In 2007, director Mark Steven Johnson’s Ghost Rider was the cinematic equivalent of being beaten with a sack full of doorknobs. It was clumsily written, terribly acted, and, most of all, more tame than a basket full of kittens. Johnson successfully neutered one of Marvel Comics’ most brutal anti-heroes and turned him into a cliché spouting cartoon character. Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are looking to redeem Ghost Rider's good name with their balls-to-the-wall sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Still starring Nicolas Cage as the chopper straddling demon from Hell, Spirit of Vengeance looks to give the Rider his edge back by introducing a healthy dose of pervasive brutality and violence to the film. The movie revolves around Johnny Blaze as he attempts to find peace in Eastern Europe. But that doesn’t make for a good movie, so eventually he gets approached by a mysterious cult to protect a child that is being hunted down by Satan. Along the way, Blaze must use his Ghost Rider curse to take down the devil’s bounty hunters, all while vomiting and peeing fire! That’s right, apparently Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are absolutely insane.
Already this short trailer shows off exactly what this movie needs. It’s brash, brutal, and hardcore. Thankfully Neveldine and Taylor are bringing the kind of over-the-top action that they created on Crank to the Ghost Rider mythology and, in turn, may have actually saved the franchise from another abysmal outing.
But flashy action and flaming urine alone won't make a movie great. The trailer doesn’t really give us much of a peek at the plot or the performances to be featured in the movie, so we might have to wait until the final product gets released in order to see if these outlandish set pieces get tied together with an interesting story.
While 2012 will feature the highly anticipated releases of Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Amazing Spider-Man, don’t count out Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance just yet. At the very least, it won’t play it quite as safe as the other big budget comic flicks on the slate.
We’ll see if Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance offers more than just mind-boggling action when it gets released on February 17.