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Review Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011): No matter how much you spin it, this sequel is not a good movie.

genre: action, science fiction

No matter how much you spin it, this sequel is not a good movie. Not to say that it was completely bad since there are some very small redeeming factors. 

One being Violante Placido (daughter of Michele Placido famous for the Octopus series) and the other being Idris Elba. But their roles are made so insignificant that they can be seen as glorified extras. Ciaran Hinds seemed completely lost as his role is confusing to the viewer and himself. He is supposed to be The Devil not some common thug that can be pushed like he is a common thug. It's a shame that solid actors like these are used in such a way. It makes them look bad which is not entirely their fault. Nic Cage is being Nic Cage. I think a lot of people hate his maniacal approach in transforming Johnny Blaze into the Rider. In an interrogation scene I thought it was really effective.Only it's the rest of Nic's acting that is off. It is clear that his heart is not in this production at all. He doesn't even try to be interesting on the screen except for those transformation scenes. He purposely is wasting his talent. I simply can't understand that. Any way, some reviewers claimed that the action scenes were good and even better than in the first. It could be that they mistakenly got the first one confused with the second one. Because that simply is not true. If it wasn't for the CGI then we literally would be seeing people just sitting or standing there. Nic Cage swings around with the chain a few times. We do see the Rider coming from above undoubtedly to make an explosive entrance. That is the extent of what the motor bike is used for. There wasn't one action scene that was hard hitting, intense or remotely interesting. Sure the directors of (Crank) try to fool you with hyper kinetics and shaky cams but fail miserably. 

Coming to the plot. What plot? I am very forgiving in action movies when it comes to plot. But when the first lines of a Wikipedia article on the mythology of Ghost Rider already is more interesting than the story lines in both Ghost Riders put together than you know that something is wrong. I personally have not read any Ghost Rider comics. Although I have seen him appear in some other Marvel Comics that I read. And no matter how short that appearance was he always had that awe inspiring presence. In both movies they have not been able to translate that. From what I read other characters like Danny Ketch is more interesting on paper than in the movie. He is the third Marvel character to use the name Ghost Rider. His mythology is changed. He is not the son of the Devil. In Spirit of Vengeance it does not matter much since Johnny Blaze and Danny do show there is a connection between them. Still, to change a story this significant into something weak is beyond me. (Read the back story on Danny, see link underneath this article to see how more interesting he actually is if you, like me, aren't familiar with the background.*) There was a moment that sparked interest to me personally. And that was when they mentioned the Spirit of Vengeance. Those few seconds showed promise and gave me hope for the ending. Sadly the rushed treatment of what should have been epic was underwhelming even disappointing. 

So is this movie a waste of time then? It really depends. With the lowest of expectations I think someone will be able to enjoy this. But do realise that the notion "it's so bad that it's good" doesn't apply here. For that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance takes itself too seriously. For most people this is a movie to be missed!

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