Philip French 

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance in 3D – review

Nicolas Cage dons the helmet of the Ghost Rider once more in an underwhelming sequel, writes Philip French

Five years ago Nicolas Cage played the fairground stunt biker Johnny Blaze, the Marvel Comics superhero who made a pact with the devil (Peter Fonda) in the American west to save his dad's life and took on the alter ego of Ghost Rider, servant of Satan. I thought it rather good (admittedly a minority view). In this inferior sequel, shot on arid locations in Romania and the awesomely beautiful Göreme region of Turkey (where Pasolini made his Medea), Johnny is pressed by a biker monk (Idris Elba) to save a boy of holy lineage from Old Nick with the possibility of regaining his soul.

A wisp of a story with no variation in pace links cycle chases and violent battles. Cage whispers, rants and becomes literally incandescent, turning into a blazing skeleton when aroused, which is fairly often. His chief opponent, a biker of Irish extraction, is raised from the dead and given the power to bring instant decay to his opponents. The ubiquitous Ciarán Hinds brings a suitably demonic gravitas to the devil.