Most everyone seems to agree that 2007's Ghost Rider was an underwhelming addition to the comic book movie genre. While next year's sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, has been touted as something completely different (and, by association, better) than the original, there hasn't been a whole lot announced about the project that inspires confidence.
However, the footage previewed at the 2011 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Comic-Con Panel went over well with those in the audience - and now a trailer has been released, offering everyone else an early look at Johnny Blaze's new (cinematic) ride.
Perhaps the biggest potential asset - and, ironically, reason for concern - for Ghost Rider 2 is the involvement of directing duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (the Crank movies). Their particular breed of action flick tend to boast some of the loopier bits of editing and cinematography you'll see in a film. Combine that with the fact that Nicolas Cage is reprising his turn as dark-haired daredevil Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider in Spirit of Vengeance and you have to wonder: is there maybe too much crazy talent involved with this sequel for its own good?
No point in delaying any longer - get your first look at Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (via iTunes Movie Trailers) below:
One thing is certain: Spirit of Vengeance will definitely look like a completely different movie than its predecessor. Even the visual effects used to bring its flaming skull-headed protagonist to life are slicker and more refined. The digital format and bits of frantic editing glimpsed here are right on par with Neveldine and Taylor's Crank movies, which may or may not translate that well into 3D - though some sequences (like the trailer bit where a car literally crashes into the camera) should prove effective. Just don't go overboard with having Johnny whip his chain around, okay boys?
There's not a whole lot revealed about the plot here, but Spirit of Vengeance is said to involve Blaze being in self-imposed exile, when he is approached by a monk named Moreau (Idris Elba) to protect a mother and son from a sinister figure named Roarke. We also know that the villainous Blackout will be involved in all this somehow, and that Blaze eventually loses his powers, forcing him to find (say it with us)... the strength to become a real hero.
Neveldine and Taylor have always been more about flashy action, not thematic substance, and so far Spirit of Vengeance looks like it won't break that trend. David S. Goyer collaborated with Scott M. Gimple (FlashForward) and Seth Hoffman (Prison Break) on the script for the film - which is good news, since Goyer does his best work when collaborating with others. Hopefully, this crew haven't bent the classic Ghost Rider comic book mythology so much that it's broken.
Be sure to also check out the (flaming) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance poster (via Coming Soon) below:
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance soars into 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on February 17th, 2012.
Source: iTunes Movie Trailers