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|Index||664 reviews in total|
If you go into this movie hoping to see Academy Award caliber acting or
a dramatic plot that's going to move you emotionally, then you're going
to the wrong movie. However, if you're looking for a movie that's a lot
of fun and is going to keep you entertained, then this is exactly what
you're looking for.
The visual effects in this movie are, simply put, amazing. Ghost Rider is just one of those movies that's cool to look at. As I said before, the acting sometimes falls a bit flat, but Nicolas Cage does exactly what's expected of him for the role. It's a bit cliché and humorous at times, but this is a movie based on a comic book, so you have to expect that sort of thing.
Sam Elliot and Peter Fonda provide the best acting in the movie, while Wes Bentley does a solid job as Blackheart and Eva Mendez is just a very beautiful actress who fits in well as Roxanne.
There are a lot of little gripes about this movie if you look too hard and overthink it, but as a die-hard Ghost Rider fan, I didn't mind these things so much. It stayed relatively true to the original series, while borrowing elements from the 90's series to help make the movie more visually impressive, which I felt worked really well.
I've been waiting for this movie since they started trying to make it over eight years ago and overall, I'd have to say I really enjoyed seeing my favorite comic book character finally make it onto the big screen.
If you want to go see a movie where you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride; then go see Ghost Rider without any worry of disappointment.
First off, I'd like to say that I really enjoyed this movie. I have
read a lot of the bad hype that the flick has receieved, and I believe
that this is partly due to the fact that people go into these types of
movies expecting amazing advances in cinematography as well as a
gripping and dramatic plot. Well, I hate to burst everybody's bubble,
but that is really not the purpose of this type of movie. These bad
reviews make me wonder just how serious you have to be (or just how
snobby a critic) going into the theater to hate this type of movie
Far be it from me to say that this movie was perfect. It had its flaws and there were times when I found myself snickering at the silliness of it all, but that to me is good entertainment. The scenes where Cage turned into ghost rider for the first time were fairly intense, and I found myself marveling at the coolness of his transformation and powers. I also enjoyed the battle scenes including one involving ghost rider and a helicopter (I won't tell you what happens there, but it is pretty amusing). I also felt that the movie was pretty well-acted overall, and the entire flick maintained an aura of fun throughout (which I believe was the main purpose of the whole thing) while flowing smoothly through a simple plot.
If you are the type of person to over-analyze plots, scrutinize special effects, whine about some cheesy acting or if you get offended when a movie doesn't have a deep and philosophical meaning behind it, this is definitely not a movie you should waste your time or money on.
If, however, you are the type of person who enjoys some good laughs, some over the top (and at times cheesy) comic book acting, cool battle scenes, action and adventure, or if you simply just like to see some guy with a flaming skull, this is worth the 8 bucks to get into a theater seat.
Okay, this movie has taken a lot of heat (ohhhh) but in fact, it's good at what it is. You can't criticize a Snickers Bar for not being Creme Brulee. This is not High Art. It's a movie based on a comic book, and it does a great job of bringing that comic book to life, and of keeping the comic book nature of the story intact. This isn't a bad thing-- it is what it is. It's not a chick flick, it's not clever and witty, it's not deep and mysterious. It's a comic book brought to life on the big screen with nice fx and a decent score and appropriate acting. It's fun. It's a hoot. The bad guys are bad, the good guys are good-- and the end isn't a cop out which is nice. If you are not the audience for which this movie is intended, you will not like this film. If you are, you won't be disappointed. Is it as strong a movie as Spiderman? No. But the story isn't as strong either. It is, however, a good yarn, something my kids liked-- something I liked, and I'm not even a comic book guy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ghost Rider is hilarious. Unspeakably, hysterically funny. Sadly,
though, it's all unintentional humor. The movie manages to pack in
every comic book and action movie cliché imaginable, laughable casting,
an illogical script, wooden acting, and jarring direction for
Johnny Blaze is a 17-year-old tyro who works in a circus as part of a daredevil motorcycle act with his father. When he learns his dad's got cancer, Johnny makes a literal deal with the Devil (played by a cardboard cutout of Peter Fonda) to save his dad's life. That lasts about one day, because the next evening Johnny's dad dies during a performance. "Nooooooooooooo!" shouts Johnny. Which is kind of what you'll be yelling when you watch the movie.
