Somewhere in Eastern Europe, a monk named Moreau (Idris Elba with a French accent) arrives at a castle-like monastery on a motorcycle. The castle is assaulted and a woman named Nadia (Violante Placido) with a child named Danny (Fergus Riordan) escape on a mountain road, pursued by the attackers. Moreau races after them to assist, but is driven off a cliff and we think he is dead. Idris Elba, fifteen minutes into the movie? I think not.
He finds Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) in the place where he is hiding. He knows that John is the Ghost Rider and asks for help in saving the child, whom he knows the Rider can find.
In return, his church can rid John of the Ghost Rider. Mother and son are still being pursued. Their vehicle crashes and they are surrounded by the pursuers, commanded by Johnny Witworth (Ray Carrigan) who has had a relationship with the mother. He has been hired to get the boy by the Devil himself in the form of Roarke (Ciaran Hinds).
The Ghost Rider makes a serious entrance. He turns a number of bad guys into flaming ash, but Witworth blows him away with a powerful gun long enough to take the mother and son and check in with Roarke, who as the Devil has the power to block the Ghost Rider's ability to track the boy. Danny is the Devil's child and has otherworldly powers of his own.
The bad guys have a missile weapon that is attracted to flame, puts out the fire by sucking out all the oxygen, and explodes. Johnny is trying not to transform into the Rider because he feels a powerful urge to attack the Devil's son. His struggle with himself is in Nicholas Cage's patented edge-of-madness shtick. He catches up to the bad guys and turns the tables on them by abandoning his bike for a giant mining machine, turning it into huge wheels of fire, and the bad guys are pretty much wiped out. Mother and son flee the battle, the Rider catches up and advances on Danny, but the boy commands him and evicts the Rider from Johnny.
Roarke turns up at the scene of battle, finds the crushed and dying Witworth and possesses him, turning him into Blackout, who has the power to rot anyone or anything he touches. This makes it difficult to eat anything--except Twinkies. Moreau catches up with Johnny, Nadya, and Danny on the road and takes them to a monastery to keep mother and child safe. Johnny, as promised, is cured of the Rider's possession. But they are betrayed and Danny is taken to be used as a vessel for the reincarnation of the Devil. Johnny, Moreau, and Nadya, who seems know her way around a high-powered rifle, set off to assault an arena where Satan's minions are gathering to witness Danny's ascension as the new King of Hell--without the help of the Ghost Rider.
Like a lot of sequels, Spirit of Vengeance lacks much of the cohesion and punch of the first Ghost Rider movie and tends to shore up the less compelling emotional impact with bigger and louder action scenes. If you like the demonic energy of the first, you'll like the second. Particular use is made of Johnny's struggles not to be completely overcome by the Ghost Rider and of the close-ups of the flaming skull as it terrifies its victims.