Sunday, February 18, 2007


Yes, I went to see yet another comic book adaptation to grace the silver screen. And no, it wasn't the worst piece of garbage I have ever seen, but it wasn't that great either. The Ghost Rider effects themselves were pretty good, the flaming bike and some of the powers. Eva Mendes was smoking hot and distracted me from her so-so acting. Sam Eliot was great as the grizzly Caretaker but we wanted to see much more of him. Wes Bentley was god awful as Mephisto's son Blackheart, I mean really terrible. He did not handle the "I am the son of Satan, tremble at my feet," lines very well at all. They seemed silly and completely misplaced. Now to our Ghost Rider himself, Nicholas Cage, well...he didn't suck, but, you know what someone needs to tell Mr. Cage that he is not Elvis. He is not in any way a hunk of burning love and he needs to stop, now.

Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) is an Evel Kenivel type stunt man who has a penchant for jumping big rigs and helicopters with a fearless bravado that knows no bounds. Johnny although, is a bit different from most people when night comes his face melts off to become a flaming skull and he becomes the Spirit of Vengeance, The Ghost Rider. Johnny made a deal with the devil (Peter Fonda) to save his father's (Brett Cullen) life; Johnny gave up his soul, hence the flaming head. The Ghost Rider is the official bounty hunter of Mephistopheles and the big evil one has a mission for our intrepid stunt man, he must stop Blackheart (Wes Bentley) from getting a list of souls. So basically Johnny has to learn how to control his powers so he can destroy Blackheart and ward off Mephistopheles, not to mention protecting his super hot on and off girlfriend Roxanne (Eva Mendes). Whoo, that's a lot the Rider has to deal with.

Overall the effects flip flop throughout the film from good, to ok, to really cheesy. I kind of liked Ghost Rider's signature move or power which is his penance stare, where evildoers look into his eyes and feel the pain and suffering of the innocent. I thought that the intro face melting scene turning Johnny into Ghost Rider was pretty good, but it felt like they rushed it just a bit. Even though it was funny, I didn't completely get why Johnny Blaze liked to listen to Karen Carpenter or for that matter drink jellybeans from a martini glass, that's just weird, but I guess it wouldn't be any weirder than a guy with a flaming skull riding a flaming chopper. Who knows, anyway, this movie directed by Mark Steven Johnson is a vast improvement from his work on Daredevil but unfortunately that isn't saying very much. It is fun in places but overall it doesn't seem to know where it wants go, does it want to be an all out comic book movie, a horror film or a western? Who knows, all I know is that Mark Steven Johnson should not be allowed to direct any more comic book movies, I am revoking his license.

Grade: 2 Buckets

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