The Score: Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 10:59AM

Written by J. Bachelor

THE SCORE
THE SCORE 5/10
Watch Trailer
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance
  • Nicholas Cage
  • February 17, 2011
Film.com 7/10
IGN Movies 8/10
Cinema Blend 1.5/5
This Is London 2/5
Digital Spy 2/5

Comic fans looking to see some big screen melee may want to check out Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, screaming into theaters today.

The film, starring Nicolas Cage, finds the hellbound hero once again fighting to save his soul as well as the fate of the world from the forces of evil.

Returning as the eponymous not-quite-hero, Nicolas Cage spends stretches of the film on autopilot while waiting for scenes he deems worthy of his particular brand of crazy. They're not frequent enough to please the Cage aficionado, but sequences in which the twitchy, inappropriately giddy actor tries to choke back transformations into a bloodthirsty skeleton-on-fire are welcome in a film where often-charismatic costars Ciarán Hinds and Idris Elba are singing off-key.(Hollywood Reporter)

The latest Ghost Rider film opts to go the horror route, inserting action sequences within the darker script.

Rather than take the action movie route of the first film, Neveldine and Taylor have turned their Rider into a horror movie nasty, giving him a flickering, staccato movement reminiscent of Ring's ghostly Sadako and having him scream in people's faces. A lot. There are scares to be had from a man with a charred skull for a head, but the only tool in Neveldine and Taylor's directorial box o' tricks when it comes to inspiring fear is VERY LOUD MUSIC. Relentless industrial metal that overwhelms every single dialogue-less sequence without. The overall effect is numbing. It's more likely to make you cover your ears than your eyes.(SFX)

The film's star manages to charm audiences in spite of a less-than-stellar story.

Cage, of course, has been plagiarizing himself for years. Strange fellow. He's desperate to prolong his career as an action star, yet just as keen to avoid seeming like a complete hack. He always plays a gloomily nutty hipster, it's just that sometimes he targets fan-boys, sometimes kids. This time, it's the kids. Blaze may pop pills but he also tells wee-wee jokes. And teaches Danny, "the child" in question (assured newcomer Fergus Riordan), to do wheelies. (This is London)

The film takes it easy on the gore and the action sequences, while explosive, lack bang.

The violence is bloodless and teen-friendly and all the exciting talk beforehand -- of this being as much a horror movie as an action film -- has come to nothing, as it's not in the least bit scary.Worse still, the action itself -- Neveldine/Taylor's bread and butter -- is flat and uninspired even during a scene involving giant flaming mining equipment.(The Sun)

Critics agree that the film adds nothing new to the comic book genre, saying the script lacks originality and the action scenes leave much to be desired.

The flaming head effects have improved in the past four years (if you're willing to split hairs on a charred skull, that is), and the film generally throttles forward from showdown to showdown, running twenty minutes shorter than its predecessor and all the better for it. Still, it's not quite a good time at the movies, spastic to a fault. After two tries, I'm not sure what it would take to make a Ghost Rider outing that's worth a damn. Maybe some comic-book heroes are simply better left on the page.(Film.com)
Many things explode along the way. There are many attempts at quippy humor that fall so flat they're all but invisible, and are also very weirdly at odds with the would-be dark nature of the story. Perhaps directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Gamer, Crank: High Voltage) thought they were doing themselves a favor, then, by virtually eliminating all the darkness and just revving up the flames and the quipping. Who needs a sense of menace or of threat? It's only Satan about to take over the world. No biggie.(Flick Filosopher)

Check out the film's trailer below:

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