Ghost Rider (2007)

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6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Gets the Ghost Rider look right

Story is so-so, Nicolas Cage is love him or hate him

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Ghost Rider

Studio:   Marvel Entertainment

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Horror

Release Date(s):  January 15, 2007 (Ukraine)/February 16, 2007 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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You..no you…the bowlegged one…you make me want to shoop

Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is a cursed man.  Selling his soul to save his father Barton Blaze (Brett Cullen), Johnny finds he is unable to die and that he is simply waiting for Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) to come and send him on a mission.  When his childhood love Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes) appears, Johnny finds his path set on a mission to obtain a contract before another demon named Blackheart (Wes Bentley) claims it first.  Transformed into the Spirit of Vengeance known as Ghost Rider, Johnny finds himself trying to protect the ones he loves while fighting for his soul and the world.

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So…I’m thinking this will propel me to fame.

Written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, Ghost Rider adapts the Marvel Comic for the big screen.  The film suffered multiple delays and the movie received negative reviews but had a strong box office draw.   Nicolas Cage received a Razzie nomination for Worst Actor (along with his work in National Treasure:  Book of Secrets and Next).

Ghost Rider always seemed like a bit of an antiquated character.  He was created in the ’70s when the Comic Code lightened up and horror books resurfaced.  By the ’80s he was gone, but the character found a resurgence in the ’90s and became the leader of Marvel Comics “Midnight Sons” horror comics.  The movie blends the ’70s Ghost Rider with aspects of the ’90s Danny Ketch version…but it still has a lot of the same basic problem of the original character.

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If you make one more “horse power” pun, I’m going to throttle you with my chain!

The story for Ghost Rider might be the primary problem.  It seems to wander throughout most of the movie between the sappy romance between Johnny and Roxanne, the curse, and then it gets back into a story.  It feels like the movie needs more direction and balance to it.

Nicolas Cage is generally a love him or hate him type of actor and this movie is a good example of why.  He plays Johnny Blaze so bizarrely with a strange accent and quirky behavior traits that really feel like they were his addition to the script.  It is both jarring and watchable at the same time.  It is odd but he could be the best thing about the movie and the worst thing about the movie at the same time.  He is backed with a few great supporting stars in Sam Elliott, Peter Fonda, and an early appearance by Rebel Wilson.

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Wait…I thought I was auditioning for Nightcrawler, dammit

The movie does get the Ghost Rider visuals surprisingly right.  The Ghost Rider looks like he should (though the maniacal laughter sometimes doesn’t fit…I always pictured him the strong silent type).  They pay homage to the ’90s Ghost Rider with the tougher leather spiked jacket and his chain (his bike on the other hand is probably closer to the original bike).  Unfortunately, Ghost Rider’s villains are rather lacking and the decision to go with Blackheart is kind of a poor choice since visually he generally looks like a thorny bush.

Ghost Rider is one of those movies I didn’t hate, but I also didn’t have much of a desire to see it again.  It was a second tier movie about a second tier character in the Marvel Universe and it felt like it.  With the financial success and the rising popularity of comic book movies, Ghost Rider did spawn a sequel in Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance in 2012.

Related Links:

Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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