Johnny has a girl, too, Roxanne. The night before the fateful performance, she tells him she's moving away - her dad, skeptical about Johnny's ability to stay alive in such a dangerous line of work, is sending her to live with her mother. Roxanne informs Johnny of this the very moment he's done carving an elaborate "Johnny + Roxanne Forever" mark into a huge, old tree. Apparently she didn't want to ruin his concentration before dropping the bombshell. The two decide to run away together anyway, but then Johnny's pop dies, and Johnny runs off on his own to become the World's Awesomest Motorcycle Dude.
Meanwhile! Elemental angels in league with the Devil's son, Blackheart, are trying to get a contract giving them control over the souls of some long-dead town. With these souls, Blackheart can rule the world, or something. (It's unclear how all of the souls of one tiny town in the middle of nowhere would give anyone the power to rule anything bigger than a hamburger stand.) And, it seems, when Johnny made his deal with the Devil he became the Ghost Rider, responsible for transporting the contracts of souls to the Devil; Blackheart wants to intercept the contract so he can usurp power from his dad.
Fast forward one year later. Yes, one year. Johnny has changed from being 17 to being... Nicolas Cage. Cage is 43 years old. This makes no sense. Oh, and of course he runs into old flame Roxanne, too, now played by Eva Mendes. Or, more accurately, played by Eva Mendes' chest, which is prominently on display whenever possible. Mendes is 32 years old. She is, ostensibly, playing an 18 year old. Even more amusingly, Roxanne is now a television reporter. At 18, it's more likely she'd be assistant gopher to the producer. Ever the professional, even when on the air Roxanne wears low-cut tops, the better to distract the viewer from her inane questions.
One gets the impression that Cage signed on to this role merely because he sports a Ghost Rider tattoo, which, ironically, had to be covered up for the movie. It's kind of as if Jerry Seinfeld were tapped to play Superman. You get all of Cage's mannerisms - the tics, the hangdog expression, the mouth-agape gaze, the laconic attitude. Not really what you expect from a comic-book hero. Mendes is fun to look at, but her delivery is paradoxically flat. Rounding out the cast are a couple of old timers - Sam Elliot plays Caretaker, a wily old coot as only Sam Elliot could play him. Elliot's a fantastic actor, and he's a much better fit for his role here than anyone else in this sludgy claptrap, but he can't save the movie. He's not even on screen until around the halfway point of the movie. Peter Fonda, looking weathered and sort of beaten-down, is The Devil; he's sort of aloof and unconvincing. Oh yeah, and Wes Bentley, who once was in American Beauty, is Blackheart, sans Joan Jett. Geez, they could have gotten any gothy-looking nitwit to play this role, it was so over-the-top. Bentley does not make a good villain.
Let's be clear here. This isn't supposed to be a funny movie. It's a straightfaced, comic-book tale of a haunted young man. And yet the movie's so ineptly presented, one can't help but laugh. Questions abound: Why does Ghost Rider not even show up until a good way into the movie? Why are we told Johnny's jumping 300 feet (a football field) when the distance is longer than that (360 feet)? Why, when Johnny asks the Devil if he's the one responsible for keeping Johnny alive through all his death-defying feats, does the Devil say, "No, that was all you, Johnny"? (Was it? If you're the Devil and you NEED this guy to be your Ghost Rider, and your guy is in a line of work in which he's constantly in harm's way, wouldn't you help him so he doesn't, you know, die?) When Johnny stops his cycle on a busy freeway so he can chat with Roxanne, blocking traffic, how come no one drives around his bike and her van? There are two lanes. Why, if Blackheart's a supernatural (and presumably immortal) being, does Caretaker toss Johnny a kick-ass shotgun with which to attack Blackheart? Why is the church where Caretaker lives and works sacred, hallowed ground that Blackheart cannot trod upon, but other churches - including the one in the tiny, middle-of-nowhere village - are not? Why, when Ghost Rider races through the city one night, inadvertently causing destruction, does exactly one car flip up and smash into a window, despite there being dozens of other vehicles around it? How come Ghost Rider can be hurt if you stab him in the shoulder blade, but you can't wound him by shooting him? (Some of these questions may have actual answers, but I didn't get them from the movie.)
So the movie's pretty much useless, and in a week or so we'll have forgotten it ever existed. It's poorly acted, directed, and written and offers little in the way of solid entertainment - unless, of course, you're looking for some unintentional laughs.
Ghostrider is a brilliantly designed character . The chain ,the bike ,
the flaming skull for a head -he's just plain cool. In fact hes TOO
cool - it seems that in any comic , cartoon or game hes involved with,
he always comes out as the most interesting thing.
