Film: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
"It doesn't matter how far you run, there are some demons you just can't escape. My name is Johnny Blaze."
Spirit of Vengeance
"See, you're a baaaad
man! And this thing, the Rider, he feeds
on bad men. And he's hungry, he's hungrier than he's been in years, and THAT'S why I'm shaking. 'Cuz right now, the only thing standing between you and the Rider is me
, and he's just—he's—... SCRAPING... AT... THE DOOR. SCRAPING AT THE DOOOOOOORR!!
is the sequel/reboot of Ghost Rider
, released in the year 2012 and still starring Nicolas Cage
Struggling to control Ghost Rider, John Blaze has moved to Europe. He is contacted by a Christian order to find and protect a boy named Danny from the Devil himself, and in return he gets to rid himself of the Rider.
It was met with the same critical response of the first, but became a modest financial success worldwide. However, the film did not do well enough to meet Sony's financial expectations, and the film rights of the character have since gone back to Marvel Studios.
This film has the examples of:
- Actionized Sequel: This movie has a lot more action scenes than the first, and they're all longer and more destructive. For quick comparison, The Rider's bodycount in the first movie is four people, while in the sequel his bodycount numbers in the dozens.
- Action Mom: Nadya packs a knife and gun and isn't afraid to employ a little Car Fu.
- Adaptational Badass: Blackout in the comics is just a dude who can suck out the light of environments, and he isn't at all that much of a challenge to the Ghost Rider, but his movie self nearly kills the Rider.
- Adaptational Heroism: Zarathos is shown as more of a benign being in this movie compared to his more asshole-ish comic self.
- Adaptational Wimp: Roarke, implied to be Mephisto going by a different name, is a Non-Action Big Bad, in contrast to the Physical God he is in the comics.
- The Alcoholic: Moreau.
- The Antichrist: Danny.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Devil's previous human incarnations have included Vlad the Impaler, Idi Amin, Billy the Kid, Joseph Stalin...and Jerry Springer.
- Ascended Demon: What Johnny Blaze becomes when he becomes Ghost Rider a second time...with blue flames and a soul to keep.
- Aside Glance: Ghost Rider does this when he pees fire.
- Ax-Crazy: The Angel-turned-demon Zarathos is explicitly stated to be insane, and Ghost Rider kills mooks aplenty.
- Badass Normal: Moreau can still hang with demons despite not having any powers.
- Such as surviving straight drops of 20+ feet while chasing after Nadya & contorting his body in mid-air after being knocked off his motorcycle and in the same span of time, shooting at the tires of the SUV chasing after them.
- Badass Preacher: Moreau.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Take it away, Johnny:
Johnny: This power that we have comes from a dark place, but it's not who we are. And we can use it to help people.
- Big Bad: Roarke.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Roarke is unable to use The Devil's powers without burning out his body, so in a fight he's pretty much just a dude in a suit. He at least seems to be a decent getaway driver, though.
- Black Comedy: The Rider's jokes are mostly this. Such as "Roadkill", which he says to a dead foe stretched in the road.
- Bloodless Carnage: People are turned to ash and set on fire. But, as you can guess from its PG-13 rating, there's no blood and gore. Though there is one very quick aerial shot in which a mook is cut in half by the Ghost Rider's chain and you see that his upper half plops on the ground, with what appears to be a puddle of blood.
- A few mooks are also taken down with gunfire with no signs of blood.
- Bilingual Bonus: When Moreau is shooting up the place to interrupt the ceremony between Danny and Roarke, you can briefly hear him shouting "Mea maxima culpa!" For people who know Latin, they know this means "My most grievous fault."
- Body Snatcher: Roarke's plan for Danny.
- Brick Joke: This exchange:
Danny: What if you have to pee when you're on fire?
Johnny: Oh yeah, it's like a flamethrower.
(Cue imagery of the Ghost Rider pissing flames)
Think of a flamethrower. (Cue imagery of the Ghost Rider pissing flames) Danny: (doubles over laughing)
- Brought Down to Normal/He's Back: Who else?
- The Cameo: Anthony Head and Christopher Lambert both show up as priests of Moreau's order.
- Canon Immigrant: Moreau.
- Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Carrigan is never called Blackout, the name of his character in the comics. The name Ghost Rider is only spoken once (otherwise, it's "the Rider").
- True to the Cinema Sins "roll credits at the title drop" gag, Blaze declaring himself as the Ghost Rider is the last line in the film.
- Continuity Nod: While in a restaurant, Johnny drinks water straight out of a pitcher.
- Creator Cameo: Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
- Darker and Edgier: This movie features a lot more violence and dark humor than the first. It also features darker aspects in general, such as the Rider's Ax-Crazy being amped up.
- Even the look of the film is edgier than the first one. Whereas the original Ghost Rider movie had several vibrant colors (particularly the colors blue and orange) in most of the shots, this film mostly has ash grey filters all over the place. The design of the Ghost Rider is also more rugged and creepier than it used to be.
- Decoy Protagonist: Moreau shows up in the first scene and has an extended action sequence before we ever get a glimpse of Ghost Rider or even the title. Additionally, the opening sequence is set up with the possibility that Moreau died, but we quickly learn he survived.
