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Director Mark Steven Johnson's 2007 film loosely based on the Marvel comic book antihero.

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It Will Surprise You

  • Jun 15, 2007
Rating:
+4
Any film that has motorcycles, demons, stunts involving helicopters and flaming skulls has to be great, right? Not exactly. "Ghost Rider" is far from being a great film. In fact, it's pretty bad in spots. What makes it worthy of four stars, however, is the fact that the director and the cast seem to be having a whole lot of fun with a story that comes from way out of left field.

In "Ghost Rider," Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) makes a deal with the devil, Mephistopheles (a cheeky Peter Fonda), in order to save his father's life. As is always the case, the devil has an alternate plan in the works and tricks Johnny into becoming his lifelong bounty hunter, the Ghost Rider. Blaze goes on to live what seems to be a charmed life where he dances with death constantly but never perishes. When the devil's son, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), finally surfaces on Earth looking for one of his daddy's old contracts, the devil calls upon his rider to stop him. Blaze transforms into the very imposing and very flaming Ghost Rider and seeks out Blackheart. If he carries out this one mission, the devil agrees to rid him of his curse. While on the hunt, Blaze has to juggle a rekindling romance between himself and his old flame, Roxanne (Eva Mendes), a stunt biking career managed by the very concerned Mack (a funny Donal Logue), and the belief that he's a murderer. He also befriends the Caretaker (Sam Elliott), who seems to have all of the answers.

Overall, this film is not great. It's just that is has a wonderfully stylized feel with deep blue and fiery red colors all about it that plays with your inner child. The atmosphere is light, despite the demonic undertones. I often caught myself going ga-ga over the excellent CGI effects as the Rider tore up the side of a skyscraper or took out Blackheart's lackeys with tongue firmly in cheek. Cage hams it up as Blaze, channeling the soul of Elvis as he swaggers across the screen. Fonda and Elliott, both silver screen steadies, eat their respective roles up with demonic flare and lawdog wisdom. Even the supposedly sinister Blackheart is fun to watch. Most actors weighed down with dismal dialogue such as Bentley is given would collapse on the screen, but Bentley manages to make you laugh with the delivery of classic one-liners such as, "I don't think so!" Eva Mendes seems to be the only person in the film who is remotely trying to take her role seriously, but even she seems to be having fun with this tale as well.

Mark Steven Johnson ("Daredevil") knows how to make a film very cool despite a dodgy script. Johnson uses some twisty camera angles to drop the viewer right into the middle of the action. The fight sequences are fairly light on actual human action and rely heavily on CGI. This makes for a rather weak climax, but you can't help but watch it.

"Ghost Rider" isn't for everybody. If you're a comic purist, you'll probably scoff at the way that this film picks and chooses elements of the entire "Ghost Rider" canon and collects them into one character. If you're an action fan, you may grow tired of the constant CGI battle sequences. However, if you've always loved B-movies and wonder what one would look like with a very large budget and a "knows what's cool looking" director guiding it, "Ghost Rider" is a definite purchase. I personally enjoy it more than a lot of the other comic flicks I've seen. With all of the dark and menacing adaptations flying around lately, it's nice to see a comic film that's just pure fun.

