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Overall Rating
2.28

Awesome: 5.1%
Worth A Look: 15.31%
Average: 19.39%
Pretty Bad: 22.45%
Total Crap37.76%

9 reviews, 44 user ratings


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Ghost Rider
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Not all that bad; you just have to be twelve."
4 stars

'Ghost Rider,' which concerns a motorcycle stunt rider whose head turns into a flaming skull when night falls, is exactly the kind of movie that wouldíve delighted me when I was twelve and watching it on cable. So I put myself in that mindset for two hours, and I report back as a mildly embarrassed 36-year-old whose younger counterpart enjoyed himself.

Thereís no use denying it: Ghost Rider is some bad fun if youíre in the right mood, and a large part of the credit goes to Nicolas Cage, who also has easy access to his inner delighted twelve-year-old.

The reason that Oscar winner Nicolas Cage is playing a cursed, leather-wearing biker with a flaming skull is that he thinks itís way cool. A longtime fan of the Marvel comic books on which the film is based, he isnít slumming at all; he never is, really. Cage throws himself into every film with equal passion and curiosity no matter how dumb or unworthy it is; he is perhaps the least ironic movie star since James Stewart, and he plays reckless stunt rider Johnny Blaze as a man haunted by his own youthful deal with the devil (an attempt to save his father from dying of cancer). Since this is Nicolas Cage, Johnny also has quirks like eating jelly beans out of a plastic cocktail cup and revving himself up pre-show by turning on the stereo and blasting...the Carpenters.

Soon, the devil (Peter Fonda, one of the original Easy Riders, in a witty casting coup) comes calling and turns Johnny into Ghost Rider, a sort of bounty hunter who can ride his flaming bike up and down skyscrapers. Ghost Riderís mission is to defeat the devilís son Blackheart (Wes Bentley) and his trio of demon minions whose powers are based on earth, wind and water (because Ghost Rider is fire ó get it?). These minions are called Gressil, Wallow and Abigor, though I amused myself by renaming them Alvin, Simon and Theodore. In any event, Ghost Rider dispatches the elemental chipmunks pretty easily; he has a harder time working Roxanne (Eva Mendes), Johnnyís teenage flame (ha) turned TV reporter, into his busy schedule.

Thereís not much going on with Eva Mendes (though she has a piquant moment when, stood up by Johnny yet again at a restaurant, she asks a gay waiter if sheís pretty), but Nicolas Cage approaches the romantic scenes as if Roxanne were Johnnyís most fearsome adversary, a woman who has his heart but keeps her own in a vault. Again, itís all due to what Cage brings to the material; certainly the hack writer-director Mark Steven Johnson (who previously brought Marvelís Daredevil to the screen) is lost in the scenes that donít involve leather, chains, and fire. I donít know if Johnson has much of a future as a filmmaker, but a bright career as a designer of bondage-themed nightclubs beckons if he wants it.

Sam Elliott is along for the ride, too, as a character named The Caretaker, who has all the answers, as Sam Elliott often does. His presence gives Ghost Rider the tone of a neo-western, peppered with equal amounts of ominous guitar twang and classic arena rock; the movie should go over well in the NASCAR states. Though Iíd specifically requested no more wound-stitching scenes after Panís Labyrinth and Hannibal Rising, Columbia obviously didnít get my sternly worded memo, since weíre treated to a scene of Sam Elliott stitching up Nicolas Cage after a particularly strenuous night on the town.

