Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

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Co-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor claim they were given a free hand on this sequel to the Marvel fantasy franchise movie, featuring Nic Cage as the kick-ass avenger with the flaming skull. However, anyone familiar with the adrenalised, head-smacking violence of their 'Crank' movies will be surprised by this teen-friendly comic-book romp. The tone is slightly darker than in the first instalment, but the 'moderate fantasy violence and horror' (per BBFC) benefit little from their use of 3D.

Nicolas Cage reprises his role as cursed ex-stunt rider Johnny Blaze, whose Faustian pact with the Devil has transformed him into a soul-sucking demon known as the Ghost Rider. Unable to live with his demonic alter ego, he has withdrawn from the world, but when biker monk Moreau (Idris Elba) begs him to save a very special young boy from the Devil himself (Ciarán Hinds), the tortured Johnny dons his leathers and fires up his hog.  

Neveldine and Taylor's hyper-kinetic visual style works best during the repeated punch-ups between Ghost Rider and Satan's flaxen-haired albino henchman Blackout (Johnny Whitworth). The directing duo also make good use of the Romanian and Turkish locations while exploring the origin's of Johnny's demonic persona, a fallen angel whose spirit of justice was corrupted. On the other hand, a striking cameo by 'Highlander' star Christopher Lambert, as the scarily tattooed monk Methodius, reminds us that supernatural fantasy movies often work best when the film-maker's tongue is planted firmly in the cheek.

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Screenwriter: Scott M Gimple, Seth Hoffman
Cast: Nicolas Cage
CiarĂ¡n Hinds
Idris Elba
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