on the run" and going insane at the beginning of this one: This could have been explained better with a montage of failed ventures.

Posted by: Kragnorak on 2/21/2012 9:42:52 AM
@lordoracle: I agree with you about the pick-and-choose nature of characters' origins in comic-based movies, but your Ultimate Spider-Man reference is off the mark. Even Ultimate Peter Parker invented his web-shooters (using some of his father's designs for the web fluid, if I recall); the organic web-shooters were Sam Raimi's call which got put INTO the 616 Spider-Man in "The Other." Now we're back to tech web-shooters, and allis right with the universe. :)

Posted by: talebearer on 2/20/2012 5:10:42 PM
@ Sir Christopher

It's one thing to alter the origin from the comic (which I understand the need to update it for the modern age). But when they ignore the origin THEY set in the first movie, that is where lies my problem.

As Dr. Silly pointed out, the Marvel movies are not using the Ulitmate universe origins, but they are using them as a base since they lend themselves to modern technology and understanding of things like radiation. In addition to Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, another thing from the Ultimate universe that they used was Spider-Man's organic web-shooters.

Posted by: lordoracle on 2/20/2012 4:01:13 PM
@ Sir Christopher

actually the movies are not based on the ultimates universe other than the use of sam jackson as Nick fury. They are simplu updated versions of the character borrowing from various sources.

Now you Know...

Posted by: Dr. Silly on 2/20/2012 1:26:17 PM
"lordoracle: ... The origin from the first was largely ignored, making it appear that he was already a stunt rider before his father died, not the unknown teenager from the first. They made Mephisto into a transitory entity, possessing bodies who had to rely on human transportation. In the first, he appeared where and when he wanted.

The story wasn't horrible, but the writing was. It seemed like they just threw away all but the base of the origin from the first.

I accept that they cannot do a true comic story because of background stories and such, but if they can at least keep the essence of the characters I'm ok with it. The portrayal of Johnny Blaze wasn't. The characterization of of Blaze as a pillhead was so far out there.

One thing I did like was the use of the new comic origin of the Rider."

Welcome to Hollywood Movies. Can't think of a Comic character that Hollywood ahs not changed or changed their origin. Granted I have not seen all of the Movies and realize that most of the latest Marvel movies are based on the Ultimates Universe (I never really cared for that Universe). The only one that I can remember they did not screw up were very old movies. Dr Strange, Punisher (Dalf Lengren)and the Movies from the 60's or earlier(Green Hornet, Batman, Etc)

Posted by: Sir Christopher on 2/20/2012 1:18:05 PM
Rider(greater than)Suckerpunch

Posted by: mycheda on 2/20/2012 10:08:10 AM
I'm sorry, I have to disagree. The first movie was better than this one. The cinematography of the Rider made him look mindless and a lot of his movements look like they were filmed using a strobe light w/o the light (choppy).

The origin from the first was largely ignored, making it appear that he was already a stunt rider before his father died, not the unknown teenager from the first. They made Mephisto into a transitory entity, possessing bodies who had to rely on human transportation. In the first, he appeared where and when he wanted.

The story wasn't horrible, but the writing was. It seemed like they just threw away all but the base of the origin from the first.

I accept that they cannot do a true comic story because of background stories and such, but if they can at least keep the essence of the characters I'm ok with it. The portrayal of Johnny Blaze wasn't. The characterization of of Blaze as a pillhead was so far out there.

One thing I did like was the use of the new comic origin of the Rider.

I'd have to give this 1 Skull (or half a Skull).

Posted by: lordoracle on 2/20/2012 8:56:59 AM