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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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The catalyst for the extermination of Marvel's own cinematic IPs that are not related to the MCU.
Genre: Action
Directed By: Mark Neveldine
Written By: Scott M. Gimple
Seth Hoffman
David S. Goyer
Starring: Nicolas Cage
Violante Placido
Ciarán Hinds
Idris Elba
Johnny Whitworth
Fergus Riordan
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures
Hyde Park Entertainment
Release Date: February 17, 2012
Runtime: 96 minutes
Country: United States
Prequel: Ghost Rider


Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a superhero film, directed by Mark Neveldine and written by Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, and David S. Goyer based on the character of Ghost Rider from Marvel Comics and a sequel to the 2007 film Ghost Rider. It features performances from Nicolas Cage, Violante Placido, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth, and Fergus Riordan. It was produced by Columbia Pictures and Hyde Park Entertainment and was released on February 17, 2012 by Columbia Pictures.

Plot

The plot focuses on Johnny Blaze (Cage), who has escaped his life in America to a life of seclusion in the Middle East. He is secretly the Ghost Rider, a demonic vigilante that appears in the presence of evil to fight and condemn evil souls back to Hell, despite not being an ally of the Devil (Hinds) who gave him these abilities. However, he is pulled back into the fray when a young mother (Placido) and her son Danny (Riordan), as well as a French priest named Moreau (Elba), seek his help, as the Devil and his followers are looking for Danny so that the Devil may move into him and create the Anti-Christ, all while Blaze confronts the demon inside of him and learns of its true nature and power.

