Movie Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

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Today is Mother’s Day. A day to show appreciation for the women that have raised us into the people we have become or the women that helped to raise the children we have. And while I have shown my appreciation, I also wanted to relax a little. So, keeping in form with my recent movie watching, I popped in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

I have been on a Marvel movie kick lately, good and bad, and had to finish the Ghost Rider series. This second Nicholas Cage flick is definitely not a moment for Marvel to be proud of, it definitely had some redeeming qualities. You know, the ones only a mother could love.

The movie is set in Eastern Europe, where Johnny Blaze is hiding out, still struggling with his curse. He is recruited by Moreau (Idris Elba) and a sect of the church to save a boy from the devil. He reluctantly agrees only because he is promised that the church can rid him of his curse. Soon however, he begins to show compassion towards the boy and will go to any length to save the child, even becoming the Ghost Rider once again.

Cage is still far out there and crazy as the Ghost Rider and the story and most of the acting are subpar, but the movie shines at moments. The first thing I noticed was the new look of the Ghost Rider. In this film, his skull looks charred and burnt instead of shiny clean. I know it is a little thing, but I preferred this look much more. Overall I thought the CGI was better, but this touch up on the look of the Ghost Rider was definitely an improvement. The transformations however are another story.

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Also, while there was definitely some terrible acting, there were two actors that stood out. I am a fan of Idris Elba and he did great even in this movie. Elba can fit into just about any role and thankfully this wasn’t the only Marvel project he was in as he portrays Heimdall in the MCU as well. And Violante Placido was also good in the role as Nadya, the young boy’s mother who is willing to risk her life to save her son. The Italian actress and singer has done little work in American films, but I applaud her effort in this movie.

Overall however, I still think that the studios bombed on making a decent Ghost Rider movie. It is a shame because I think that the character is great and deserves a well-made film. But, now that the movie rights have reverted back to Marvel, maybe the fans can get something. I know he doesn’t necessarily fit into the MCU movies, but maybe they can have a separate world for darker characters like Ghost Rider, Daredevil, The Punisher, and Moon Knight. Even if it is a Netflix series, something is better than nothing! I just hope they do that and don’t just put the Ghost Rider on the shelf and ignore such a good character.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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