Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012): Sequel Starring Nicolas Cage

By Jeff Farr

Nicolas Cage continues his spectacular career meltdown with “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” the sequel to “Ghost Rider” (2007), in which he also starred.

The sight of Cage barreling down the road on his motorcycle, screaming bloody murder and contorting his face this way and that as he turns into the Ghost Rider—an uncontrollable, fiery demon that resides within him—is unintentionally hilarious and deeply disconcerting. How did we get here, Nicolas Cage, and where could we possibly be going?


Despite Cage’s outré performance and a handful of enjoyably WTF moments, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor of “Crank” (2006) fame, is by no means recommendable. This one is only for Marvel completists and those sick puppies that like their movies served up as a complete mess.


Cage is joined by Idris Elba this time out, who also goes for broke as a hard-partying French monk, also with a motorcycle between his legs. One mystifying mistake here is that Neveldine and Taylor do not have Cage and Elba share much screen time.


The two leads’ mad camaraderie, briefly glimpsed, could have raised this movie at least a couple notches. And it would have been interesting to see what Elba, now the better actor, could have pulled out of Cage.


The plot is negligible: the monk Moreau (Elba) enlists Johnny Blaze (Cage) to rescue a boy (Fergus Riordan) fathered by the devil (Ciaran Hinds). The boy is not all bad, and Blaze becomes a very flawed father figure at some awkwardly written points.


Blaze, who previously sold his soul to the devil—thus unwillingly becoming the Ghost Rider—has a chance to be cured if he can satisfy Moreau’s request. But then, there would be no more Ghost Rider and no more “Ghost Rider” movies, correct?


Most of this film is one big, unimaginative, poorly cut chase scene, but “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” has no idea whatsoever where it might be headed.






Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider – Nicolas Cage


Nadya – Violante Placido


Rourke – Ciaran Hinds


Moreau – Idris Elba


Ray Carrigan – Johnny Whitworth


Danny – Fergus Riordan






A Sony Pictures Entertainment release.


Directed by Neveldine/Taylor.


Written by Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, and David S. Goyer.


Produced by Steven Paul, Ashok Amritraj, Michael De Luca, Avi Arad, and Ari Avad.


Cinematography, Brandon Trost.


Editing, Brian Berdan.


Original Music, David Sardy.


Running time: 95 minutes.