As much as I wanted to love any bike movie, this second installment in the Marvel Comics adopted antihero series left me feeling even less fulfilled than the 2007 film, GHOST RIDER, which I even purchased on Bluray. Critics seem to agree with me here, where only 17% of the critics surveyed on Rotten Tomatoes loved this film. That’s not very good. The 2007 film got a slightly better 26% critical approval, almost making you wonder why this second film was even made in the first place.

As far as action films go, GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE is acceptable enough as a generic action film, but sure doesn’t hit the ball out of the park like other superhero comic based shows have done. Look at how much better THE AVENGERS, IRON MAN, BATMAN or SPIDERMAN all are compared to GHOST RIDER. There’s no question that this is far and away the weakest of the superhero-type comic based franchise action series right now. The movie is still worth a look. But, just barely.

As good of an actor as Nicolas Cage is he just seems wasted in this lightweight generic action film script that just left me feeling disappointed at nearly every turn. Even the motorcycle scenes seemed to lack an intensity you’d expect of any bike-oriented movie.

You’d certainly expect any good tale of being the Devil’s bounty hunter to at least be more exciting than this film turned out to be here. But, the latest installment of the soul-sucking tale of Johnny Blaze seemingly was somewhat sucking, but not so much souls here.

The producers of GHOST RIDER:SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE seemed to realize early in the game where this movie was headed. They only invested just $57 million in the film compared to the much larger $110 million dollar budget of the first film, although both films proved to be profitable enterprises. Whether a third film gets made in this series is a bit of a question at this point. If each film has half the budget of the last film, along with half the revenue, then what’s the point of just producing trash for trash’s sake. Even when the movie attempted to be funny such as comparing Jerry Springer (of all people) to the human incarnation of the Devil, the movie seemed more lame than not here. I’ve seen far more entertaining films than this one shot for a lot less money than this film. A far better script and a little inspired acting on the part of Nicolas Cage would have been much appreciated here.

The Bottom Line: A further disappointment built upon that 2007 disappointment. One of the most promising movie franchises fails to deliver as it really could have. Still acceptable to watch with a nice bag of popcorn or munchies at your side. But, hardly a classic that you want to revisit over and over in your Bluray collection. **1/2 Two And A Half Stars. A little better than just fair, but certainly a notch or two better than those poor one star fiascoes. Fine to rent. But, probably not a wise $30 Bluray investment.

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