Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) Review: “Well, Sir, I Don’t Like It”

Yell! Magazine review of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

Good news, everyone!


No wait, never mind.

You see, in the spirit of enthusiastic journalism, I was about to expound on the fun action set-pieces of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, but then I realized that they were really just crammed between boring bits of plot development, centered around characters that no one in their right mind would invest in.

I was gonna say something like, “We get to see Ghost Rider, when he pees. He pees fire.”  And then leave it to you to decide whether or not information like this is worthy of the title of “Good news.” However, seeing Nicholas Cage relieve himself (in the same vein as say, a flamethrower) isn’t enough to pull a film like this out of the banal, fetid sewage that it has accidentally found itself mired in.

Yes, there seems to be a niche audience for this film – you may see them hiding out in trash cans as you walk the streets at night. There’s something absurdly entertaining that’s brought to the table by Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor that seems to blend well with Nicholas Cage’s overacting, as well as the Ghost Rider’s own forced bad-assery.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vangeance, Nicolas Cage
“This scenery tastes great!”

In between portions like this, though – the thick gooey centers that are comprised of what a film like this was supposed to be – are very long portions of what amounts to absolute nothingness. You could say that, much like the installment that came before it, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is just plain boring.

“But wait!” You shout. “How is a film about what’s essentially an Incredible Hulk analogue who’s made of fire and pees fire and eats fire, and sets people of fire – how does a guy like that make for a crappy protagonist? I mean, anything he rides technically bursts into flames and becomes an extension of his body! He can wrap people in chains and they basically incinerate! It’s a symphony of bloodless carnage that your mom will foolishly take you to see – then she’ll be horrified by that peeing-fire scene.”

Yes, good point. You raise some good objections, dear reader, and I have to say that I’m impressed by your witty eloquence. Take this oatmeal spoon, my friend – but don’t tell anyone where you got it. Seriously, it’s in your best interests.

Remarkably, the problem with having a protagonist who’s basically invincible is that your protagonist is basically invincible. It holds no dramatic weight when he fights, aside from the aforementioned “shit’s about to get real feeling” – but he’s also pretty much overpowered. He just…he just can’t die.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Boring Invincible Hero – looks pretty cool, though.

Get the verdict after the jump…

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) Poster
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
17 February 2012
Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth, Fergus Riordan, Spencer Wilding, Jacek Koman, Anthony Head, and Idris Elba
Action, Fantasy, Thriller
Official URL:
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Official

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