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Overall Rating
2.3

Awesome: 6.06%
Worth A Look: 15.15%
Average: 19.19%
Pretty Bad: 22.22%
Total Crap37.37%

9 reviews, 45 user ratings


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Ghost Rider
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by Doug Bentin

"Stan Lee had nothing to do with this one."
3 stars

I guess there’s something inherently schizophrenic in a story about a guy who is one person during the day and another person at night, and “Ghost Rider” displays its schizo qualities from beginning to end. Its overwrought visuals are interesting in a comic book splash panel sort of way and star Nicolas Cage hits the dialogue notes right, especially with the lines one suspects he wrote himself. But writer/director Mark Steven Johnson (“Daredevil”) can’t seem to decide whether Ghost Rider can stand alone or whether he needs camp to stay the night.

Cage is Johnny Blaze, stunt motorcyclist. As a young man he rode with his dad in circus sideshows, but when he found out that Papa Blaze was dying of cancer, he sold his soul to Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda—yup, old Wyatt himself--trying really hard not to let his dialogue break him up) in exchange for a remission of the disease. The cancer vanishes overnight but dat mean ol’ devil man than allows Blaze the Elder to die in a bike accident. I would love for him to have been killed by a shotgun blast from a redneck in a pickup, but that would have been just too cheesy, rider.

Johnny grows up, still riding stunt bikes on the southern circuit, a sort of boll weevil Knievel. Then, Mephistopheles’ son Blackheart (Wes Bentley) decides to oust his old man, claim 1,000 of the worst souls and take over the world. Mephistopheles calls in Blaze’s debt and makes him the new Ghost Rider, the devil’s bounty hunter, assigned to stopping Blackheart in exchange for release from his contract. If any of this makes sense to you, you need to seek professional help.

Enlisting the aid of a cemetery caretaker (Sam Elliott, who is doing a supernatural riff on his character from “The Big Lebowski” and who chews his scenes with the same gusto Caretaker chews his plug) and trying to explain his predicament to unbelieving love Roxanne (Eva Mendes, who easily comes off the worst in the cast because she’s the one who can never quite cover up the fact that she thinks this is all absurd), Blaze becomes one mean motor scooter.

Watching the film, I could never get beyond the belief that Mark Steven Johnson had a lot less to do with what ended up on screen than Cage did. An admitted fan of the “Ghost Rider” comic book, Cage had to have a tattoo of the character covered by makeup so he could play it. Much of his natural goofiness comes across. It’s hard not to believe that Blaze’s Elvis accent, love for jelly beans sucked out of a martini glass, video tapes of chimps acting like martial artists, and constant background music supplied by The Carpenters didn’t originate with the actor. Maybe the film sat on the shelf for two years because no one could figure out how to reconcile Johnson’s footage with Cage’s add-ons.

Russell Boyd’s photography provides some nice visuals, the effects are frequently sub-par in a nice “B” movie way, and the actors appear to be having a good time. I especially liked Elliott’s Caretaker, who spends most of his work day doing what all stereotype manual laborers’ do—leaning on a shovel.

What does it say about a Marvel Comics film adaptation when Stan Lee doesn’t make his customary cameo appearance? “Ghost Rider” is fun, but you not only have to leave your brain at home, you have to forget where you put it.

I don’t know whether or not “Ghost Rider” is an accurate adaptation of the comic book, but I don’t care either. I just wish it had taken one path or the other—camp or seriousness. As it is, it isn’t a flat tire, but the air is leaking out pretty rapidly.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15593&reviewer=405
originally posted: 03/23/07 01:38:38
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User Comments

1/31/16 Corbin West This movie is far from perfect, yes, but that just makes it more entertaining. 5 stars
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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