by Rick Grant
The idea that Nicolas Cage could burst into flames while riding a burning motorcycle appealed to me, since I’m really not a fan of Cage’s body of work. Nevertheless, this Grade-B biker film does have some merit as a guilty pleasure.
In Spirit of Vengeance, Cage’s Blaze is enlisted by a mysterious Holy Man Moreau (Idris Elba) to stop the Devil –Roarke (Ciaran Hinds) from converting a young boy into himself. Yeah, the script gets murky during all the blazing stunts. However, the sight of that conflagration on two wheels, with the Ghost Rider’s blazing skull spewing fire like a flame thrower, is rather exciting.
Blaze signed a contract with Lucifer to be his disciple. But this time he’s got the holy man’s juice, so he turns into a crusader for good, blatantly breaking his contract with Satan.
Well folklore says It’s not nice to screw over the Dark Lord. So, Blaze is a marked man. He either completes his mission to save the boy, or he’s toast–literally. So with the Holy Man shadowing Blaze, he’s headed for the desert to find a monastery, that is sheltering the boy.
Fans of the first film will be pleased that Ghost Rider’s skull FX are much more refined and cooler than in the first film. Also, note that Blaze’s burnt-to-a-cinder leather jacket and gloves are a nice touch. Of course, his bike has taken a beating from the flames as well.
Harley riders will bemoan the fact that the bike is not a Harley Davidson. “Damn rice rockets should burn in hell” is their mantra. Although before the bike got burned to a crisp, I think it was a Bugatti–a high quality Italian machine.
Still, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor’s special visual effects are brilliant, creating the illusion that the Devil controls the evil spirit of Blaze. Ghost Rider’s nemesis, Ray Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth) makes an appearance to stir up more trouble for flaming Johnny. But when you’re riding a tricked out bike engulfed in flames and can fire a flame thrower from your skull, no one is going to mess with you.
Sure, there is a market for this type of film, and Cage knows how to hit his mark and do his job, which is to make more money. I can’t criticize him for that motivation. After all, he has four or five mansions to maintain and can’t sell.
Ghost Rider:Spirit Of Vengeance Movie Review
by Rick Grant