Friday, February 17, 2012

Back with no ‘Vengeance’

This sequel is unnecessary. The 2007 “Ghost Rider” film was one of Marvel Comics’ forgettable big-screen translations. It starred Nicolas Cage as stuntman-cyclist Johnny Blaze, who transforms into the supernatural vigilante. The actor returns, but the origin and character details have been changed, which still doesn’t make it easy to care for the skull-faced antihero.

So while there are some effects-enhanced butt-kicking sequences in “Spirit of Vengeance”--Ghost Rider must protect an important boy, Danny (Fergus Riordan), from sinister forces—there’s not much of a plot to appreciate. It would’ve been cool if Danny had been revealed as inheritor of the Ghost Rider power, a.k.a. Danny Ketch from the comic books. But no, there’s no connection.

There are brief appearances by Anthony Head and Christopher Lambert, playing initially intriguing but expendable characters. As for Cage, his angst-ridden Johnny Blaze alienates; the actor’s facial contortions get quite silly and lampoon-worthy.

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