Back in 2007, audiences were able to see first hand what the Marvel Comic book anti-hero, Ghost Rider, would look like on screen. Unfortunately too few people were pleased with the results. Nicolas Cage who played Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider seemed uncomfortable with his character and didn't quite know how to bring out the true feeling of the movie. Adding to this were the ridiculous villains who barely did anything throughout the film's running time except for bad mouth other characters. Overall, the Ghost Rider of 2007, which was directed Mark Steven Johnson, was outlandishly cartoony and needed improvement on the script.
Fast forward to 2012, almost EXACTLY 5 years (just a day apart by release), the next story of Ghost Rider as fans would say - "Rides again". Call it a sequel or a remake, one could look at it both ways. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (GR2) was directed by the Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine team and I give them a lot of credit for taking on this franchise. It's not easy to impress comic book fans, especially when the first one was more or less a flop. However, this Ghost Rider film, by far, surpasses its predecessor by a significant amount.
|Cage being much more involved with his role this time|
What's even better is that Cage is actually funnier in this film as Blaze. There aren't any awkward moments like there were in the first film. The script definitely received an improvement over the past five years. There isn't a love interest in this story, which is good because that's probably what was holding the character of Blaze back from 2007. This movie is solely about Blaze trying to take control of the curse he was given. Along with Cage are all different actors to fill the voids of new characters. Violante Placido plays Nadya, a mother who conceived a son (Fergus Riordan), whom now the devil (Ciaran Hinds) wants to claim and it's up to Blaze and a friend named Moreau (Idris Elba) to take on the problem. Moreau is another character who puts some comedy into this action/adventure, horror flick.
|A much more intimidating Ghost Rider no? I think so!|
Lastly, are the special effects. The portrayal of Ghost Rider is much more accurate. Ghost Rider as a whole is totally charred. Even his jacket bubbles! Keep your eyes open for that because you can really see it, which is absolutely surreal. Making Ghost Rider look even more spectacular is the fire that he is engulfed in. It is no longer a clean flame that cloaked Ghost Rider in 2007. No. It is a torch that creates so much sooty smoke, that it's almost suffocating just to watch it on screen. This is what makes Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider. Something so grungy, that it looks like it came from hell. One other effect I like was one of the devil's helpers who had the power to decay anything he touched; except Twinkies! Ha!
For the first time taking on this Marvel character, directors Neveldine and Taylor nailed Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. With a tuned-up script, better character dialog, accurate special effects, and an exciting score, this film plays better than the original.
Points Earned --> 8:10