The film begins with a monk named Moreau (Idris Elba) arriving at a temple in Eastern Europe. Moreau arrives and speaks with the head monk and inquires if they have found the boy he has been looking for. The monk confirms that the boy is with them now. Moreau asks them to let him bring the boy to The Rider, who Moreau believes is the only one capable of protecting the boy. The head monk dismisses Moreau’s concerns and says that the monks are strong enough to protect the boy on their own without help from The Ghost Rider. The monk also makes fun of Moreau, saying that his drinking is beginning to get the better of him.
Just then a mercenary named Ray Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth) and his men launch an attack on the temple in search of the boy. During the attack, Nadya (Violante Placido) attempts to escape with the boy, her son Danny (Fergus Riordan), who the monks where protecting. They are chased by two of Carrigan’s men, but they are taken out by Moreau. Moreau attempts to get them to come with him, but Nadya thinks he is with Carrigan and shoots at him. Carrigan and his men murder all of the monks and they see Nadya and Danny driving out of the temple, with Moreau in pursuit, and follow after them. Carrigan chases after Nadya resulting in a shootout between Moreau and Carrigan. Moreau crashes into a rail and flies off a cliff, but turns in the air and shoots out Carrigan’s tires and Carrigan’s truck crashes and flips over.
Cut to Black.
In an animated sequence. Stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) explains how he became the Ghost Rider. He was a stunt motorcycle rider who made his fame but doing a backflip on a bike and exposing his butt in midair in front of 22,000 people. It shows a young and desperate Blaze on his hands and knees in a dark alley at the feet of a man named Rourke (Ciaran Hinds) who is the devil and offers to restore the health of Johnny’s father if he signs over his soul. The contract is put in front of Johnny who smears his bloody hand over the contract, signing his soul over. Johnny’s father is cured of his cancer, but dies soon afterwards in a stunt. Johnny then reveals there was a catch in the deal, and that was for him become possessed by a demon and serve Rourke. While possessed by this demon, Johnny becomes the Ghost Rider, a being who can punish people for the wrongs they have done. Johnny struggles to control the demon because if he doesn’t The Rider will punish even good people no matter what their crimes may be. The Rider punishes people with the penance stare, which is by forcing someone to make eye contact with the Rider and sucking out their soul. Johnny refused to serve Rourke’s agenda and has been hiding in Eastern Europe to try and find a way to save himself and control the demon he is merged with.
“Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance” flashes across the screen.
Blaze is sleeping in his hideout, a dark and deserted warehouse in the middle of nowhere when he is awoken by the sound of someone driving up to his warehouse. It is Moreau who enters and asks for Johnny’s help in protecting Danny. Blaze is reluctant but Moreau says it is fate that brought him to Blaze with a flashback revealing that Moreau landed in a tree after flying off the cliff. Blaze attacks Moreau with his chain and demands to know why he is needed to protect a kid. Moreau says that The Ghost Rider is the only one strong enough to defend Danny for Blaze’s old adversary, Rourke, who will stop at nothing to get the boy because of a special connection they have. Moreau needs Blaze to protect the boy for the next couple days because Rourke can only use Danny in that time frame. In exchange for his help, Moreau says that he and his temple will lift the curse from Blaze. Blaze agrees to help Moreau find Danny because he says he can no longer run from his curse any longer.
Nadya and Danny have stopped in a café and steal the wallet of a rich man trying to hit on Nadya. They get back in their car as Carrigan and his men watch them drive away and continue to follow them. Carrigan chases them and forces them off the road and they crash. Nadya stumbles out of the car and it is revealed by Carrigan that he used to be in a relationship with Nadya, but Danny is not his son and does not care what Rourke does with. Carrigan has captured Danny.
Blaze is still in the warehouse with Moreau, staring at a picture of Danny trying to get a sense of where the boy is. Blaze realizes where Danny and his mother are. The Ghost Rider begins to take over and immediately drives off to save them. Carrigan’s men beat on Danny and are about to execute Nadya when the Ghost Rider comes flying through the air on his bike crashing onto the ground. Carrigan’s men are stunned at the sight of The Rider, with his flaming skull and hell fire motorcycle.
Carrigan’s men attempt to attack the Ghost Rider, but he easily defeats them. He burns several to ashes with his hellfire chain and sucks the soul out of another with his penance stare. Carrigan pulls out a large missile launcher and blasts the Ghost Rider. It sends the Rider flying through the air and Blaze wakes up in the hospital in severe pain. Blaze steals pain medicine and escapes the hospital before the nurse can notify the police. As he escapes, he spots Nadya escaping from the hospital and follows her. She confronts him and Blaze tells her that he is there to help get Danny back and they agree to work together.
