Ghost Rider (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner28/02/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 114 mins

Cheesy and ridiculous, but nonetheless enjoyable comic book movie, enlivened by impressive special effects and a superb performance by Cage.

What's it all about?
Based on the Marvel comic book, Ghost Rider opens as teenage motorcycle stunt rider Johnny Blaze (Matt Long) makes a deal with the Devil (Easy Rider's Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles) in order to cure his father's cancer. However, Old Nick tricks Johnny, leaving him orphaned and in the Devil's debt.

Years later, the Devil contacts the adult Blaze (now played by longtime Ghost Rider fan Nic Cage) and demands that he track down his wayward son Blackheart (Wes Bentley). Blaze then discovers that being the Devil's bounty hunter involves his head turning into a flaming skull and his bike becoming a ghostly, flaming superbike that arrives when he whistles.

The Good
Writer-director Mark Steven Johnson has markedly improved his superhero movie skills since the disappointing Daredevil and Ghost Rider gets the tone exactly right – it's aware of its own ridiculousness but plays it straight nonetheless. Johnson spent around two years perfecting the CGI and it shows – the effects sequences are superb and the action scenes are well handled.

Cage clearly views this as the role he was born to play and he has a lot of fun, whether it's downing glasses of jellybeans or experimenting with his new powers. There's also great support from the always-reliable Sam Elliott (as The Caretaker) and enjoyably camp performances from Fonda and Bentley.

The Bad
Only Eva Mendes lets the side down, with a performance so wooden it's a wonder she doesn't catch fire, although there is a good bit where she fires a shotgun. Similarly, a lot of the comedy falls horribly flat and Donal Logue gets a very raw deal as Blaze's supposed best friend.

Worth seeing?
As comic book movies go, this delivers pretty much everything you could expect from a film about a guy with a flaming skull for a head.

Film Trailer

Ghost Rider (12A)
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Content updated: 20/10/2017 13:12

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