Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat


April 13, 2012

“Ghost Rider: Vengeance” sparks an odd sequel

Late Run Movie Review

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Despite any number of critical blowhards who may burn an anticipated movie, no amount of negativity will discourage those who just plan to find out for themselves. Joining the first chapter in the series, this sequel seemed to draw more ire than praise, but I know I’m not the only one who actually was relatively entertained by the adventures of flaming skull hero guy.

Admittedly there seemed to be moments where this one felt even more like a bad drug trip than the first, but as far as meeting up to the sometimes laughable plots ripped out of comic lore, it actually could have been much worse. The biggest difference this time is the pacing came across a bit more like the printed panels, dripping with all the campy nature it can get away with. “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” was like a visit to a elementary school playground where we not only get to ooo and ahh at who has the coolest toys, but just enough save the day thrown in to remind us where it was going in the first place.

Unlike some of my ultra geek friends, I have had no problem with Nicholas Cage’s portrayal of the title character, one that was actually kind of boring until he took the role on. In this second tale he has lost some of the “I’m the coolest cat in the universe” attitude and for the most part is fighting to contain the beast inside in order not to doom most of humanity.

Despite his efforts to hide prevent all contact with people, the Ghost Rider is once again is drawn out when he finds out the latest plan by devil-in-disguise Roarke (Ciaran Hinds) somehow brings about an end of days scenario. Caught up in this scheme is a mother named Nadya (Violante Placido) and her child, Danny (Fergus Riordan) as well as a religious fighter named Moreau (Idris Elba) who end up collaborating with Mr. Heat on Wheels, though with no lack of risk. Of course, it doesn’t ever really seem that the main character is really ever in serious harm, only annoyed by those who dare stand in his way.

The end result is nothing I found all that insulting, but I have to say Peter Fonda did make a much better foe with his replacement not coming across much more than what felt like a nursing home resident with the ability to damn souls. Parents shouldn’t have to worry too much about content and it’s really no more detrimental to young minds than what they already see in a cartoon lineup.

For those who might still be eager to see it, I’d say wait a bit longer for DVD and only buy it once the price drops a bit. It amounts to another time killing popcorn flick, perfect for those channel flipping hours at home. Final verdict for “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” two and three fourths out of five penance stares.

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