ago Johnny Blaze made a deal with the devil. In order to save
someone he loved Blaze would become "The Rider", a being
of demonic power who would gather and collect soul debts for the
dark lord. But since the terms of his contract were pure, Blaze,
unlike all of the Riders before him, was able to resist the devil's
commands. Blaze thought he was free of the curse and has went
on to live an amazing life, but on one night the devil returns
and Blaze will have to finally face what has been inside him for
years. The Rider will be released and hell may be coming with
flame-skulled, motorcycle-driving, spirit of vengeance himself,
Ghost Rider leaps off the Marvel Comic pages and lands on the
big screen in Ghost Rider. But is there any meat on those
bones of his? Read on faithful readers.
off the bat let me say Ghost Rider has always been one
of my favorite comic characters. From the 70's and early 80's
Johnny Blaze version to the mid 90's Danny Ketch version, I have
always loved Ghost Rider.
what's not to love about a demon dressed in spikes and leather,
wielding a chain as a weapon and launching blasts of hellfire
at all he judges guilty, I mean how SWEET is that? I admit going
into this movie I was more than a little nervous about how the
material and character would be handled, especially since Mark
Stephen Johnson, the man behind Daredevil and Elektra, was in
the drivers seat of a PG-13 movie. But I gotta say at times my
fanboy fancy was tickled with a fiery feather of delight.
guess for this review I'll have to go with the "What works
and what doesn't work" style of review, which I know is a
cliché review of this kind of film, or any film made from
a book or comic book origin, but hey deal with it.
Nicolas Cage. In the first few minutes of the film Cage is annoying
as he plays Blaze as a goofy/cocky stunt driver. But as the film
goes on, Cage's comedic moments play very well off of Ghost Rider's
more serious tone, it's a major difference from the comics
character but it's done well and really gives a great separation
to the Blaze/Rider characters.
Hellcycle. Holy shit does this bike kick ass! They went with the
70's chopper looking variant, but when the flames ignite the Hellcycle
is a work of art and the blazing trail it leaves on the screen
and on the streets (very nice touch by the way) is sweet indeed.
Rider. He looks great and they did a great job of pulling him
off with the special effects. Also they do a really good job in
merging aspects of the 70's and 90's character together. All in
all, Ghost Rider is very well represented in the film, it was
the character that I read in the comics, so what more could you
Elliot. He's just a cool-ass bastard.
Penance Stare. In the 90's this was the best of Ghost Riders abilities
and my personal favorite of his. He looks into the guilty's eyes
and makes them relive the pain they have inflicted on others,
only about a hundred times more powerful. When he unleashes the
stare the first time, I nearly creamed my fanboy sweats (As most
of us fanboys cannot fit into jeans) it was awesome, just fragging
Delights. Ghost Rider also delivers the moments that comic fans
want and need in their favorite comic's movie adaptations, this
helps to settle the chatroom bitching that occurs later on. Johnson,
in his screenplay, puts in some of the Rider's past mythos like
his ties to the old west and better than that, gives us great
moments of standard comic book dialog and action. Watching the
Hellcycle drive up a skyscraper and the Rider himself lassoing
a helicopter is top of the line stuff, but where the film blew
me away was when Blaze unleashes Ghost Rider in a prison cell
and he judges the guilty! I stopped shoveling gobs of buttered
popcorn into my mouth and just sat there awestruck, thinking "How
cool was that!" And the most geeky moment of all, and one
of the cheesiest moments in the film is the ending when Cage looks
at the devil and gives the "When ever innocent blood is spilled..."
speech, I was in fanboy heaven, amen brothers and sisters.
WHAT DOESN"T WORK
The Pacing. The film is slow at times and takes a while to get
going, but once again this is the origin storyline that is the
token jumpstart for any superhero movie.
Villains. Most of the good stuff takes place when Ghost Rider
is dealing with regular humans, the fallen angels and Black Heart
really didn't do anything for me. Peter Fonda does play a pretty
creepy devil however. But the reason why characters are doing
what they are doing in the film is kind of cloudy at times.
Effects. Most are good, but a few of the CGI made set sequences
are border line terrible, the swamp sequence looks like it came
from the Wizard of Oz and many of the demon effects are the same,
a creepy smile behind a regular face, a little more variety would
have been nice.
Love Story Subplot. Ghost Rider didn't need this chick flick cliché.
This flick should have been balls out testosterone from start
to finish and they should have went with the original way Blaze
sold his soul, thus completely eliminating the love story.
Wig. I never bought it the whole movie. Youre bald dude,
let it go.
the end Ghost Rider's positives out ways it's negatives and I
was pretty pleased with the results. Let's hope the next film
goes a little darker and a little harder with the R rating and
drives head long into the darkness that surrounds the character,
but until then check this one out for a good time.