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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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Index 339 reviews in total 

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A junky, fun, non-apologetic rumble

7/10
Author: heyanerd from United States
9 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie wasn't supposed to be dramatic, epic, serious or whatever. I don't want to point out to people that it's a Neveldine/Taylor flick, but their style doesn't mesh with everyone. My friend thought "Crank 2" was a disaster, while for the people I went with it was the most fun we've had at the movies in forever. So if you're not big on the crazy, stunty, overly stylized antics, you ain't gonna like this one. They don't create a precious world, which is important for this type of Marvel title.

As for myself, I thought it was it was cool, like watching WWE cool. You know everyone's over- the-top, but at least it's not trying to be awe-inducing like the original Ghostrider flick and falling on it's face. Everyone's in on the joke. If you're not, again, you'll hate it, and I don't blame you, but really, have fun guys.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Hell on wheels: "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance"

6/10
Author: dee.reid from United States
19 June 2012

"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" is a film that I rate about equally, if not slightly - marginally - better, than 2007's "Ghost Rider." "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" is "Ghost Rider's" much-maligned 2012 sequel. I enjoyed watching the original "Ghost Rider," even though I felt that it needed something more. I feel like I got what was missing from the previous movie - more or less - in this steroid-pumped, mind-numbing follow-up.

"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" is a sequel that has no real ties to the film that preceded it, which to me is a good thing (because it's actually continuing the story and not repeating it), but it's not a remake (or that other fashionable Hollywood term, "reboot"). This sequel has a completely different style, and attitude, from its predecessor. This last part is no doubt due to the co-directing team of Neveldine/Taylor, those guys who brought us the incredibly insane "Crank" action movies with Jason Statham.

And it has Nicolas Cage; depending on how you view it, having Nicolas Cage as the chain-wielding specter Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider can really either be a good thing or a bad thing. Most seem to agree that it's a bad, bad thing, but not me.

I'm not complaining about Cage, like so many other people. But I'm also not saying he's good: he's simply making the best out of the poorly written material he was given. And of course, he does what he can and like the movie, he goes ballistic once things get going: Let the "Cage" out of Nicolas Cage!

Like I said earlier, the movie has no real connection to "Ghost Rider," other than Cage's Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider (although it really would have been nice to see Peter Fonda, or at the very least, Blaze's former sweetheart Roxanne Simpson played by the lovely Eva Mendes again, but neither one is even mentioned this time around).

This time, Johnny Blaze's on the run, hiding out somewhere in Eastern Europe. He's approached by the mysterious French monk Moreau (Idris Elba) to rescue a young boy named Danny (Fergus Riordan), who along with his beautiful mother Nadya (Violante Placido), is being relentlessly pursued by her former boyfriend Ray Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth), who is not-so-secretly an agent of Roarke/The Devil/Mephistopheles (Ciaran Hinds), and eventually becomes a revisionist version of the super-villain Blackout. Roarke needs Danny so he can transfer his soul into his body in a bid to become immortal, or something like that. Only the accursed Johnny Blaze can stop Roarke from bringing about hell on Earth.

"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" is a totally different beast from the earlier film. This is good, I feel. With the insane hand-held camera-work by Neveldine/Taylor, it feels even more like a comic book (the film is, after all, based on the Marvel Comics anti-hero of the same name, and the film itself is produced by Marvel Knights - who were behind 2008's "Punisher: War Zone" - which aims to provide mature-themed superhero films much like Marvel's MAX imprint of superhero comic books). Ghost Rider was always different from Marvel's staple of super-powered heroes because he was not a mutant (like the X-Men) or mutate (like Spider-Man). No. He was a demon (possessed by the fallen angel Zarathos), a soul-hungry bounty hunter on Earth snatching up souls for The Devil, or Mephistopheles, or whatever satanic name you want to give to him.

Cage is decidedly loony from the get-go (and only needs to hear the word "go" to be fully turned loose), but the film's real stand-out is the hard-drinking Frenchman Moreau, played by Idris Elba. Elba is quickly becoming an in-demand talent in and outside of Hollywood, and it was interesting watching his portrayal of the blue-eyed, slightly crazed alcoholic monk. Another thing I'll also give this film credit for is that it is much darker than the first movie, and Cage's more-than-slightly unhinged portrayal of Ghost Rider does not see the character uttering bad one-liners every time he takes somebody's soul to Hell. Instead, this Ghost Rider appears to be a real demon and a real force to be reckoned with, with the full powers of Hell at his immediate disposal.

I feel that is what elevated this picture slightly above its 2007 predecessor.

And further catapulting this vehicle into full-blown camp territory is a cameo from the original "Highlander" himself, Christopher Lambert, as a monk who may not be as benevolent as he appears and whose time on the screen is, unfortunately, extremely short (because I don't believe Lambert has appeared in a theatrically released mainstream Hollywood film in more than a decade).

Despite the strong critical backlash against it, I think that Neveldine/Taylor did one good thing with "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" by deciding to take it into an even darker, more insane direction than 2007's "Ghost Rider," making it seem even more like a live-action comic book. That's truly one of the better things that can be said about it, in my overall opinion of this picture. Or maybe, that's really the BEST thing that can be truly said about it.

