The first Nick Cage Ghost Rider film has always been one of my favourite superhero movies. A dark tone with a hero that can steal souls going up against elemental monsters and a man who has no soul, add in Cage’s acting talent and it makes for something enjoyable to watch. Needless to say I was delighted when I saw the sequel on Amazon Prime.
Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance (GR2) is a much different film to the first one. Where the first one has a dark, serious story that apart from some weird special effects comes off as having good tone, GR2 just seems silly in its tone. The scene that really broke my enjoyment of GR2 is when Cage is on a motorcycle trying not to turn into the rider, his face becomes weirdly distorted and my expectations going from that weren’t good.
So the tone isn’t great but what about the plot? In the first movie the Rider was a tool for Cage that made him able to be the devil’s bounty hunter, as a child this was the height of cool and to be fair a flaming spirit on a motorcycle hunting demons is still brilliant, it’s simple and easy to follow. Annoyingly with GR2 the Rider is treated like a creature that fights with the human in Cage and tries to mercilessly kill anyone even slightly evil, this time the devil’s child needs protection from the Rider, the Rider that wants to kill him. There’s also a decay man who attacks monks but isn’t as important as he probably should be and the all powerful devil is beaten very easily. It put the Ghost Rider against himself, told a story about corruption until the Rider became the hero again, then it was filled in with some over the top nonsense like a possessed digger being used to fight people. It’s hard to describe because it’s just not good.
The action scenes from GR2 would have been interesting if they hadn’t been so silly, using fire and rockets against a fire spirit showed the villains how powerful the Rider was, then he possessed a giant digger. Decay man dissolved swords on touch (cool) then destroyed men on touch (cool) except for one monk who was for some reason able to fight him for a bit longer because action scene (what?).
Given how much I liked the first movie GR2 was a massive disappointment that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. It got the tone and story so far away from what I wanted, the whole spirit of vengeance idea with justice being corrupted could have been done so much better, I can think of a video game that did it so much better. So in summary, watch Ghost Rider but not Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance, unless you intentionally want to watch a bad film.