Ghost Rider (2007)
Plot: When young daredevil Johnny Blaze (Matt Long/Nicolas Cage) makes a deal with a mysterious figure (Peter Fonda) so his father (Brett Cullen) can be cured of cancer, his soul is indebted to the devil. He is cursed to become his night vigilante known as the legendary Ghost Rider who has to stop Blackheart (Wes Bentley), the Devil’s son, from unleashing Hell on Earth.
Well the beginning sets the tone pretty early on. The score is generic selection #7, there’s a confusing narration, and I started to check out three minutes in. Matt Long is young Johnny Blaze, and he played the role like James Franco hosted the Oscars: Really confused and out of it. He doesn’t spend that much time on screen; otherwise I would have picked him as Worst Performance. There’s a scene where he tries to cry. That was amusing. There’s a romantic moment between Blaze and the young Roxanne played by Raquel Alessi, which is taken right out of the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones handbook. Now once Blaze becomes an adult and Nicolas Cage takes over the role, the movie is actually pretty decent. I really like all the Blaze character quirks of him eating jelly beans and watching cartoons. Blaze is actually kind of an intriguing character and Cage surprisingly plays it pretty straight. He also has good chemistry with Donal Logue who plays Mack, Blaze’s manager and friend. I wouldn’t mind just watching a movie about Johnny Blaze, but it’s when he turns into Ghost Rider where the movie goes off the rails and becomes completely uninteresting. It also pisses me off that I can’t tell if the Ghost Rider flaming skull special effect is okay or looks silly. When he first transforms, it’s pretty cool, but otherwise, I can’t decide if I like it. Can’t someone just defeat this guy with a fire extinguisher or something? The movie’s biggest crime is that it’s fricking boring. It’s long as hell, it goes no where, and the villains suck. Wes Bentley just plays a Goth as all these random demons float around him cackling. They do a terrible job of explaining what Bentley’s character Blackheart is after. It’s some stupid ancient contract or something, I don’t know. Whatever. Aside from Peter Fonda and Sam Elliot, the acting is pretty poor. Nicolas Cage was solid in the first half, but then decides to do his Nicolas Cage-isms in the second half. Despite a solid twenty minute stretch in the first half, this is boring, boring, boring and completely unnecessary. Maybe pyrotechnics would like it, but that’s about it.
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Really Bad)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles
-I don’t know what the deal is with the name. Isn’t this the devil? Well, whatever he is, Fonda plays this pretty well. He sets such an uncomfortable tone, especially with his voice. This character was definitely the best part of the movie.
Worst Performance: Eva Mendes as Roxanne Simpson
Best Line: “Oh…I’ll take your soul.” –Mephistopheles to a young Johnny Blaze’s question of what he needs to give in return for his father’s health
-The way Fonda delivered this line was priceless. He adds to that uncomfortable tone as his eyes dart around the room looking for things in exchange for the father’s health. You know he’s going to say ‘soul,’ but I love how the suspense is played up, finally culminating in this line.
Worst Line: “The devil, on account of I work for him. That’s why I couldn’t make it to dinner.” –Johnny Blaze to Roxanne
-Just hearing this line is ridiculous. It’s so casual. ‘Yea, sorry I couldn’t make it dinner; I had to work late for Satan. Sorry about that.’ This line epitomizes the stupidity of the film in a nutshell.
-Just kind of a ‘meh’ fight between Ghost Rider and Blackheart at the end. Blackheart throws him around for a while. I guess Ghost Rider creates a cool gun at the end. And I like when Ghost Rider bags him with his signature ‘make the other person feel their evil’ move.
-When Sam Elliot’s character goes into Ghost Rider mode with Johnny Blaze, it’s really bad ass as they ride together to fight Blackheart. There’s cool music going on, Blaze is on his flaming motorcycle while Sam Elliot is on his flaming horse. But once they arrive, Sam Elliot is just like, ‘Yea, I can’t help you. That’s it for me. See ya!’ WTF!!!
-It’s just a simple scene of Blaze and his manager/friend Mack talking at Blaze’s loft. You get a good insight into Blaze’s character, and a good scene of camaraderie between Blaze and Mack. It’s definitely Cage’s best scene in the movie.
-Blaze telling Roxanne about him being possessed by Ghost Rider is truly one of the all time terrible acting jobs by Eva Mendes. She just has this tired look the entire time. The guy is telling you about how he works for the devil! She asks questions about it so nonchalantly! Even if you don’t believe him, at least give off a reaction like the guy is crazy. When Roxanne finally does call him out on this, she tells him in a calm conversational manner, never changing tone throughout the whole scene. It’s truly a memorable acting job…but not in a good way.
-As Roxanne waits for Blaze at dinner and continues to drink more, the waiter walks over and Roxanne asks him if she’s attractive. The waiter just shrugs ‘eh.’ Hahaha.
Bad Ass Moment:
-The one cool thing Ghost Rider does with his fire whip is when he swirls it around to battle the wind demon and creates fire from the wind, which ultimately defeats him.