Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

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Ghost Rider is the Incredible Hulk if the Hulk had fire instead of muscles. Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is cursed with becoming a fiery skeleton when angered, to serve as the devil’s bounty hunter, capturing bad guys and sucking out their souls. In Spirit of Vengeance, he is out to save a young boy from those types of bad guys, with the possible reward of lifting his curse.

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About 30 profanities (including one F–word) are cut. Violent scenes — of which there are a lot — are trimmed here and there when the images get too excessive. Some exposition regarding Blaze’s past is also cut, including his pact with the devil. The fiery skeleton and mayhem will doubtless scare young kids, but 12–year–old boys will love it. Sadly, mine did.

But if you have the comic–book Spirit, will you enjoy the Rider?…

Probably. Explosions and manic performances are the main draw. Amazingly, the scenes in which Cage chews the scenery in classic over–the–top form were my favorites. Comic–book conventions such as split screens, acute angles, weird camera moves and wry–though–not–necessarily–funny humor abound. The rest was a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Marty Nabhan—ClearPlay Hot Stuff
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, and language; 95 min; Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
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