6/10

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

You either get it or you don't

7/10
Author: Ghazi Yarak from Sydney, Australia
16 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Listen you either get it or you don't. If you like mindless action and want a movie to entertain you, this is for you. But if you are, a person looking for a good story line and some good acting, skip it. I liked it, and I will be definitely watching it again. Nicolas Cage is funny as Johnny Blaze, and gives a good performance. The rest of the cast is not so good. All in all. A very entertaining piece of cinema. 7/10. For good entertainment. Also for good effects. The effects on ghost rider look way more better than the effects they put on him in the first part. It gave a more realistic feeling into actually thinking that his skull is on fire. The skull of ghost rider looks burnt due to the cause of the fire. There is also a little bit of humor in it that will keep you laughing.

Enjoy it. It is worth the rent price.

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32 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

Sequels can be rough.

2/10
Author: Akivaran from United States
20 February 2012

I was able to see a screening of GR2, and the theater wasn't too crowded but there was a diverse group of people. I was glad to see that the audience wasn't just a bunch of nerdy white guys. The age groups were varied, as well as both sexes being represented. I don't think that you could have asked for a more random group of people. As the credits rolled, the murmuring that began echoed my own thoughts. "What the hell was that?"

I enjoyed the first Ghost Rider and thought that it stood on it's own. It didn't need the license behind it for you to understand or keep you in the seat. The sequel leaned HEAVY on the fact that you had seen the previous one and were able to understand Johnny Blaze's predicament. Very little character development on what had happened since we left, and what he'd been through. The new people that are introduced have a wisp of back story. There is so much emphasis on the action that the plot and dialog are left standing in the dust.

Rather than give a blow by blow explanation, I'll say this; the few parts of the movie that were received as I think they were intended had nothing to do with the rest of the movie. The few funny parts are the worst offenders. They were literally just asides to the audience, a wink if you will.

If you're looking for some action-oriented entertainment and able to overlook plot and dialog, I think you'll like it. There's a lot of well choreographed fights, and the visual effects are really good. I will say that the flame is the best I have ever seen. You'll chuckle a few times (flamethrower) and you'll root for the good guys. IMO, wait though. Don't see it in 3D (WASTE of time and money, added nothing at all) and wait for the BluRay or stream.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Criminally Underrated Hollywood Risk-Taker!

7/10
Author: Ulrik Sander-Pedersen (ulriksanderpedersen@gmail.com) from Denmark
28 June 2012

Warning: My reviews are 100% guaranteed plot-summary-free - as you can find movie summaries anywhere online. I truly believe a real movie reviewer should dissect the soul of movies, as opposed to merely summarizing plots - which any 14-year old could do.

Embarrassingly low IMDb rating for a Hollywood superhero-movie this unique and risky! GR2 creates a twisted and dark universe with visually compelling night-scenes bathed in Absinthe-green color-tones contrasting the day-time's over-exposed sharp white daylight. Equally compelling are the cartoon-universe's morally ambiguous characters - including the Morphine-popping, self-loathing protagonist Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage)! The line between good and evil is thin here. Cage injects drops of his former manic acting-style known from early-career surrealistic masterpieces, e.g. "Wild At Heart" (David Lynch, 1990) which will please his long-time followers.

GR2 does admittedly have faults. It suffers from the standard sub-par, dumbed-down dialog of big-budget blockbusters, and its audience are asked to accept some far-fetched events so fantastic they would be fatal to the credibility of any storyline... normally! However, GR2 is not normal. Do NOT expect sophisticated plot and realism! Watch it for the weird world and sensatory experience: the GR2 trip is instinctive - NOT intellectual! When you open your mind to such an experience, the aforementioned faults become irrelevant.

Consider the odds: it is a closely-controlled, big-budgeted blockbuster sequel targeted at the horrified-of-boredom, escapism-craving superhero- movie audience (which is how Hollywood studios wrongfully conceive us...), and despite all this, GR2 is clearly a work of its own, therefore considerably more interesting than its by-the-book predecessor "Ghost Rider" (Mark Steven Johnson, 2007).

...

And as a result, sadly also widely misunderstood, hence the criminally low IMDb rating. Risk-taking is not a quality in itself, but when it results in an different AND fascinating spin on the arch- American superhero-movie genre, it deserves to be rewarded. GR2 is not a masterpiece, merely a slightly left-field, good movie. 7/10

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

C'mon it was sort of entertaining...