- Demonic Possession
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
- Carrigan, a puny human, manages to K.O. Ghost Rider during their first encounter, a feat that high-level demons couldn't manage in the first film.
- Also, more literally near the end, where a de-powered Johnny punches Roarke right in the face.
- Disproportionate Retribution: According to Blaze's opening narration, the Rider will happily Penance Stare a person even if only sin is something as minor as shoplifting a DVD.
- The Dragon: Carrigan.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Moreau's last act of defiance is to headbutt Carrigan.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Carrigan was pretty tough even before he gained powers.
- Evil Counterpart: Carrigan and Blaze are both men empowered by unholy magic who are nearly invencible in combat. The Rider and Carrigan also share a twisted sense of humour and thirst for blood.
- Fallen Angel: In this version the spirit of the Ghost Rider is one, a spirit of justice meant to protect the innocent that was dragged to hell, driven mad seeing the evils of humanity, and became the spirit of vengeance.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: During Johnny's Rider monologue, the Ghost Rider turns the lights of his eyes on the viewer while explaining the threats of the penance stare.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Danny
- I'm Not Afraid of You: When Carrigan boasts this to Ghost Rider it proves to be his undoing.
- Indestructible Edible: Blackout is hungry, so he goes through the lunch of a guy he killed. The sandwich rots, the apple rots, but the twinkie just sits there.
- Jerk Ass: Carrigan, Even before getting turned into Blackout.
- Knight Templar: The Rider is depicted as having become much more merciless in this film, to the point where Blaze suggests that it would use the Penance Stare on someone simply for illegally downloading an mp3. This explains why Blaze abandoned his original plan from the end of the first movie to use the Rider's powers for good, and is hiding out in a warehouse in Eastern Europe.
- Although it's not so much that he can't use the Rider's power for good, but he literally can't anymore.
- Large Ham: Nicolas Cage seems to have forgotten to take his anti-crazy pills because he's friggin' insane in this.
It's scraping at the door! IT'S SCRAPIN' AT DA DAAAAAAAWWWWWW!!
- Leitmotif: The Rider has one that plays every time he does anything awesome. In other words, it plays once every five minutes.
- Mood Whiplash: Moreau showing up at Johnny's hideout of self-imposed exile, dramatically declaring that his (Moreau's) brothers are dead and so should he be, but for the grace of God... and then a quick flashback to him hanging upside down from a tree.
- Also, when Roarke is describing his power, he tells Danny to 'think of a flamethrower'. Earlier, Johnny had described "peeing [as the Ghost Rider]" as a flamethrower; Danny instantly cracks up.
- Mook Horror Show: Lampshaded; after the first encounter with Ghost Rider, Carrigan describes the experience was like "something out of a horror movie".
- Mythology Gag: When Carrigan uses his powers, he causes all light in the nearby environment to black out from the victim's perspective, in the comics, this was his actual power, hence his name being Blackout. Also Danny as in Danny Ketch, the second Ghost Rider in the comics.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Blackout was about two seconds away from killing Ghost Rider. And then he made the fatal mistake of looking into his eyes.
- Roarke explaining to Danny that they have the same powers.
- Nominal Hero: Zarathos is prety much a psychopath who is just there for the killing. It is only Blaze who manages to keep the Rider in check.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Roarke's minions actually chant when they perform The Rite.
- Parental Substitute: Blaze becomes this for Danny along the movie.
- Plot Hole: Roarke uses his powers to install a "firewall" in Danny's head so that Blaze can't track him...but does nothing for his minions that Blaze will still be able to track.
- Power Degeneration: The more Roarke uses his powers, the more burned out his host body becomes. This actually drives the plot.
''Think of trying to use a flame thrower made of paper mache."
- Precision F-Strike: Johnny Blaze was the "Worst fuckin deal" Roarke ever made.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Go... home!" Said to the devil.
- Resist The Beast: Johnny's problem throughout the movie, as the Spirit of Vengeance takes delight in brutally punishing even the pettiest sin.
- Rewrite: While keeping in continuity with the first film for the most part, Mephisto is retconned out in favor of the less ostentatiously named Roarke.
- Moreau does say that "The Devil goes by many names." The real change is that Mephisto was manifesting in the real world himself before, but now can only act through a host body. This one happens to be named Roarke.
- Retcon: It's kind of a soft-reboot, a la The Incredible Hulk.
- Universal Driver's License: The Rider can drive anything, and convert it to a hell-born mechanical nightmare while doing so.
- Take That: Jerry Springer is one of the Devil's incarnation.
- Trailers Always Spoil: A rather annoying example. In every commercial, Ghost Rider is seen tossing a man into the air, then grabbing him by his chain, prepared to kick the guy's ass. Not only is this man the Big Bad, but this happens seconds before the climax.
- Two-Faced: Roarke is a more subtle example, half of his face is much older than the other.
- Walking Wasteland: Carrigan is brought back from the dead by Roarke as Blackout, with the ability to decay anything he touches.note
- Your Soul Is Mine: Ghost Rider is stated to eat the souls of sinners, rather than just using the Penance Stare.