Carrigan has Danny now and he calls Rourke, who is exiting a train, and tells him that he wants more money to continue with the job. Rourke says there is no renegotiating, but Carrigan tells him that when he agreed to the job that Rourke never said anything about fighting a monster with a flaming skull. Rourke realizes that the monks have recruited Blaze to protect Danny and asks to talk to Danny. Carrigan puts the phone to his ear Rourke whispers something into the phone and Danny screams as his eyes turn black and he passes out. Carrigan asks Rourke what he did, Rourke says he broke off the connection the Rider has with Danny and the Rider won’t be able to find him again. Rourke tells Carrigan to continue with the plan.
Nadya and Johnny have stolen a truck and Nadya asks him about the demon inside of him. Johnny tells her that the demon is consumed by hunger for souls and Johnny has trouble controlling him because everyone has done something that the Rider can use as an excuse to take their soul. Nadya tells Johnny about her past with Carrigan and Rourke. She was a poor gypsy who saw Carrigan as her way out of her life of poverty. She became a part of his life as a gun runner. One day a deal went south and she was lying on the ground dying when she was approached by Rourke, who said that he would restore her life as long as she did something in return for him. She agreed and she became pregnant with Danny, who is Rourke’s son.
Blaze says that without his connection to Danny he does not know how to find the boy before Rourke gets to him. Nadya says she has an idea on how to find them. She takes Blaze to a home of an arms dealer that she knows, an associate of Carrigan. They interrogate the man on where Carrigan is heading. The man at first refuses but, sensing the man’s evil, the Rider begins to emerge right there. Blaze holds the Rider back saying that he will let the Rider loose to suck the man’s soul out if he doesn’t tell Johnny where Carrigan is. The man tells them that Carrigan is heading to a meeting in a deserted area to buy weapons. Blaze runs out of the house as he begins to change and his hell cycle is already waiting for him as Blaze continues to morph into the Ghost Rider while driving after Carrigan.
Carrigan and his men are stocking up on large supplies of weapons when they hear the roar of the Ghost Rider approaching. Blaze arrives and uses his hellfire chain to take apart Carrigan’s men. Carrigan attempts to use another missile launcher on the Rider, but this time the Rider avoids most of the damage. The Rider climb into a large crane and it becomes consumed with hellfire as the Rider takes control of it. The Rider laughs manically as he uses the crane to kill the remainder of Carrigan’s men. While this is going on Nadya pulls up and drives away with Danny. The Rider grabs Carrigan and is preparing to kill him when he realizes that Nadya has driven away with Danny. Carrigan tells him to finish him off, but the Rider throws him through the air. The Rider catches up with Nadya and Danny and forces them off the road. The Rider can’t control himself and is preparing to kill Nadya when Danny tells him to stop. Danny is able to help Blaze take back control of The Rider. Blaze then realizes that Danny has special powers of his own.
The next morning Blaze, Danny and Nadya stop at a diner to eat. Blaze notices Danny starring sadly at a father eating with his children. Blaze tries to befriend the boy and begins to get him to open up as they talk. Blaze informs Nadya that he has arranged a meeting with Moreau so they can take them to his temple to be protected until the deadline passes for Rourke to take Danny.
Moreau meets up with them on the road and drives alongside the truck as Blaze and Danny continue to talk in the back. Danny asks Blaze several questions about the Ghost Rider and how he is able to take control of anything he uses, like the crane or other weapons. The boy then asks if Blaze urinates fire when he is The Rider. Blaze says that he does and Danny asks what it’s like. Blaze says it’s like a fire hose and demonstrates while Danny imagines Johnny as the Rider and laughs. Johnny then asks if Danny wants to have fun. He allows Danny to sit on the front of his bike as he drives and performs stunts to Danny’s enjoyment.
Meanwhile, Rourke arrives at the site of last night’s fight and finds everyone dead, including Carrigan. The paramedics and police officers do not see Rourke standing over Carrigan’s body talking to his soul telling him that his job is not done. Carrigan tells him that he is dead and to leave him alone. Rourke brings him back to life, but as a demon in white who now has the power to destroy anything he touches by making it immediately decay. Carrigan is now Blackout. Carrigan kills a paramedic, steals his ambulance and drives off.
Blaze and the group arrive at Moreau’s monastery where they meet Methodius (Christopher Lambert), the leader of the monks. Methodius thanks them for bringing Danny to them and Moreau pulls Johnny aside telling him to come with him and he will hold up his end of the deal and lift his curse. Danny becomes upset as he thinks Johnny only saved him to help himself and isn’t seeing it through with them. Johnny tries to convince him otherwise, but he heads off with Moreau.
Moreau takes Johnny down to a winery underneath the monastery and shares a drink with him. Johnny says that he wants to know about the demon inside of him before he goes through with the ritual. Moreau tells him that the demon that he is merged with is called Zarathos and was once an angel in heaven before being corrupted in hell and becoming a demon. Blaze says that if Zarathos was once an angel, then there is the possibility that there is some good left in him. Moreau says it’s a possibility but Johnny then states he cannot feel it any good in Zarathos. Moreau also says that Johnny must confess the dark secret that has haunted him all of these years. Johnny comes clean and says that he didn’t sell his soul for his father, he did it for himself. He said his father had accepted his fate and was ready to die, but Johnny wasn’t ready for him to die and sold his soul for his own personal comfort and it has haunted him all these years.
