In order to save his dying father, young stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze sells his soul to Mephistopheles and sadly parts from the pure-hearted Roxanne Simpson, the love of his life. Years later, Johnny's path crosses again with Roxanne, now a go-getting reporter, and also with Mephistopheles, who offers to release Johnny's soul if Johnny becomes the fabled, fiery 'Ghost Rider'.
In truth, there is barely enough story here to make a film.
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An old-fashioned movie made with new-fashioned finesse.
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The acting in this movie is really good.
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It is interesting even when nothing much happens, which is for most of its 3-hour running time. Read full review
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If only Columbia Pictures and it's associated studios could have waited and made this film after Deadpool (2016) and Logan (2017). This movie should of been rated "R", with all the blood, gore, violence, sex and filled with every curse word under the sun and blessed with a solid storyline and exceptional director. Nevertheless, whilst it is cheesy, with poor dialogue, a God awful script and the plot is pretty basic, it is actually an enjoyable film.The Good:
(1) The Special Effects for the Ghost Rider. Whenever he is on screen, blazing on his motor cycle with his flaming skull, the film picks 10 fold. The part where he jumps of the skyscraper or when Cage morphs to the ghost rider is fantastic. But those parts are far and few between in the film.
(2) The A-grade actors in a (essentially) B-grade film. What this means is, there are a number of surprisingly good actors ( Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze and Eva Mendes as Roxanne, Sam Elliot as the Caretaker) which bring their all to a poor script. Yes the dialogue is laughable when it is delivered, but that is what makes it so enjoyable. Raquel Alessi could easily have been a Eva Mendes younger twin sister.
(3) The Western tones interwoven in the film is great. The Bad:
(1) The villains are so weak. Peter Fonda as the Devil gets a pass. Only because it's really good to see him on screen. BUT Wes Bentley, as main nemesis Blackhearts should of walked when he read the script. He has some of the movies worst dialogue. Sadly, unlike Cage and Mendes, he simply does not have the "knack" for delivery and his lines are dreadfully executed.
(2) People who put a lot of themselves in film usually indicate they love the source material, so it is very difficult to understand if Mark Steven Johnson was either a writer/director with no balls to stand up to the studios or it was simply a job to him, (3) The plot is a no brainer. Boy loves girl. Boy mets Devil. Boy makes a deal with the Devil. Boy loses Girl. Boy becomes a flaming skull. Boy meets girl again. Thankfully the Ghost Rider, is a marginally better written script, then most Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars:The Clone Wars.The Ugly:
(1) The biggest problem is Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze. In a nutshell....he was cast wrong. Look a the actor Matt Long who played an 18 year old Johnny Blaze to then 42 year old Johnny Blaze played by Nicholas Cage. The film really is asking a lot for the audience to believe they are the same person.Don't over analyse the film too much, because it create lofty expectations. Films like the Ghost Rider is a guilty pleasure, with great action, a uncomplicated plot and exceptional special effects. Hopefully this franchise gets a robot in the future and upgraded to "R" rating.
PS: was going to grade the film at 7 BUT that awesome soundtrack song at the end credits by Spiderbait reworking the song "Ghost Riders in the Sky" pushed it to 8
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Ghost RiderEven though being childish and flawed, it is quite fun in bits and pieces and allows you to finish it without being annoyed, considering its premise.
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Releases of superhero movies based on Marvel comics are more often than not subject to the most attention of their year from the public, while also scoring abundantly high on the box office ladder. Majority of the time, these films are intended for make for some high-octane entertainment; even when centering on the arguably lesser known comic book heroes like Ghost Rider here. Occasionally, the superhero genre from both the DC side and the Marvel Comics side has the tendency of slipping into the crack of some mediocre attempts bring some comic books on the silver screen. Ghost Rider, directed by Mark Steven Johnson, is one of those films. Though it certainly not one of the worst the genre has to offer especially when considering some of the more horrendous entries such as 'Catwoman', this film fails to succeed beyond the level of disposable entertainment. Based on the marvel comics, this film stars Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stuntman who suffers from emotional trauma after the tragic death of his father (played by Brett Cullen) as a teenager. He learns the death of his father was a result of when he mistakenly sold his soul to the devil known as Mephistopheles (played by Peter Fonda). Not only that, he gains the powers of the devil that turn him into a fiery monster with a skull scorching in flames. When his son known as Blackheart (played by Wes Bentley) threatens to release demons from hell to take over the Earth, Blaze must use his newly gained powers to fight back while protecting his childhood crush Roxanne (played by Eva Mendes).This superhero action flick isn't a total drab to say at best. Those who go in for some action sequences tapped with fine visual effects will have at least something to hurrah for. The action kicks in our titular hero ramping up in flames as his humanistic body morphs into a skeleton body with his head transforming into a skull bursting into CGI flames. What transpires then is the hero racing at high speed on his devilish-looking motorcycle and facing off the bad guys in some chain-whipping action. Beyond this, the film fails to deliver much palpable excitement. The plot is a bit generic as it deals with the conflict between our titular hero and a hellish villain known as Blackheart also known as Legion. While Nicolas Cage generates a fair amount of charisma to make for a hero for audiences to root for, Wes Bently's performance fails to amount of an interesting or even memorable villain. Though he is not expected to fall on the lines of more highly iconic villains like The Joker or Magneto, his lack of ingenuity is rather hard to overcome. The conflict between the two characters eventually comes down to a final showdown sequences that should have been fun, but criminally lack the adrenaline it needs to be a climatic action farce. Then there is Eva Mendes who is given almost nothing to do beyond playing the corny love interest of Nicolas Cage. Though her performance is at least on the par, the chemistry between her and Cage never quite sizzles.Ghost Rider is a generic superhero action flick that fails to rise above the typical standards of an average Marvel comics blockbuster. Although this film may demonstrate a glimmer of fun in its tense action sequences and small dosage of humor, the overall entertainment value leads little to be desired even for die hard comic book fanatics.
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The problem with Ghost Rider is that the film never really catches fire however the climax of the film does have a comic book ending when Johnny Blaze fights the bad guy.Stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze does a deal with the devil when his father has terminal cancer. He signs a contract with Mephistopheles to give his soul for the health of his father. Johnny learns the hard way that the devil has a few tunes up his sleeve. Although his father is cured of cancer he dies in a stunt accident.Johnny leaves the stunt show and his girlfriend Roxanne. He knows deep down the devil will come calling for him one day to fulfil his contract. Johnny goes on to becomes a famous stunt cyclist who has survived many scrapes, I think Johnny knows why. His ex-girlfriend has become a TV reporter send down to cover his latest daredevil stunt.However Mephistopheles steps in who wants him to slay his evil son Blackheart and in doing so he will be released from his contract. Johnny Blaze becomes the Ghost Rider and his motorbike goes like a bat out of hell.The flaming visuals are cool, Cage excels as the Ghost Rider who acts more like a vigilante saving good people from bad. Its just the the plot is humdrum with supporting characters being wasted. Eva Mendes is there to look pretty. Peter Fonda is just there to look cool. Sam Elliot is there for his moustache and that horse ride alongside with Cage before he bizarrely bails out of.Wes Bentley does not bring much as Blackheart apart from a generic son of a devil act.Its an adaptation of a Marvel Comic which Marvel Films might have been able to do something more substantial with if they had made the film rather than just be associated with it like The X Men movies. Cage is hampered as Blaze with a distracting wig although he tries to make his character playful but its really an average time-waster.