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More Ghost Rider (2007 film) reviews
review by . June 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
* out of ****    Johnny Blaze (played by Matt Long as a teenager and Nicholas Cage as an adult) was but a young man when he made a dirty deal with the devil, Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda, clueless and joyless). A son to a father sick with cancer brought on from smoking too many cigarettes, he worked in the carnival business as an apprentice to his dad. Both were motorcycle stuntmen; and both were damn good at what they did too. Johnny's talents had landed him a girlfriend named …
review by . November 09, 2009
As most Marvel comic book adaptions go there almost always great and have some amazing depth of character, heart and power  to drive the complex story of an ordinary man put in an extraordinary situation. While  Ghost Rider  has  heart  and power it lacks the depth of character and   skill to properly tell the story of  one of Marvels not so likable  anti-hero's.            Ghost Rider boast a powerful and driven …
review by . April 29, 2009
Having heard all the bad critical reviews when this film was in the theater I didn't go to see it. Since I make it a point to see all Marvel movies I waited for it to come out on disc. I wish I had seen it in the theater because it was a good film and I missed out on the special effects of seeing it on the big screen.       The beginning of the film is like a Twilight Zone episode as Johnny Blaze makes a deal with the devil to save his father. Of course the deal comes with a …
review by . May 01, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Good effects, decent action, Sam Elliot is always awesome     Cons: Pacing felt weird, setting randomness, easy kills, awkward characters     The Bottom Line: It wasn't done quite right, even I know that, and I've never even read the comics.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. Ever since the Spiderman and X-Men movies, Marvel characters have been springing up all over the big screen. This time …
review by . August 09, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
This will probably be the shortest review I've ever written because I'm laughing and applauding so hard--so uncontrollably, I can't quit shaking or still my hands long enough to type!     I know, I know! Ghost Rider (Full Screen Edition) is a supernatural thriller and a decent one at that, so I'm not supposed to laugh. I assure you, I'm not laughing AT the movie, I'm ROTFLMAO with DELIGHT at the animation, graphics, and special effects. The fiery visuals lit my fire! Spontaneous …
review by . February 04, 2009
Ya know, CGI has come a long way and you would expect a movie like Ghost Rider to take advantage of that and make this movie look good.  Instead it really did look fake.  I thought I was watching a cartoon whenever he turned into the Rider.  Plus, they just made the Rider part of Blaze cheesy as hell.  There are just some comics that I don't think should be made into movies and this was one of them.  I pray there isn't a sequel.    As far as a plot, there …
review by . December 19, 2008
Ghost Rider is not so much a superhero movie as a folktale western, which is very cool. The script is great for the most part, though there are many unnecessary lines and speeches, but overall it is very good. The visuals are mind blowing, the locations for all the scenes are perfect, the performances by Cage, Elliot, and Bentley are terrific, and the cinematography is GORGEOUS.  I would like to see a sequel, which obviously will happen with the great opening it has had.   Sam …
review by . May 04, 2008
Pros: See Review     Cons: See Review     The Bottom Line: Ghost Rider is a lazy film that is regrettably uninterested in it characters, and equally as uninterested in its audiences ability to tell a turkey from a swan.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Hasn’t the Marvel Comic Books stable of hero’s ran out yet? Apparently not; queue Ghost Rider (2007), a movie that when the credits rolled …
review by . April 05, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Nicholas Cage plays Johnny Blaze; a motorcycle stuntman who sells his soul to Mephistopheles to save his father from dying of terminal cancer. His father is killed in a tragic motorcycle accident during an exhibition. So distraught Johnny leaves his home, the carnival and his girlfriend Roxanne, to start a new life. A few years later Mephistopheles strikes a deal with Blaze to release give him back his soul as long as Johnny becomes the Ghost Rider by night. The Ghost Rider is a fiery demon bent …
review by . June 21, 2007
Having heard all the bad critical reviews when this film was in the theater I didn't go to see it. Since I make it a point to see all Marvel movies I waited for it to come out on disc. I wish I had seen it in the theater because it was a good film and I missed out on the special effects of seeing it on the big screen.    The beginning of the film is like a Twilight Zone episode as Johnny Blaze makes a deal with the devil to save his father. Of course the deal comes with a catch. …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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The prophetically named Johnny Blaze and his father perform death-defying stunts in a carnival, but the real danger to his dad's life is the cancer growing within his dying body. To save him, Johnny makes a deal with Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda, EASY RIDER) and sacrifices his soul. When his father is killed mid-stunt, Johnny runs away, leaving behind his grief and a young love named Roxanne. Years later, Johnny (Nicolas Cage, WORLD TRADE CENTER ) is the most famous rider in the country. Despite his daredevil tendencies, Johnny is a different man when he's not riding his bike. Though he wears leather jackets and pants, he prefers jelly beans to Jim Beam while listening to the Carpenters. Years have passed since Johnny has seen the love of his life, but he still carries a torch for Roxanne (Eva Mendes, HITCH). When he sees her after a stunt, he tries to regain her love and trust. But it's time for the devil to take his due as he brings Johnny into an epic battle with Blackheart (Wes Bentley, AMERICAN BEAUT...
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