Okay, I’ll be honest and start this off by letting you know that I love Nicolas Cage. There, I said it, it’s out in the open. No, not that kind of love. I love his movies. I’ve seen everything from Raising Arizona to Season of the Witch, and I loved them all. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that I love his newest flick Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. I know, basically everyone hated the original. Honestly, even though I liked the first film I was shocked to hear a sequel was being filmed.
The first film wasn’t as good as it could have been. Wes Bentley as the villain Blackheart? Really? Anyway, not going to get started down that road. All you need to know is the sequel is better than the original. David S. Goyer was the co-writer and the film is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. You might recognize those names. They are the duo behind the Crank films with Jason Statham, Pathology, Gamer and Jonah Hex.
I liked the original but it was too polished. By that I mean the crew spent too much time on making the rider look as good as possible with their budget that they didn’t pay much attention to the character himself. The Rider would take over and just kick ass, which was fun, but it just felt sort of off. The sequel fixes that. In the original The Rider was played by stuntmen or was completely CG. In the sequel he is played mostly by Cage, so you get these slight mannerisms that the original didn’t have. Also this is a much grittier film than the first and it definitely shows with The Rider. In the original the skull and hands were nearly a polished white. In the Spirit of Vengeance, the skull is a charred looking mess and to add to the burning effect, the leather jacket that Blaze wears becomes black and bubbled looking after changing. The same effect is replicated on his bike, adding to dirty, gritty feeling of the film.
This time around we find Blaze not trying to stop Mephisto’s son from bringing hell to earth but to stop the Devil from taking over the body of a young boy that he fathered. Sounds cliche, I know. The thing that sets this plot apart from other films where the devil attempts to take over a body is that you don’t have any crying, helpless victims here. The mother is a tough woman trying to keep her son alive and has no problems doing so with a gun in her hand. The boy is pretty tough on his own. There are a few scenes where the kid is knocked around pretty good by a couple of thugs but takes it without becoming a crying mess. Instead he just stares at the guys like he has the confidence that either he or his mother will get out of it somehow. So Blaze, with the help of a drunk priest, tries to keep the kid away from the Devil so he cannot take over the boy. I won’t say more than that to keep from giving away a slight plot twist, though most will see it coming, but still.
It all sounds goofy and honestly it is. With a title like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance you should not expect to be walking into the next The Kings Speech. What you should expect is a film with that surrounds Nicolas Cage with solid actors for the most part and a lot of crazy action, and nobody can pull off crazy like Nicolas Cage.