It works the same way with the movie: seeing ghost rider in action provides almost all of the films entertainment value. Watching him ride down buildings , fight villains and flip the bird to the police is a cool sight to behold. When hes not on screen though ,things aren't that interesting. Nicholas cage is funny and quirky as johnny blaze and eva mendes is impossibly sexy (as per usual)but for the most part its all very cheesy and feels rushed and episodic.Also, the villains are frustratingly lame , including black heart who's severely downgraded from his comic book incarnation.
When sitting through ghostrider , your best bet is to wait for the flaming skullhead to show up- watching him do his thing is tons of fun. Sadly the same cant be said about the rest of the movie.While its not bad it doesn't quite do ghostrider justice . Why ? Because hes TOO cool..........
There won't be any Academy Awards for "Ghost Rider," and deservedly so.
Great cinema it ain't. It is fun stuff, though, and very much in the
spirit of the Marvel comic book of the same name. Nicolas Cage works
well in the role; his dead-pan humor is well suited to the role of
motorcycle stuntman Johnny Blaze, and the scene in which he attempts to
explain himself to his long-lost girlfriend is classic stuff, full of
awkward pauses and an eyebrow put to good use.
Granted, things get a little melodramatic from time to time, but that's as it should be. This is, after all, a movie based on a comic book hero, and what superhero worth his heat-vision doesn't indulge in a dose of the melodramatic every so often? It comes with the territory. Still, there's a sense of humor at work here, something that didn't play out well in the "X-Men" franchise and led to that abysmal third installation. There are a good number of laughs in "Ghost Rider." This isn't a movie that takes itself too seriously, which is a nice benefit considering how heavy the subject matter could become. It's rough around the edges, no doubt, and isn't quite up to the same level as the Spiderman movies to date.
I saw an early (11:45 AM) show and the theater was still nearly full. The audience laughed at points that were intended as humorous and even jumped at a couple of scenes. All in all, everyone looked like they were having a good time, from the six year olds with their parents to the older folks like me who were fans of this comic as kids. If you're looking for something fun, "Ghost Rider" isn't a bad bet at all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ghost Rider has one very profound line: "Look into my eyes and FEEL the
pain you have caused others!" It was cathartic to see violent criminals
being forced to feel the pain others experienced because of their
brutal and selfish actions! Something I personally believe we will all
face in the afterlife when we experience our own life review! But I
This film did not take its self too seriously, nor was the violence gruesome, or excessive. It clearly shows the power of good versus evil in a new and refreshing way. But is still edgy enough so not to be boring.
It had plenty of occult symbolism, even touching on Faust! In other words it had something for everyone - older children, teens and adults! If you like a movie where you can turn off the critical thinking part of your brain - than this refreshingly entertaining fantasy film is for you!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So, let's be honest right up front: Ghost Rider has a somewhat silly
premise. Sort of a modern-day homage to Faust, it involves motorcycle
stunt rider extraordinaire Johnny Blaze selling his soul to the devil
to save his father from cancer, only to have the devil pull a fast one
on him (that sneaky devil). The deal Johnny agreed to transforms him
into Ghost Rider, the devil's bounty-hunter, who goes two-wheelin' on a
motorcycle with flaming tires, complete with flaming skull of his own
for a head, whenever he is in the "presence of evil". So, yeah,
whatever you want to say about men crawling up buildings or people who
can heal themselves, Ghost Rider has it beat. So, it's perhaps fitting,
although unfortunately so, that Ghost Rider the movie is a somewhat
silly affair as well. Hardly bottom-of the-barrel film-making, Ghost
Rider can't help but come up a little short of the mark that would
allow it to be classified as good.
As with any "origin story" comic book film, there is some backstory to Ghost Rider, involving a host of contracts the devil made in a town in the old west named San Venganza. The devil's son, Blackheart (Wes Bentley) has decided to take a vacation from Hell to obtain this contract and use it to conquer Hell, or Earth, or something (the film is a little vague on this point), because this particular contract made these souls apparently a special kind of evil. Well, the devil, known by his traveling name of Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda), isn't quite ready to let sonny boy dethrone him, so he calls in Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) aka Ghost Rider to stop Blackheart and his minions. Johnny is a somewhat reluctant hellish bounty hunter, however, as he is trying to reconnect with former teenage love Roxanne (Eva Mendes) who is now a television news reporter, and find a way to get a second chance after his mistake of taking the devil's deal.
