Ghost Rider (2007)

June 23, 2010

Ghost Rider (2007) – Review by Isaac

“It’s said that the West was built on legends. And that legends are a way of understanding things greater than ourselves. Forces that shape our lives, events that defy explanation. Individuals whose lives soar to the heavens or fall to the earth. This is how legends are born.”

Synopsis: Stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) unknowingly makes a deal with the devil, cursing him to become the Ghost Rider, an unholy bounty hunter who collects evil souls.

Ghost Rider is pretty close to the worst Superhero movie I have ever seen. I can’t believe this was released in theaters. The only thing keeping this production above “Made-for-TV-movie” level is the presence of Nicolas Cage. Everyone else is so incredibly horrible that comparatively, Nicolas Cage looks fit to play Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Eva Mendes’ acting is wooden and legendarily unbelievable here. Her character becomes increasingly inconsistent as the film progresses, causing me wonder if the low-cut blouses are supposed to justify her presence in the story (-in case you were wondering, no, they don’t). Any story featuring Satan (or Mephistopheles, as he’s called here) has to make some bold decisions on character interpretation, but Peter Fonda appears to be doing his best Dirty Harry impression while light-bulbs burst in his presence, (which gave me the epiphany that Clint Eastwood would be the coolest Lucifer ever).

Apparently Nicolas Cage is a huge Marvel Comics fan, and made numerous suggestions on Johnny Blaze’s character. He even had to hide his Ghost Rider tattoo during filming. Cage’s work is effective, but sadly falls flat due to Ghost Rider’s pathetic supporting cast. The only convincing parts of Ghost Rider feature Nicolas Cage alone and confused while wind and lightning whip around the set. In fact, how well you like Ghost Rider will heavily depend on your opinion of Nicolas Cage. He’s done some pretty lame movies in the past, and he always plays the ‘I’m confused and out of my element’ character, but I like him. I just can’t help but like Nicolas Cage. Maybe its National Treasure, Family Man, or even The Rock, but there’s something endearing there.

“I’m the Devil’s bounty hunter.”

As for Ghost Rider’s status as the “worst Superhero movie ever made”, I can’t rightfully place it at the bottom of the cesspool. Here’s why: Infamously bad Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) and Batman & Robin (1997) had the potential to be good. Now Ghost Rider, I expected this to suck. I didn’t expect such wooden acting and hokey villains, but making a film like Ghost Rider is pretty difficult.
First challenge:
Its a colossal task to set the right tone and get the audience to suspend their disbelief with the supernatural realm (see the mixed response that is Constantine). Also, it seems required for this genre to invent its own hokey ‘rules’ for the Good vs. Evil spiritual warfare. Instead of “victory through Jesus Christ”; we get hallowed ground, elemental demons, supernatural soul-binding contracts, holy water, etc. When the son of Mephistopheles, amply named Blackheart (oh – the boundless creativity!) tries stealing the reigns of Earth from his father, somehow his rule will be worse for mankind. (Uh, What!?) The idea that there’s someone more evil than Satan himself is just… stupid. However unintentional, Blackheart’s deception and ability to freeze stuff makes a ‘cool’ reference to Dante’s Inferno.

Second challenge: Any time Johnny Blaze has to beat down some evil punks as the Devil’s bounty hunter, his head turns into a CGI flaming skull. Oh yeah, and his motorcycle transforms into a hellish bike, causing explosions and leaving a trail of melted tar wherever he rides. Talk about obstacles to the willing suspension of disbelief! This sort of thing works much better in a comic book than it does in a movie. With narration, artwork, and help from the genre itself, comic books have a much easier time establishing the proper tone for something like Ghost Rider.

RATING: 1/5 Zipped Lips

Ghost Rider is terrible, and one of the worst comic book movies ever made. Thankfully, I enjoy laughing at Nicolas Cage so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. But it was pretty close.


5 Responses to “Ghost Rider (2007)”

  1. Fortress Guy Says:

    A witty review of a witless movie. We have to admit that Cage is likable in that out-of-his-depth flying-by-the-seat-of-his-pants attitude typified by National Treasure. The fact that he named his son “Kal El” also helps establish his comic fandom bona fides.

    True, it is easier for most people to accept far fetch mutants bending laws of physics than the supernatural world that operates outside of them.

    Your review is fair in our opinion. We think Ghost Rider will never sink to the depths of films like Catwoman. Something about Ghost Rider just makes one go in with a lower bar.

  2. Isaac Says:

    I’m sure its possible for a Ghost Rider movie to be engaging, well-written, expertly produced, and believable, but I won’t hold my breath.
    But ugh, Catwoman. I caught it on tv one time and couldn’t watch more than 5 minutes. Truly barf worthy.
    Thanks for your response.

  3. asrimuhamat Says:

    I likes Marvel Ghost Rider

  4. Tristan Davidson-wright Says:

    Ghost rider isn’t the worst super hero movie ever made it has a lot of good story and if u want to talk about a bad movie watch dare devil

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