"Ghost Rider" Doesn't Set Screen on Fire by Bill Larson
2 Buckets out of 4
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love comic book movies. Going back to the original "Superman" (still the best super hero movie ever made) to "X-2: X-men United," "Spiderman" and "Batman Begins," these films show how it should be done - with excitement, great stories and a human center.
Then, you get the lackluster comic book movies - "Hulk," "Fantastic Four" and now "Ghost Rider," a film that really is the cinematic equivalent to a yawn.
In order to save his dying father, young Johnny Blaze (played as an adult by Nicolas Cage, who himself took his acting name from a comic) sells his soul to Mephistopheles and sadly parts from the pure-hearted Roxanne Simpson (played as an adult by Eva Mendes), the love of his life. Years later, Johnny's path crosses again with Roxanne and with Mephistopheles, who offers to release Johnny's soul if Johnny becomes the fabled, fiery "Ghost Rider," a supernatural agent of vengeance and justice. Mephistopheles charges Johnny with defeating the despicable Blackheart, Mephistopheles's nemesis and son, who plans to displace his father and create a new hell on earth.
Nicolas Cage always seems to bring a sense of humor to anything he does. However, you can tell that he did this for the paycheck and for sequels. Not to mention that Mendes, who shines in other films, is relegated to mere scenery here with her open shirts and throw-away lines. And if Academy Award-nominated actor Peter Fonda can't have fun with a juicy part like, say, the Devil, then you might as well recast the part. At least then you'd have a great scene-chewing actor relishing the part.
Is "Ghost Rider" the worst thing I've ever seen, nah. But would I ever recommend you run out and see "Ghost Rider?" No.
Matt Long ... Young Johnny Blaze
Raquel Alessi ... Young Roxanne Simpson
Brett Cullen ... Barton Blaze
Peter Fonda ... Mephistopheles
Nicolas Cage ... Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
Donal Logue ... Mack
Tony Ghosthawk ... Team Blaze #1
Hugh Sexton ... Team Blaze #1
Marcus Jones ... Blaze Team #3
Matt Norman ... Team Blaze #4
Lawrence Cameron Steele ... X Games Announcer
Wes Bentley ... Blackheart
Eddie Baroo ... Motorcycle Gang Member
Jessica Napier ... Broken Spoke Waitress
Laurence Breuls ... Gressil
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for horror, violence and disturbing images.
Runtime: 114 min