6/10
Author: KineticSeoul from United States
24 April 2012

This isn't really a direct sequel to the 2007 "Ghost Rider" movie but it does show similar background and past in a comic book like manner. In fact there are few comic book like scenes in the movie where it shows origins and past by drawings in a cartoon like direction. Which I thought was sort of cool. There is about three main scenes where Ghost Rider comes out and although generic it was still entertaining and cool to watch. This one for sure is more of a entertaining Ghost Rider movie compared to the 2007 version. Although 2007 version had a bit more of a plot it just wasn't as entertaining as this one. Maybe it's because this one has more of the craziness and more of the essence of a chaotic and even a bit scary Ghost Rider. I don't know what to say about the cinematography though, Neveldine/Taylor is known for doing crazy and chaotic cinematography but I am not really sure if it really helped in this movie. But it also didn't feel like it took away from this movie experience. Nicholas Cage has been getting some bashing from critics lately, but he is Nicholas Cage and he is awesome. Yeah sometimes his acting can be over the top but his performance I found to be always entertaining and fun to watch. And that applies to this one as well, especially the scenes when the Ghost Rider is about to come out from his body and he tries to resist it. Those were some funny and yet entertaining scenes. Sure this movie doesn't have a good story but other elements in this movie kinda makes up for it...Sorta. So overall when it comes to certain elements that make a good movie it fails but it's still kinda entertaining.

6/10

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Not a very good film, but moderately entertaining

6/10
Author: Argemaluco from Argentina
15 March 2012

The only time I read the comics of Ghost Rider with a certain frequency was during the mid-2000s, when it took part of the "Marvel Knights" line, which pretended to be a collection of titles destined to "mature readers", with more violent, raw and sordid stories than what we are used to find in Marvel's "normal" comics. However, I quickly abandoned them, because I comprehended that Ghost Rider didn't need more violence nor profanity, but writers which could find an appropriate angle in order to exploit the character's (doubtful) potential. Unfortunately, the same can be said about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, because despite the intensity of the action and the main character's ferocity, the screenplay lacks of narrative cohesion, and it only brings us a parade of situations in order to display bizarre camera angles, slow-motion stunts and extraordinary special effects. Nevertheless, I have to say that the film managed to keep me moderately entertained.

The screenplay of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance consists of a modular adventure with a "mcguffin" (a kid in this case) as the plot's detonator, and with an anti-hero searching for redemption in order to justify the presence of action scenes of an increasing complexity, but null suspense. I liked the films Crank and Crank: High Voltage, in which co-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor forged their frantic visual style, but the formula they had employed in those films doesn't adapt itself very well in the world of super-heroes, because they couldn't generate any connection to the spectator in here. What is more, I wasn't interested in the main character's suffering, nor in any threaten from the villain.

On the other hand, the magnificent cinematography and brilliant special effects from Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance were the main reasons why this movie kept me moderately entertained, and why I consider it worthy of a slight recommendation, even though it's a bit painful for me to say that, because I'm generally against the "style over substance" mentality. But when the "style" is so overwhelming, I have to accept an ideological defeat. Pity that those impressive technical aspects were included in a film with a trite and not very interesting screenplay.

In the leading role, Nicolas Cage shows conviction and energy. As for the rest of the cast, Idris Elba seems to be there only for the paycheck; Ciarán Hinds is absolutely insipid as the villain; and Violante Placido is only employed as a pretty face. Nevertheless, the technical aspects are the main stars, and as I previously said, the reason this film isn't boring is mainly because of them.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A great movie for those who just enjoy fun movies

9/10
Author: learsfool from Madison, WI, USA
3 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay, first things first. I like movies that challenge my brain a bit, but I do not expect it, because I can watch the twenty most mind blowing movies you can come you can up with more amazing insight reading twenty pages of a Benford or Baxter book.

That leaves wrenching heart strings and an enjoyable ride, and this movie is the latter.

*spoilers*

Lots of people complain about the 'Nic Cage Crazy', this is the first movie I've seen it belongs. Remember there are THREE entities, they just don't mention the Angel of Justice gone insane until late. . the scenes where we get the Nic Cage Crazy (esp. the informant) are ones where he's being more good, I presume this is actually the Angel of Justice more than Johnny Blaze or the Rider, which completely changes the complexion of those scenes for me. Otherwise they'd have been more negative.

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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Don't expect a drama; expect loads of cool action!

10/10
Author: Martin Listén
2 June 2012

This is one of the better action/superhero movies I have seen in a long time. It is not nearly as predictable and "by the book" as most films are today, and the action scenes are really well done and fun to watch.

It is true that this is not the movie you should watch if you are looking for a good Drama with in depth character relations and such, but hey, if that's what you're expecting, take a look at the cover next time you're about to watch a movie! This movie has a plot which allows a lot of action, so expect action!

For a cool action movie with visual effects pleasing to the eye, this is a 10 for me.

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16 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Nic Cage - doing what he does best!

9/10
Author: KR Malone from Canada
23 February 2012

I wasn't actually a huge fan of the first Ghost Rider, but I went into the sequel with high hopes, and I wasn't let down.

Let's face it... this movie is a Nic Cage movie. If you don't understand what that means, then this movie isn't for you. (It also might be good to point out that I love Nic Cage and enjoy the semi-constant character he plays in all movies)

The story is a bit choppy, but overall it's a highly entertaining, exciting, enjoyable movie to see (especially in 3D)! Lots of action, great graphics in the fight scenes and some fairly exciting high-paced chase scenes. I also think people over look just how well Cage played the role of Blaze in this film - when he starts to go crazy, he goes frigging crazy!

If you're looking for an Oscar-worthy movie, this is not your cup of tea, but if you're looking for a way to be highly entertained for an hour and a half, you need to see this movie.

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