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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance marginally improves on original 

3D demon biker revs a few cheap thrills

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Whereas the first Ghost Rider was a gloomy, inert slog weighed down by the demands of establishing the lead character’s backstory, the follow-up refuses to tether itself to any kind of narrative or logic. The story, such as it is, places Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) in Eastern Europe, where he and his flaming-skeleton alter ego must protect a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from being inhabited by the devil. The Ghost Rider special effects are better, Cage’s batshit-crazy performance yields some amusing moments and the whole hot mess is served up in three dimensions this time. To say that this sequel tops its predecessor is to praise in a manner both faint and damning---it’s only a slight upgrade from abysmal---but at least there are some cheap thrills.


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