- (Photo: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz)
"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" debuted this weekend, and critics are already weighing in with mostly unfavorable reviews.
The sequel, which again stars Nicholas Cage, follows the Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, as he seeks to hide from humanity because of his unnatural demon powers. However, he is approached by a church sect leader played by Idris Elba, who warns him that the Apocalypse will take place unless he protects a 10-year-old child, Danny.
Blaze, who transforms into the skeletal, flaming Ghost Rider in exchange for selling his soul, is faces off against the Devil himself in the thriller. Despite the action-nature of the Marvel comic adaptation, though, critics were decidedly rough with the film, sparing neither cinematography nor Cage's acting in their reviews.
"There are lots of odd camera angles from either too close or too low, and many shots linger oddly in one place too long or focus on the wrong subject. I'm not sure what the director (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor) was trying to do with all these off-putting shots, but he certainly failed," wrote CB Droege on TG Daily.
"A wisp of a story with no variation in pace links cycle chases and violent battles," wrote Phillip French of the U.K. Observer.
Despite the largely negative reviews -- RottenTomatoes.com compiled reviews for an overall 15 percent score -- few liked the flick, although they admitted it left much to be desired.
Kyle Anderson of EW.com called the directors' take on the series "refreshingly irreverent," and the scenes "pages from noir comics. "He also cited supporting cast like Idris Elba -- many critics applauded his performance despite the overall review -- as a reason to go see the newest "Ghost Rider."
Still, for the many who were disappointed by the first "Ghost Rider" film, doing any less than a spectacular job on the second was a mistake, and critics made that unflinchingly clear in their evaluations.
"Like the first 'Ghost Rider' movie, this one burns plenty of rubber trying to swerve around plot holes and thinly written characters," wrote Adam Markowitz of Entertainment Weekly.
"Another step downward in the spiral to the bottom of Nicholas Cage's career," penned Jackie K. Cooper on JackieKCooper.com.
Critics reviews may not line up with audience expectations, though, as 46 percent of them liked it, according to Rotten Tomatoes.