Writer-director Mark Steven Johnson, who last brought Marvel superhero Daredevil to the screen, appropriately realizes that this material doesn't exactly lend itself to a straight faced approach, so Ghost Rider has it's tongue firmly implanted in its cheek. Many scenes involve characters explaining some of the plot to others and appearing to hardly believe it themselves. Bystanders in the film have the appropriate slack-jawed reaction to a guy on a motorcycle with a flaming skull for a head that you could imagine yourself wearing if you were in their same position. However, Johnson makes the mistake of not stopping short of letting the film become borderline camp. In one scene, Ghost Rider gives the middle finger salute, tells cops they are "Pissing him off" in another, and features a ridiculous scene in which Johnny, during an interrogation, tells two cops how much he respects their profession and has plans to be a police officer himself once his stunt-riding days are over. There is a degree of self-referential humor that works for this material, but then Ghost Rider just keeps going past the point of light humor into near parody.
Ghost Rider also manages to be fairly lame action movie when the fights between Ghost Rider and Blackheart's henchmen kick in. Those scenes are relatively rote, lacking any excitement and energy, and most of the scenes involving Johnny riding a motorcycle are without any visceral thrill as well. There is also the practically unnecessary love story between Johnny and Roxanne that lacks any chemistry. Why do comic book movies always think they need a romance subplot? The cynical side of me knows it's to provide something of interest to the girlfriends who get dragged to this movie by their significant others, but if the filmmakers are just going to phone it in, they should leave it out. Yeah, he's supposed to be a tragic hero saved by love, but in this case, you don't believe these two are really in love.
Ghost Rider's silliness isn't helped by Nicholas Cage's performance. Cage knows he is working with material that is pretty ridiculous and takes his performance a bit too far over the top. His performance falls into the "quirky" category, and while amusing at times, doesn't help save Ghost Rider from being interpreted as a joke. Eva Mendes is just, well, there, as Roxanne, not terrible, but hardly memorable or outstanding. Ghost Rider really comes up short in the villain department. Wes Bentley's Blackheart is a clichéd, one-dimensional villain who doesn't inspire much fear or distaste from the audience. His minions are both silly and non-threatening and may be cause for a few snickers. The only saving grace here is Peter Fonda as the devil. He's not around much, but he is effective.
Ghost Rider would be sunk without decent visual effects, and on this front, the film is reasonably successful. The flaming skull effects are believable (well, as believable as flaming skulls get), and most of the bike-riding while on flames scenes hold up well also. The music score, by horror specialist Christopher Young, also is strong, being something of a fusion of Gothic orchestra, western and hard rock. Unfortunately, these elements can't completely save a screenplay that is wallowing in tired dialogue such as "You will pay for this!" or "Mephistopheles, I knew you would come!" For $110 million, you would hope that would buy something a little deeper than a guy who just looks really cool with his head on fire.
Oh where to begin. How could they screw up a movie with a premise like
The acting and the dialogue was awful even with actors like Cage and Peter Fonda delivering them, and the set up was rushed, like most of the rest of the movie. The FX ranged from OK to GOOD with the first transformation scene of Blaze to Ghost Rider being pretty well done but every change from there on in is in cheap and nasty morphovision and the morphing motorcycle looked stupid even if the flaming bike itself looked cool. The bad guys were non-entities and although they were supposed to be really powerful etc they don't do anything threatening through most of the movie and Ghost Rider eventually offs them with ridiculous ease, even the main dude at the end.
Honestly this movie has so many clichés you'll be bored less than half way in and after waiting about 30 minutes for Ghost Rider to appear you just want him to get off the screen straight away since apart from looking cool he comes across as a complete dork and his dialogue consists of really bad corny one liners. Every time he comes on screen you just hope to hell he doesn't say anything and when he does you'll be so embarrassed for the poor bloke.
Go get the comics instead.
The idea to do a film of Ghost Rider actually came after Nicholas Cage
had his head skinned and his skull set on fire by critics, as a
punishment for Knowing. The scenes where Johnny Blaze apparently has
Cage's old facial features are the only CGI effects in the entire film.
Seriously though, if you like Marvel comics, and/or superhero films it's a great romp, that doesn't waste a character that could so easily have been wasted by the Hollywood machine. Sure there's a few clichéd set pieces, but there aren't many superhero movies (or Nicholas Cage movies) that don't have them, and fans of the Ghost Rider comics will see all the scenes and set pieces they'll be hankering to see done in a movie.
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