Ghost Rider

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Ghost Rider
Review (6/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

In Ghost Rider, Nicolas Cage stars as Johnny Blaze, an Evel Knievel-type motorcycle stunt rider who sold his soul to the Devil (played by Peter Fonda) when he was a teenager to keep his father alive. Fast-forward about 15 years and Blaze is still performing on his motorbike but he's a bit of a loner and sort of strange. Meanwhile, in the supernatural world, the son of the Devil, Blackheart (Wes Bentley) has come to Earth in hopes of taking over the world. The Devil, Mephistopheles, has now gone to Johnny Blaze to cash in on their deal from several years before. He annoints Blaze to be the Ghost Rider and has commanded that he stop Blackheart and his three demon henchmen. If he manages to stop them, the Devil will give Johnny Blaze back his soul. Ghost Rider also stars Eva Mendes as the love interest of Johnny Blaze.

It's not that Ghost Rider is that bad of a movie, but it's nowhere in the league of such comic book movies like Batman Begins, Spider-Man, Superman (the Christopher Reeve one) and a few others. It's more in the league of Fantastic Four, The Punisher, Constantine or DareDevil. In fact, that might even be debatable. To be quite honest, Ghost Rider is a pretty cool character. And Cage does a decent job playing him - although I do wonder where he got all that hair. Or how he got so ripped. Cage is as ripped as I've ever seen any Hollywood actor. Nevertheless, the problem with Ghost Rider really lies in the story and the excitement level. The story is a bit convoluted at times. I mean, I had trouble figuring out what a Ghost Rider was, why the Devil was going around making these deals and why Blackheart was on Earth and who his bum buddies were. I found you could vaguely follow what was going on, but any time they tried explaining anything, things just got worse.

As for the excitement level, well, it was pretty much non-existant. The movie had some decent scenes, seeing Ghost Rider zipping around on his burning bike and ripping up the streets was cool, but the movie lacked some real intensity. I never felt that any of the main characters were any sort of danger at all and the final showdown between Johnny Blaze and Blackheart was a bit of a yawner. But again, not all was lost. The CGI was actually very good - the motorbike rides, the transformation from Blaze to the Rider and all that sort of stuff - it was all very well done. It just would have helped if, with all the good special effects going on, there would have been a bit of intensity added to the story.

As you can probably tell, I wasn't totally blown away by Ghost Rider, but I'm not going to forbid anyone from seeing this movie. Ghost Rider isn't going to go down in the history books as one of the great comic book movies of all time, but it's worth at least one viewing and it will probably satisfy fans of the comic book. I just think that non-fans, like myself, will probably forget the movie, the comic and the entire franchise shortly after seeing this movie. And down the road, there probably won't be much to remind us of it either because I would be surprised if there will ever be a sequel, although stranger things have happened in the history of Hollywood.


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