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Flashes of smartness bogged down by poor villains.,
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This review is from: Ghost Rider [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Delayed by almost a year and coming from the director of Daredevil, Ghost Rider was given the death knell by many before even having seen it. Into the equation is that it stars Nicolas Cage, a man whose star has dimmed so badly it's as if Leaving Las Vegas had never been made, Ghost Rider it seems......... had to stink? Stunt motor cycle rider Johnny Blaze sells his soul to Mesphistopheles in exchange for his Fathers good health. Some time later the demon Blackheart comes to Earth wreaking havoc and Blaze is summoned by Mephistopheles to stop him, only Blaze is transformed into the Ghost Rider, a bike riding, chain slinging spirit of vengeance.
Ghost Rider is a fun film that sadly is not without flaws, but the comic touches and all round sense of fun, however, should not be understated, so much so that if people go into it with the expectation of a light and breezy comic book picture, then there is enjoyment to be had. The character of Blaze/Ghost Rider is wonderful in the extreme, Blaze doesn't drink alcohol, he instead drinks jellybeans out of a glass. He listens to The Carpenters and gets much amusement from watching chimps doing karate, this is a man who on his motorbike leaps the length of a football field over rotor whirling helicopters! Then Blaze becomes Ghost Rider, a maniacal mass of flame and one liners, an odd character when one thinks he works for the devil and makes his mantra one of striking down evildoers! And it's with that cheeky daftness that one needs to view this movie.
Nicolas Cage actively sought out the role of Blaze due to his immense love of the source, and there is no denying that he puts guts and kudos into the portrayal. He perfectly camps the comic book nature of Blaze, whilst revelling in the devil may care side of the Ghost Rider persona. However, Cage is the only one who can come out of the picture with any credit, female love interest falls in the hands of Eva Mendes, perhaps her Roxanne Simpson character is a little underwritten, but her screen presence is more annoying than memorable. Peter Fonda is very poor as Mephistopheles, about as scary as someone making Easy Rider 2, yet compared to Wes Bentley, Fonda looks like Oscar gold. Bentley is Blackheart, and he struggles with delivery and any sort of nasty aura in which to breath life into a potential bad guy to savour, and as for his cohort minions? The less said the better I think.
It's a shame the villains are so poor because there is a lot of care and attention here from Cage and director Mark Steven Johnson, both men whom are clearly in love with the source material. Ghost Rider is certainly a fun experience, and it scrubs up well on Blu-ray, but you may want to repeatedly punch the casting director in the face come the end of the picture. 6.5/10