This review comes with an admitted bias: I love comic book movies! At they're best, they can be a blend of many different genres in one. They can encompass action, romance, comedy, drama, and horror in one movie (Spider-Man 2 for example). They also often offer visuals that cannot be pulled off in any other movie without being considered a rip off of that particular comic book character. You'll never see any other movie where a guy has knives pop out of his hands without thinking "Wolverine rip-off!"
So, generally, I go into a comic book movie willing to overlook many faults for the enjoyment of seeing some of my favorite characters brought to life in live action. That being said, it should mean something when I say Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a bad movie. Going into it, I had all expectations of it being a dumb, but fun enough, movie. But sadly it's not even that. And really, at several parts, it's just plain dumb.
I'd go as far as to say the first movie was better, which most people find to be crap anyways and I enjoy as a guilty pleasure. Hell, the scene in the first film where Ghost Rider drives up a skyscraper, chain whips a helicopter to him, tells the pilot "YOU'RE PISSING ME OFF," and then flings the helicopter away was a better Ghost Rider moment than anything you get in this new movie.
Spirit of Vengeance does have it's moments. Ghost Rider wreaks havoc on the some bad people, acting as gloriously nuts as only Nick Cage can. Seeing him climb into a giant piece of construction equipment that looks like a massive buzz saw, lighting it up with demon fire, and go to town with it while cackling maniacally was freaking sweet. That and the car chase scene accompanied by a knock-down-drag-out brawl on the hood of an SUV were really well done action sequences. We have directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (also directed Crank) to thank for that and their "over the top, in your face" touches that are seen throughout the movie, but they were too few and far between to keep it from all falling flat. Due to the ho-hum plot and script, the movie was actually straight up boring at several parts. It felt like there was a better movie boiling under the surface...the movie it should have been: ridiculous/hilariously over the top action with some good dark and cheesy humor thrown in, but you only got glimpses of it throughout the movie.
If you feel you still need to see this movie (I'd probably still go see it even after reading my own review here) save your money and see it in 2D. The 3D was barely utilized at all. Things don't get thrown at the screen much and most the entire movie still manages to appear 2D.
As a side note, I feel like Nick Cage is really starting to show his age. I'm thinking he should give up trying to portray these comic book heroes who are most often shown as in their late 20's to mid 30's and stick with the Big Daddy type roles (from the movie Kick Ass, which I'd say is easily his best role in several years now).
Last, but not least: the best part of this experience was seeing the new Amazing Spider-Man Trailer in 3D.