Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Release Date: February 17, 2012

He can be a part of Craig Ferguson's robot skeleton army.

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164/169 Max Braden So much noise.

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In 2007, the onslaught of comic book adaptations existed beyond Batman and Spider-Man. There were also the second tier heroes whose conflicts were notable to some but not on the scale of $100+ million openers. One of the better of these was Ghost Rider, a Nicolas Cage movie that debuted to $45.4 million on its way to a final domestic take of $115.8 million. Ghost Rider was the 26th best performer of 2007, which means that it did well enough to justify a sequel, even if nobody wanted one.

Hey look! A Ghost Rider sequel! Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is the latest “I need the money” project Nicolas Cage has taken since his recent bout with bankruptcy. On the art/commerce map, Ghost Rider 2 should be located as far to the commerce side as is physically possible. Let’s have no illusions on this point.

If you are someone who has, say, a Ghost Rider tattoo and Ghost Rider bed sheets, seek help. While you are background googling therapists in your area, I can tell you that Spirit of Vengeance is more of the save minus the presence of Eva Mendes. Yes, the best part of the first movie will not return.

The plot is straightforward mystic hoodoo. Johnny Blaze is still tormented by his proverbial deal with the devil that caused him to become a flame-skulled motorcycle enthusiast (if you don’t know, don’t ask). He has taken to hiding away from mankind Romania, which happens to be too close to a nearby location where a group of monks have failed to protect a mother and her son. The only remaining living monk (BOP fave Anthony Head) discovers the location of Ghost Rider and implores him to stop the villain and save the mother/son tandem. In exchange, the monk’s mystic knowledge could help free Johnny Blaze from his eternal curse. Spoilers: there is no chance that this works (permanently) because if it did, there would not be further Ghost Rider movies.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a money grab for the studio as well as the currently empty-pocketed lead actor. With a relatively modest budget of $57 million and 3D ticket sales aiding its overall revenue take, this should be a safe bet as a box office profiteer as long as the entire world ignores how shameless it is. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Main Cast Nicolas Cage
Supporting Cast Fergus Riordan, Ciaran Hinds, Violante Placido, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth
Director Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Screenwriter Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, David S. Goyer
Distributor Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Rating PG-13
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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