Why It Steals Souls

  1. Similar to the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and Spider-Man, this was made so that Columbia Pictures would keep the rights for Ghost Rider and won't lose the character to Marvel Studios, but ended up what it is.
  2. Ghost Rider has been redesigned to have a jutting out lower jaw, less fire around his skull, and a burned-up look. The design from the previous film may not have very good CGI, but at least it still resembled Ghost Rider.
  3. Ghost Rider spends little time actually fighting, and instead stands in one place swaying back and forth for extended periods of time. In fact the Rider himself barely gets any screen time in this movie compared to the first film.
  4. When Ghost Rider does get ahold of a villain, he takes forever to do anything, and instead stares at them for extended periods of time before fighting. One could argue that Ghost Rider is using his Penance Stare on a villain but one couldn't easily tell that he's using it!
  5. Many poor quality scenes:
    • There is a scene where Blaze tries to resist turning into the Rider but fails, resulting in close-up shots of ridiculous CGI faces and expressions of him turning.
    • An awkward and incredibly unfunny scene when Danny asks Blaze how he uses the bathroom as the Rider, to which Blaze says that it is "like a flamethrower". The scene then cuts to a clip of the usually threatening and serious Ghost Rider urinating a long stream of flames, looking over his shoulder, and nodding at the audience.
    • A pointless scene where Blaze and the heroes are betrayed by a group of monks that goes nowhere.
    • When Mephistopheles, the devil responsible for the deal with Johnny into Ghost Rider, gets Danny and tries to transfer over to him, the two perform an awkwardly acted ritual involving them swaying and bobbing in unison.
    • Blaze loses his powers temporarily only for them to be given back shortly thereafter. Nothing of consequence happens during that time, so getting his powers removed is completely pointless.
    • A mediocre car chase scene towards the end.
  6. Terribly written dialogue.
  7. Aggressively poor writing not helping the fact that the first film's director, Mark Steven Johnson did not return to direct and write the sequel and is replaced by 3 writers and a new director.
  8. After Blaze fully accepts the Rider, confesses his sins, and is forgiven for them, the Rider is restored to an angel again (betraying the anti-heroic nature of the character), resulting in blue flames and unexplained new abilities such as reviving the dead.
  9. Ghost Rider defeats the Devil and throws him back to Hell by slamming him deep into the ground. Not only does he not go deep enough to warrant Hellish imagery, but it is unlikely Hell is inside/under the Earth.
  10. Mephistopheles drops an F-bomb, which would not be so bad except that he puts complete emphasis on it, with the film's music quieting and him drawing saying it out.
  11. It is never explained why or how Blaze got to the Middle East.
  12. Nicholas Cage provides some awkward and strange performances.
  13. Choppy and bizarre editing that makes characters seem to move too fast at some times, or has unnecessary or out-of-place slow motion in other parts. On top of that the camera becomes extremely shaky pretty much during the whole of the movie, so much to the point of you most likely not knowing what is going on.
  14. Ciarán Hinds's performance as the Devil is extremely subdued and not nearly as entertaining as Peter Fonda in the first film. The Devil also looks more like a mafia leader than an actual villain from Hell in this movie.
  15. Film has multiple continuity and consistency errors due to said director Mark Steven Johnson did not return and replaced with 3 writers and a new director (whom it's assumed that they barely watched it's predecessor):
    • The film shows Blaze's father dying of cancer in a flashback. In the first film, he had cancer but died in a motorcycle accident.
      • In the same flashback, there is a scene of Blaze's father in a hospital bed undergoing treatment, even though this never occurred and he refused treatment in the first film.
    • Blaze, during a confession, says that he did not make his deal with the Devil to save his father, but rather for himself, though the first film clearly shows and states that he only did it for the safety of his father.
    • Blaze in the first film tells the Devil that he will defy him by using the Rider for good and to help people, but in this film completely avoids ever becoming the Rider and instead hides.
    • The first film shows at several points that Blaze is working to control the Rider, and at the end, he succeeds by manually unleashing him during the day, which he could not do before. However, in this film, Blaze has no control over the Rider and fears what he will do.
    • The first film shows that the Ghost Rider will only fight/kill/damn souls that are evil, and normal humans or innocents are safe from him. However, in this film, the Rider cannot differentiate between evil souls and good/neutral souls, as he (for unexplained reasons) now sees every sin as a punishable offense. Blaze even states that the Rider "doesn't care" because they are all the same to him.
  16. Blackout/Ray Carrigan is an extremely forgettable and boring secondary antagonist after the Devil, who contributes little and is easily defeated. Not only that but he doesn’t even come off as a villain and instead resembles a punk rock band singer with a laughably bad portrayal.
  17. Despite being a sequel, there is little to no connection to the first film since none of the events in that film, or any of the characters like Roxanne and Blackheart, are mentioned. IF there is any connection, it was retconned and changed in this one. If we ignore the fact that Nicholas Cage reprises his role from the first film in this movie, this makes the movie feel more like it’s own standalone movie or reboot.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Depending on your view, the CGI is well done and nice to look at, with a lot of it looking realistic and stylized.
  2. Idris Elba as Moreau is probably the most decent portrayal in this movie.
  3. A couple of good scenes:
    • A legitimately funny scene where Moreau survives his car being run off a cliffside road by falling out and landing in a bush.
    • A legitimately very fun, well-shot, and extremely cool action scene of Ghost Rider taking control of a giant piece of construction/demolition equipment and transforming it into a giant flaming chainsaw that he then uses to fight enemy trucks and tanks.

Reception

The film was heavily panned by both audiences and critics. At the December 2011 Butt-Numb-A-Thon in Austin Texas, two attendants said it was worse than the first Ghost Rider film, and one said that the sequel makes the first film "look like The Dark Knight" by comparison.

The film has received a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 3.8/10 and holds a 4.3 out of 10 on IMDb and holds a 34/100 on Metacritic.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actor (Nicolas Cage) and Worst Remake, Rip-off or Sequel.

As a result of the critical slaughtering Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance got, the film only grossed $132 million on a $57 million budget and despite grossing past its budget it earned less money than its predecessor Ghost Rider, because of this Nicholas Cage stated in an interview that he was "done" with the character as a result Ghost Rider's film rights went back to Marvel Studios/Disney in 2013 with a new iteration of the character named Robbie Reyes appearing in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

YouTuber Lukimus Prime regards this movie as the second worst comic book movie of all time after Fant4stic and rates it 0/10. He even nickname this movie “Ghost Rider: Camera of Shakiness” due to the poor camerawork mentioned in WISS Number 13 and stated that due to the bad camerawork he had a headache after seeing the movie for the first time.

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