Johnny goes into a ceremonial chamber alone and is locked in. He begins to have visions and flashbacks of his life and his actions as The Rider. He begins to convulse and scream on the ground and Zarathos begins to emerge and leave Johnny. Blaze screams out in pain and laughter as the screen cuts to black. Blaze wakes up later and realizes he is cured for the demon and is overjoyed. He begins to look for Moreau when he finds Methodius and the rest of the monks holding Moreau, Danny and Nadya hostage. Blaze tries to defend them but he is no match for them without his powers. Believes that the only way to stop Rourke is to kill Danny so Rourke cannot capture him again. Moreau pleads with Methodius to let the boy go, but Methodius has the three locked away while he prepares a ceremony where he will kill Danny.
Methodius prepares to kill Danny when Carrigan/Blackout shows up and kills all of the monks. Methodius attempts to fight Carrigan but Carrigan sneaks up on him and decays his entire body in seconds. He takes Danny and brings him to Rourke. The three eventually escape and Nadya is distraught and blames Johnny and Moreau for losing Danny. Moreau reveals exactly why Rourke wants his son Danny. Despite being the devil, on Earth, Rourke is in a human body which has its weaknesses and his body is beginning to break down. Being his son, Danny already has several powers of his own and Rourke wants to transfer himself into Danny’s body and take it over and will use his body to continue to walk the earth for another generation. Blaze tells Nadya that even without his powers he will save Danny from Rourke. Moreau says that there is one place Rourke can use to perform the ritual.
The three arrive at an old rundown arena that has several limousines arrive with dozens and dozens of people stepping out. Blaze asks Moreau who the people are and Moreau tells him that they are world leaders, politicians and others who have sold their soul to Rourke and will witness the ritual transformation. Nadya uses a sniper rifle to kill the guards while Blaze and Moreau sneak into the arena. Before they make their move, the two share an old bottle of wine and wish each other luck. As the ritual begins and Rourke begins to take over Danny’s body, Moreau heads into the stands of the arena and attacks Rourke’s men while Blaze rushes the stage and attacks Rourke, disrupting the ritual. He attempts to run away with Danny but is knocked off the stage. Blaze is held down by the cloaked people who have sold their souls to Rourke while Moreau is attacked by Carrigan. Moreau attempts to fight Carrigan, but is defeated and is body is rotted out and destroyed as Blazes watches helplessly.
Carrigan prepares to kill Blaze when Danny stops him. Rourke thinks that Danny wants to kill Blaze himself. Blaze tells Danny that he came here to save him and that no matter what he’ll never be what Rourke is. Danny looks at Rourke and says that they have the same powers. Johnny looks at Danny and tells him to do it. Danny then leaps on top of Johnny and sends Zarathos back into Johnny’s body. They merge and Johnny is now the Ghost Rider again and uses his hellfire chain to kill all of the people who worship Rourke. Rourke takes Danny and escapes, as well as Carrigan, and the Ghost Rider chases after them. Ghost Rider catches up to Rourke’s men and jumps on top of their truck and destroys it. Nadya is catching up to them in their own truck when Carrigan leaps onto the top of her car and punches through the windshield. He tries to kill Nadya and almost touches her face when Johnny jumps from the one vehicle to Nadya’s and begins to fight Carrigan. They fight on the hood of the car and Carrigan is winning the fight and is pushing Blaze off of the car when the Rider fights back and finishes off Carrigan with the penance stare and throws him onto the road where he is run over by Nadya. Ghost Rider says “Road Kill” and jumps back onto his hell cycle and chases after Rourke and Danny. The Rider takes his hell chain and snags the bottom of Rourke’s truck and flips it over and it rolls off the road.
The Rider walks up to the destroyed car and pulls Rourke out of it. The Rider roars in Rourke’s face as Rourke remarks that his deal with Johnny was the worst he ever made. Ghost Rider tosses Rourke into the air, shouts “GO HOME” and catches Rourke midair with the hellfire chain and slams him through the ground and Rourke falls back to hell as his body burns up and he turns back into a demon and plummets into hell.
Nadya runs up screaming for Danny. The Rider pulls an unconscious Danny from the wreckage and it looks as if Danny is dead. Nadya holds Danny’s body and cries as Blaze takes back control and says that the demon inside of him was once an angel and for the first time he can feel what is left of the angel inside of him. He touches Danny’s face and Danny immediately regains consciousness. A relieved Nadya holds her son as Danny asks Johnny if they won. Johnny says yes and then pauses for a moment and says “Hell yes!”.
Cut to Black. With a voice over from Blaze saying that he is The Ghost Rider.
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