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Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance (3D) (DQ)

5/10

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Violante Placido, Ciar√°n Hinds, Johnny Whitworth, Idris Elba, Fergus Riordan, Christopher Lambert, Anthony Head

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Played more manically than ever by Cage, who's at full throttle throughout, Johnny Blaze is back. Having struck a pact with the Devil (Hinds) to save his father's life, Blaze is now condemned to transform into the fire-consumed, fire-breathing, skull-headed Ghost Rider, trying to do good, but sucking the souls of his victims.

Currently, Blaze has hidden himself away in Romania, but the Devil (Hinds) is soon back to claim his due - the young boy (Riordan) he fathered with Nadya (Placido) and whose death will enable Old Lucifer to take human form.

Hired by an innovative monk (Elba), Blaze and his fiery bike are soon 'hot' on the Devil's trail, but Satan's own hired man (Whitworth), all but killed by Blaze's fiery alter ego, is revived by his master and given the power of darkness and decay.

This is the most utter rubbish - 'Danny's soul' gasps Elba, 'will be lost forever at the break of dawn' - but given 100 per cent and more by the cast, especially Cage, souped-up from the start, Whitworth and Hinds, all plunging headfirst into their eyeball-rolling characters.

3D should add a great deal to this, but somehow it doesn't. The special effects, though, like the performances, are pretty fearsome. How this got away with a 12A certificate, I'll never know.

David Quinlan

US/United Arab Emirates 2011. UK Distributor: Entertainment-one. Technicolor.
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 17 Feb 2012