Summon the Spirit (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 2011)

ghost-rider-sov-posterIt was a little surprising that Ghost Rider got a sequel.  Or is it a reboot.  The film is never really clear.  It simply ignores the previous film, yet stars Nicolas Cage again.  This time it is directed by the guys behind Crank.  The trailer showed Ghost Rider pissing fire.  Which just seems so crazy that it sets high expectations for hilariously absurd action.

Considering the movie has gun toting monks protecting the son of Satan from Satan, it seem like the film will be all kinds of crazy.

And yet…for being a movie from the the guys who made Crank and Crank 2?  It is remarkably tame.  Oh, there are things about the film that work.   There are jokes that land, action scenes that are exciting to watch.

The story is not very complex, a young mother is trying to keep her son out of the hands of his father…the devil.  The kid could be the Anti-Christ, so along with the help of some monks, she is keeping him hidden.  But the devil’s henchmen are closing in, until Johnny Blaze shows up.  He gets into all sorts of battles with the henchman and starts to bond with the kid.  Idris Elba shows up to be bad-ass with the promise of curing Blaze of his curse.  Guess what happens when he is cured?

If you suggested he realized it was a mistake and gets his power back…you would be right.

The effects are good and there is even some creative uses of the Ghost Rider’s abilities.  The Ghost Rider actually looks really cool in the film.  As I said, there are jokes that land, for example, the devil resurrects a henchman, but gives him the power to cause things he touches to decay.  Which becomes a problem when he tries to eat food…until he finds a Twinkie.

And yet, the film gets too slow at times, and the characters are very stock types.  The story is not compelling enough to give you concern for where it is going.  There are no real points where the film gives us a surprise, it is in fact quite a by the books tale with no twists or turns.

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