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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2 stars)

OTT second outing for Nicolas Cage's flaming-skulled anti-hero

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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

(12A) 95mins

Nicolas Cage’s latest stab at lending Ghost Rider mainstream credibility suffers from the decision to employ Crank duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor as co-directors. For while certainly high on manic energy, Spirit of Vengeance lacks any real focus and also seems caught between the co-directors’ more adult tendencies and the need to keep things in line with the teen-friendly 12A certificate. Even then, it pushes its limits.

Plot-wise, the picture finds Cage’s Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider hiding out ‘somewhere in Europe’ trying to suppress his inner demon only to be called upon by a kick-ass preacher (Idris Elba) to stop the Devil (Ciaran Hinds) from taking human form by sacrificing a specially chosen child (Fergus Riordan).

The ensuing chaos is certainly action-packed and strives to make the most of 3D, while indulging Cage’s passion for acting outside of the box. In fact, it’s so over the top, at times, that it’s bizarrely entertaining. But this only carries the film so far and the continued disregard for structure, restrained acting or narrative intelligence quickly takes its toll and becomes tiring.

General release from Fri 17 Feb.

GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE Trailer

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

  • 2 stars
  • 2011
  • US/UAE
  • 95 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
  • Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba
  • UK release: 17 February 2012

Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider (Cage) is in hiding, only to be called upon by a kick-ass preacher (Elba) to stop the Devil (Hinds) from taking human form by sacrificing a child (Riordan). At times it's bizarrely entertaining, but the continued disregard for structure, restraint and intelligence quickly becomes tiring.

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