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Contrary to popular opinion, I don't think this movie is worse than its predecessor. Only problem is that the movie remains stuck at a B-movie level with just about everything, while the movie was obviously aiming for something way higher.

I really don't know what they were thinking with its story. It's not just bad but it's also being incredibly formulaic. Besides, it's a story that feels as if it at first got written for another, different, action-flick, without the character of Ghost Rider in it. This would also explain why Ghost Rider seems hardly to be in this, or at least it feels that way. Only during the movie its action moments, at the start, the middle and the end, Ghost Rider gets featured prominently, while during the rest of the movie he is simply being Johnny Blaze. I don't know, this movie doesn't ever feel enough like a superhero movie. It's really nothing more than a typical B-action flick, with a still slightly above average budget to it.

But at least I could understand and follow the story this time around, which is not something I can say about the first "Ghost Rider", which I really hated watching. And no, no matter how bad this movie got, I never hated watching this one. It's still somewhat entertaining, if you allow the story to not bother you too much.

It still has some good action in it, even while the action isn't always brought to the screen that well. This is really due to some horrendous editing at times. It's really weird but it seemed to me as if they forgot or weren't able to shoot half the footage they needed for its action. It makes some sudden and awkward cuts because of this, which never makes its moments flow very well. A real waste!

Visually it's still a fine movie to look at. It has a pleasant style and the special effects are just great. Ghost Rider himself never looked better and more convincing. Too bad he gets sort of wasted in this movie by its disappointing story.

And Nicolas Cage always seemed like a perfect choice to play the crazed Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider but after this movie, I'm suddenly not so sure about that anymore. He doesn't know when to hold back and when to go all out with his characters. The movie never finds a right balance between the craziness and intensity of the character and his more human and ordinary side. So perhaps not all of the blame should fall on Nicolas Cage but still I will have no problem with it if his role will be taken over by someone else, in future, coming, Ghost Rider movies.

And just like the Ghost Rider character, also the villains had some far more potential in this movie really. They are sort of wasted because they are not getting handled too well in its story. Here we have the devil himself, being played by Ciarán Hinds and a person with the power to let everything and everyone that he touches to decay. But both are not being featured prominently enough. During its first half, the Ciarán Hinds character doesn't seem important enough yet, while during its second half he suddenly takes up most of the screen time. And the villain played by Johnny Whitworth doesn't even gets his superpowers until half way through the movie. It is the sort of writing like this that lets the movie and its characters come across as sloppy at times and not all that great or interesting enough, to turn this into a good or memorable action-flick.

The best character of the movie is still being played by Idris Elba. But where he comes from, what his story is and why and if he really needed to be in this movie, still all remains a big question to me. It says something about the movie as well that he still manages to become the best and most interesting character of the movie, even though you really know nothing about him and won't learn anything about him either.

It's a poorly done film, which all can be foremost be brought back to its story. But it's still not THAT bad people. As an action movie, on a B-movie type of level, it's all being maintaining enough and the movie offers some good visuals at times.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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