Comic book flame dies out

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






2 stars

The dark comic book biker superhero returns in Mark Neveldine’s film “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.” Nicolas Cage stars as the cursed motorcyclist Johnny Blaze whose soul is bound to the spirit of vengeance Zarathos.

The movie is based on the Marvel Comics supernatural antihero who made a deal with an arch-demon named Mephisto in order to save his stepfather from cancer. The Hollywood mock-up replaces Blaze’s stepfather with his actual father Barton Blaze.

This sequel to the 2007 film focuses Ghost Rider’s attention on a young boy named Danny (Fergus Riordan). Ciaran Hinds portrays a demon named Roarke who sends his henchmen to take Danny from his mother, Nadya.

A temple in Eastern Europe acts as a safe house for the boy and his mother until it is attacked by mercenaries hired by Roarke. Leading the assault is a man with connections to Nadya named Ray Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth).

Moreau is a French biker who was raised by monks in a temple pleasantly referred to throughout the movie as the “Sanctuary.” Idris Elba plays the part of Moreau, convincing Ghost Rider to protect and escort Danny to the Sanctuary where the boy would be safe and the curse that binds Blaze and Zarathos could be lifted.

Blaze learns from Nadya why Roarke is looking for a little boy after Danny was taken by Carrigan and the two ran into each other at the hospital. They teamed up to save the boy and met Moreau on the way to the Sanctuary. After beating up Carrigan, Ghost Roder discovers that the boy had the power to bring the demon to his knees.

Blaze is rewarded for his help after bringing the boy into the hands of a questionable, scripture-tattooed monk named Methodius (Christopher Lambert). The deceptive ways of Methodius bring the monk to odds with Blaze and Moreau.

Roarke saves Carrigan to turn him into a bleach head with the powers of darkness and decay.  Carrigan gets his hands on the boy and flees to his master after sucking the life out of the monks.

Moreau, Nadya, and Blaze go to the boy’s rescue in the final climatic bang with Carrigan and Roarke.  Throughout the chase and rescue scenes Ghost Rider reenacts parts of popular action movies such as “Mortal Kombat” and “Conan the Barbarian.”

Comic book fans are likely to be disappointed that the sequel strayed further from the comic lines than the original as they ridicule the amount of flame rising from Ghost Rider’s head.
“It was a terrible movie,” said spectator Sheleena Jones. “The first movie was better.  It had a better storyline and better fights. This one was just bad.”

Bad acting on the part of Cage or poor direction from Neveldine is leaving audiences wondering if this film is a reflection on hard times and bad economies. “Why did I buy a ticket to this?” Jorge Ruiz asked, wearing a t-shirt which bore the semblance of Ghost Rider.

A lasting, undesirable impression of the first “Ghost Rider” movie may keep the sequel from reaching the top spot while “Safe House” and “The Vow” stay strong this weekend. “‘Safe House’ and ‘Ghost Rider’ are keeping us busy, but ‘Ghost Rider’ looks whack to me,” said Sabrina Ballester, staff member at Touchstar Cinemas in the Southchase Plaza.