There's usually a law of diminishing returns with blockbuster sequels, so they say, especially superhero sequels, but I'd go so far as to say there's a pretty even balance of a sequel getting it right and improving upon the original as there is to one completely ballsing it up. Elsewhere my list of sequels that better their predecessor includes the likes of 'Addams Family Values', 'Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey' and 'Shanghai Knights' (no, really) and I'm pretty confident that we'll be able to add Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance to that list. The first Ghost Rider was undoubtedly one of the worst films of 2007, topped only by the other Nicolas Cage flick Next for audience insulting awfulness; Ghost Rider's one redeeming feature is how funny I found Peter Fonda's disgruntled noises as the lamest cinematic Satan in screen history. Alas, the film made a heap load of cash at the box office and a sequel was, strangely, inevitable and has been gestating since 2007. Fortunately Daredevil director Mark Steven Johnson wasn't re-hired to write and direct the follow-up, and the announcement that Crank directing team Neveldine/Taylor would be behind the camera pushed the film up a notch. They also recently tweeted about the beginning of rehearsals with the rather subtle:
"NICOLAS FUCKING CAGE"And followed this up with the fan-baiting news that:
"The dual role of blaze/zarathos will be a nic cage classic"Collider caught up with Brian Taylor to get a bit of clarity of what exactly this dual-performance from Cage might entail:
"Zarathos is the spirit of vengeance that inhabits John Blaze when he becomes Ghost Rider. Unlike the first movie, where the Rider was stiffly acted out by a various stunt guys, Nic will be playing all the Ghost Rider stuff himself and we are creating a whole physical language for the demon that is different from the human Blaze."Cage, bless him, tried his best to pepper his original performance of Blaze with character quirks (jelly beans anyone?), but it was in the superdemonic alter-ego that the film really suffered. Fortunately Neveldine/Taylor know how to ring out a manic, crazed intensity from their actors (see; everyone in Crank) and here handed a $70million+ budget they'll hopefully deliver a truly whacked out spook-fest that at least harnesses Cage's hammy talents in the right direction. With a supporting cast that includes The Wire's Idris Elba, The American's Violante Placido and There Will Be Blood's Ciarin Hinds expect Blaze to not remain in hiding for long as he is recruited by an Eastern European sect to take on the Devil, who wants to take over his mortal son's body on the boy's birthday... and to think, his mum only got him a train set. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will be out on February 17th, 2012.