Other than that, 'Ghost Rider' is perfectly watchable and just as perfectly forgettable, ideal for the boob tube someday when youíre twelve.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15593&reviewer=416
originally posted: 02/18/07 00:44:44
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User Comments

9/02/14 Jeff wtf? 1 stars
4/04/12 Jason Coffman One of the worst comic book films ever. 1 stars
6/11/11 JEREMY Cage makes it worthwhile just because he's in it. 4 stars
7/20/08 Shaun Wallner One of my favorite Comic Books come to life! 5 stars
6/21/08 Raymond If someone says this pile of crap was good, then this someone is totally mentally retarded 1 stars
5/17/08 PAUL SHORTT AN ABYSMAL EXCUSE OF A FILM 1 stars
3/15/08 Juan Trailer trash who go see evil knevel type shit will have a ball! 1 stars
2/18/08 Tiffany Losco I thought it was a good movie, Corny at times. But I like corny. 4 stars
10/01/07 Andrew Kercher Cool SFX, but corny take on good vs. evil. Ho hum. 3 stars
9/28/07 Noelle Stephens With all the hype I expected more, though my hubby and kids liked it alot. 3 stars
9/09/07 Russ I thought it was pretty cool. 4 stars
9/07/07 Alexander In all honesty, this movie defines crap and if you say it was good; you have no taste 1 stars
8/24/07 lilmissfun terrible movie, absolutely awful! 1 stars
8/23/07 Quigley Nice effects, but still an amazingly crappy movie. Sam Elliott is awesome. 2 stars
7/28/07 Fred My god that was a bad movie, the worst wasted minutes of my life! 1 stars
7/26/07 MaDmAN Everything in this movie was lame except for Eva, sorry villains, fx, weak story SUCKS!!! 1 stars
7/06/07 Total Crap Mark Steven Johnson... kill yourself and stop making superhero movies, you ass! 1 stars
6/15/07 Delta At least Eva looked great. 1 stars
4/12/07 rimrhino Would have been better if Cage hadn't overdone the "staring down my arm as I point" thing. 3 stars
3/23/07 David Yes, it sucked. 1 stars
3/21/07 Keltie For just a random movie to see when there's nothing else to do, it was entertaining. 4 stars
3/20/07 dude I thought it was good 4 stars
3/09/07 zaw I liked it. It was pretty good Comic book movie 4 stars
2/28/07 Barbbara Wilson seen it with my 6 year old grandson,It wwas good for him, but to me it was just average 3 stars
2/28/07 Van Allen Shane Jr. FUCKIN SUCKED 1 stars
2/27/07 losermaker dont waste your money for this stupid movie 1 stars
2/25/07 Adam It was poo 2 stars
2/24/07 DarkFather Average special effects CANNOT save a crappy movie 1 stars
2/22/07 Ole Man Bourbon What it promises to be. Eva Mendes' cleavage vs Cage's wig is nice subplot. 3 stars
2/21/07 ghostrider if it is such a sucker of a movie, why is it place 1 in the us? I liked it and enjoyed it.. 5 stars
2/20/07 Browncoat These reviewers are so full of shit.When did some Freddy or Jason P.O.S. EVER have a plot? 5 stars
2/20/07 Joe Van Pelt Very dissappointing 1 stars
2/19/07 Jim Serviceable super-hero fluff. Eva Mendes's cleavage steals the movie. 4 stars
2/19/07 chris. fair to crappy action, some scenes looked like you were watching a movie preview. 2 stars
2/19/07 Marlon Brando The horror, the horror... 1 stars
2/19/07 Tiffany I like nicholas cage but thought this movie was dumb 3 stars
2/18/07 Steve B Action was great, Story line was ok. 3 stars
2/18/07 Bad Critic What the hell did I just see? Kill yourself instead and save yourself the agony. 1 stars
2/18/07 LordJiggy Any film that can make Donal Logue not funny has real problems. 2 stars
2/18/07 dravediggaz dis be da shiggity shizzit - fuck you white muthafuckazzzz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/18/07 Todd Why bother making a "comic book" movie if it's going to suck as bad as this one did? 1 stars
2/18/07 Booksworm I always can count on you guys to pan good movies. 5 stars
2/17/07 Donny M Saw it with Anthony^ Thought the same. 4 stars
2/17/07 Anthony G Movie was really good, special effects were insane, story was lacking but awesome action. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Feb-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Jun-2007

UK
  02-Mar-2007 (12A)
  DVD: 02-Jul-2007

Australia
  15-Feb-2007 (M)




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