“Ghost Rider” Sequel Rides Series into Mediocrity


Phil Reidy

It’s fair to say that now, instead of being dazzled by groundbreaking special effects and unbelievably impressive feats of storytelling, American movie goers are fed a consistently degrading stock of CGI-based films. These films seem to have been perfected to a science of mediocre plot but well composed visuals. Pretty movies, put simply, are what make up a slight majority of Hollywood mainstream from 2011-2012, whether through their choice of whatever popular actor or actress is trending at the time or just how well they can impress the audience with scrutinized visuals.

A majority of the films released and soon to be released in 2012 and in 2011 have been drawn from previous works. The Green Lantern, Transformers, the re-release of Phantom Menace in 3D, John Carter, the Lorax…the list goes on and on. It’s a little discouraging that new material in mainstream film is rare. If someone is willing to shell out $15 to see Nicholas Cage’s skull on fire and a complicated array of ways for him to drive a motorcycle (there aren’t many), by all means, do so. If you choose to see the sequel to that film, well, there may be something wrong.

“Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance” is this sequel. Ghost Rider is a film saga based out of a series of comics from the 90’s, with Spirit of Vengeance being the second of two films. In this particular film, Johnny Blaze has made a deal with the devil, which gives him the power of the Ghost Rider, and must protect a young boy from one of the devil’s bounty hunters, who is hiding out in Eastern Europe. He works with a secret sect of the church that urges him to use his power of his Ghost Rider spirit fueled by Satan’s wrath. The plot itself does not impress, nor does Cage’s acting. His role as the cool and wisecracking antihero is just unrealistic, physically and in terms of acting. Suffering from what seems to be a constant case of premature balding and amateur acting skills, Cages character is cringingly awkward and unbelievable. His dull and monotone voice isn’t made for radio, let alone being the dashing, complex, and daring protagonist that is Ghost Rider.

The movie isn’t all bad though. Visually, this movie does really well. Action scenes do, to some extent, keep you on the edge of your seat. The special effects are really well done. But visuals work only momentarily, and without a seriously effective, or even coherent plot, the film does not capture interest. Ultimately, this movie is effective in delivering awesome visuals, but at the cost of barely having a plot and little substance to the actual storyline, does not keep your interest.