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"Ghost Rider" Movie Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

Nicolas Cage in Columbia Pictures' "Ghost Rider."

© Sony Pictures Imageworks

The Bottom Line

If you can get past the rather lame dialogue, a leading lady who’s only real point in being a part of the movie is to show off her cleavage, and Wes Bentley’s dull performance as the film’s major villain, then Ghost Rider’s really kind of fun. It’s much more of a campy good time than you’d expect and best of all, despite how the special effects look in the trailers and still photos, the CG work is first-rate and very believable. Well, maybe not 'believable' as much as realistically rendered.

Pros

  • You don't need to be familiar with the comic books to understand Ghost Rider
  • Nicolas Cage’s arched eyebrows and patented delivery actually work for the character
  • It’s kind of sweet how much Johnny Blaze loves jelly beans, Carpenters music and monkey TV shows
  • Men will love Eva Mendes’ costumes so much they’ll be able to totally overlook her performance
  • All the creepy creatures look fantastic

Cons

  • Peter Fonda and Wes Bentley just aren’t devilish enough
  • Johnny Blaze appears to age at a different rate than his lady love (obvious even with the hairpiece)

Description

  • Stars Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott, Peter Fonda, Wes Bentley, and Donal Logue
  • Began filming back in early 2005 and was delayed multiple times due to the effects and action scenes
  • Cage had to have his real Ghost Rider tattoo covered up while he played the part
  • Rated PG-13 for horror violence and disturbing images
  • Theatrical Release Date: February 16, 2007

Guide Review - "Ghost Rider" Movie Review

A teenaged Johnny Blaze is tricked into making a deal with Mephistopheles (Fonda) to save his stunt-riding dad from dying of cancer. Of course Mephistopheles can’t be expected to play fair and so the deal doesn’t go down exactly as promised. Dad dies anyway and Mephistopheles warns Johnny to forget about friends, family, and romance, so he leaves his beautiful girlfriend standing alone on a hill and rides off into the sunset.

Flash-forward a couple of dozen years and now Johnny Blaze is the world’s greatest motorcycle stunt rider, a title he owes mostly to the fact the devil isn’t letting him get out of his deal by allowing him to kill himself doing stunts. With his trusty sidekick Mack (Logue) offering up great one-liners as well as lots of friendly advice, Johnny Blaze is on top of the motorcyle world. He's also just about to make it up to Roxanne for leaving her behind when Mephistopheles offers him the chance to get his soul back if he transforms into the Ghost Rider and hunts down Blackheart (Bentley).

Mephistopheles is evil, but Blackheart is evil, power-hungry, and reckless. Johnny Blaze will need to use everything he learned about Ghost Riders from a mysterious cowboy in order to defeat Blackheart.

Mark Steven Johnson is the same filmmaker who brought us Daredevil and while I hated that film, this one is a lot more enjoyable. Johnson doesn’t exactly redeem himself with Ghost Rider but he did take a giant step forward with his second comic book adaptation.

If you can wrap your mind around a man ever turning into a giant fireball, hopping on a motorcycle, and staring people to death, then Ghost Rider isn’t a waste of 2 hours. Ghost Rider’s nothing more and nothing less than a decent popcorn movie filled with lots of humor and great effects. Don't expect anything more and you'll be just fine.

Grade: B-

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