Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (English)

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Johnny Whitworth, Fergus Riordan, Ciarán Hinds, Violante Placido, Idris Elba

Director: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

If it is Oscar season, then there should be Nicholas Cage and automobiles around the corner. And the Oscar winner (yes, he really did win a golden man!) does not disappoint. Last year there was the deliriously funny Drive Angry and now with the Oscars a week away, comes Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

The film is a sequel to the 2007 one about a motorcyclist who sells his soul to the devil (one would've thought there were other ways of getting around the traffic) and riding in some horrid kind of limbo, dragging souls to or from hell. See what rush hour traffic does to the best of us!

So now Johnny Blaze, the motorcyclist, is skulking around Eastern Europe (visa formalities and forex issues are obviously waived for the undead) when he is called upon to protect a little boy, Danny, from the devil.

Danny's mum, Nadya, is the mandatory hot babe. Baddies include Carrigan who has the power of decay (Whoo hoo! What a hoot!) and the ultimate baddie, the devil himself who goes by the name of Roarke.

Chases, blazing bikes, spectacular shootouts and other hectic adolescent fantasies are crammed into the film's 95-minute running time. Spirit of Vengeance seems to take a dig at the church and there is a bizarre subversion of Holy Communion.

Acting-wise, Nicolas Cage looks quite tragic as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider; but then who wouldn't if your head was on fire half the time? Johnny Whitworth as Carrigan cheerfully gnashes his teeth. Fergus Riordan as Danny tries to be tough and vulnerable but he is no John Connor and of course the Ghost Rider is no Terminator (hasta la vista, baby).

Ciarán Hinds is delightful as Roarke and Idris Elba as Moreau is majestic.

For a movie shot in Romania and Turkey, Spirit of Vengeance looks like it could've been shot anywhere. Now we just have to wait for next February to see what Mr. Cage will be driving!

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English Cinema ReviewsOctober 17, 2011