Ror Revisits: Ghost Rider

Continuing with the dregs of the CBM back catalog, I take a look back at Mark Steven Johnson's 2007 take on Ghost Rider starring Nicholas Cage...

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By Mark "RorMachine" Cassidy - 8/25/2011
With the trailer for Ghost Rider: SOV getting a pretty positive response I thought I would go back and take a look at the first movie, which for the most part did not.

I actually remember thinking the trailer for this looked pretty good too, I was looking forward to it. I'm not one of these people that thinks Nicholas Cage is the Devil incarnate as I am aware of some incredible performances of his over the years. That being said there is no doubt that he CAN be pretty terrible in both his acting and in his movie choices. Then we had the Director, Mark Steven Johnson who brought us the much maligned Daredevil. Thing is, I liked Daredevil! So that didn't put me off either. Then I saw it.



In fairness, I didn't outright hate the movie the first time I watched it. It had it's moments. And looking back on it again those moments still stand out. Ghost Rider himself remains pretty impressive both in appearance and as a character. It's just a shame the movie built around him is so lackluster. The plot is very basic and by the numbers but that's not really a deal breaker in a movie like this. We have our heroes , we have our villains and we have our love interest etc etc. The problem is Johnson doesn't do anything unique or surprising to raise such an interesting character out of the confines of the basic studio super hero movie story that he was always going to be landed with. And if you don't have a cast or a script that will raise it up for you, well you're pretty screwed.

Cage is not on form here, but nor is he at his worst. He at least attempts to make Johnny Blaze a bit quirky and original with a jelly bean addiction and a Carpenters obsession. Probably a surprising departure for those expecting to see the hard drinking/smoking Blaze from the comics but it's a brave gamble. It just doesn't quite work. And then later on the usual Cage overacting occurs and you kinda stop giving a damn. Only when Johnny Blaze is Ghost Rider does the movie come alive and we get some great set pieces. The drive up the side of the building, the prison break etc. But we always have to go back to Cage gurning away. And he isn't nearly the worst thing here. Wes Bentley may well give the single worst performance in the history of CBMs as the villain Blackheart. Not only is he completely un-intimidating, he fails to convince on every single level an actor can. SHITE. Eva Mendes isn't much better, the definition of hot but bland. But we do have Sam Elliot and Peter Fonda to liven things up a bit but they can't save the movie from descending into complete arse.

A decent enough first act and some stunning Ghost Riding can't save this. Ghost Rider should have been an insane, heavy metal, biker orgy. It needn't have even made too much sense, just blast Henry Rollins and have things burn. It seems like Neveldine/Taylor get this so let's hope their upcoming sequel/reboot/re-imagining/whatever doesn't disappoint.



Check out the rest of my reviews and revisits HERE




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43 Comments
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Destroyer14 - 8/25/2011, 10:44 AM
Good revisit, though I disagree almost with everything, but that's just me.
JoshWilding - 8/25/2011, 10:46 AM
Great review, shit movie.

'Nuff said. :)
Destroyer14 - 8/25/2011, 10:47 AM
I think I might be the only one in the world who liked it more than Batman Begins.

I still think it's great. :)
FlashFacts - 8/25/2011, 10:50 AM
I liked Daredevil too but this movie was shit.. it was 2 hrs of Nicolas "ill do anything if it pays well" Cage doing his George W. Bush impression for 2 hrs and Eva Mendes(my love) not looking hot.
Stumblin - 8/25/2011, 10:53 AM
I just can't get my head around how you like Daredevil.

But I do agree with this review on Ghost Rider, the acting in general was too over the top with Cage and Mendes. I hated the villains too, not one of them actually looked like any sort of demon, they just looked like people dressed up from Spencers or Hot Topic with fangs and dripping water. The fight scenes were all forgettable, though that's one thing that Daredevil has over Ghost Rider, except I wish I could forget.
BooYah - 8/25/2011, 10:53 AM
I hated this movie it was so BORING!
I don't even want the sequel. Let the rights go back to Marvel.
VictorHugo - 8/25/2011, 10:56 AM
When i heard that Blackheart was in the movie, I was expecting a demon with the spiky hair like in the "Marvel VS Capcom" game, not a silly cheap vampire from Buffy or True Blood.

This movie should´ve been more like "The Crow".



Hawkeye64 - 8/25/2011, 10:58 AM
i love revisits. good job.
BlazinTexan - 8/25/2011, 10:59 AM
why in gods name would you revisit that abortion of a movie
WellDrawn - 8/25/2011, 10:59 AM
NEVER AGAIN!!! NEVER LET MARK STEVEN JOHNSON TOUCH ANOTHER COMIC BOOK PROPERTY AGAIN!!! AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Destroyer14 - 8/25/2011, 11:00 AM
The sequel looks good, but better than the first? It seems to be lacking the coolness. (Wish Peter Fonda would reprise his role, plus I'd like to see Blackheart's true form captured on screen.)
TyJenn610 - 8/25/2011, 11:05 AM
Try watching it again, but turn the color of your T.V. all the way down so it's in black and white. I don't know why, but for some reason that gives it this old school 80's B movie feel that elevates some of the facepalm inducing cheesiness from the terrible dialogue/non-stop puns.

I also can't agree with you on most of the set pieces. The driving up the building scene WAS indeed cool, but most of the "fights" involved the bad guy doing one thing, and then Ghost Rider does another, and then it's over. None of them last longer than like, 30 seconds :-/
Rothwilder - 8/25/2011, 11:05 AM
Dialed in review, but just in this instance.

Love the stuff you write Ror.
DarthTesla - 8/25/2011, 11:06 AM
Ghost Rider himself and the Old Spirit of Vengeance looked amazing...but not much else.

The villains were a total joke, Donal Logue was annoying, and I LOVE Eva Mendes, but I even found her character a bit irritating.

All that said, I am looking forward to the new GR film, and reeeeeally hope it surpasses this one.
ABLEE337 - 8/25/2011, 11:06 AM
I hated the tone of the movie. With a character like Ghost Rider, I feel it should be spooky and scary like a horror movie at times. He's a very supernatural Marvel hero and his movie should feel different from spandex costume wearing heroes like Daredevil, Spider-Man, and etc.
I felt like they had a really good chance to make a superhero movie that was very different from all the others.
The new one looks better, but I'm sure it will suck. I'll still see it though. I see all comic book related movies.
PaulRom - 8/25/2011, 11:06 AM
Good review mate, the only thing I really liked about the film were the special effects. The rest was shit.
StrangerX - 8/25/2011, 11:08 AM
I couldn't stand Cage. If they just kept Matt Long as Johnny that would have been better. The villains were also shit.
CorndogBurglar - 8/25/2011, 11:09 AM
Worst modern CBM, period. it was complete shit. they missed the mark in every possible way.

They never even showed Blackheart's true demon form. this movie made me want to swallow broken glass i was so mad at it. piece of shit.

i've never seen a bigger steamer get dropped on a piece of film then shown onto a movie screen before in my life.

Ror got it right, ARSE! he was nicer though, I'd give it one star, and only i 1 is lowest i could go. this movie deserves to have every single copy of it buried in the desert at one of those bomb testing sites.
CorndogBurglar - 8/25/2011, 11:13 AM
i did like when ghost rider got hit by that semi and smashed into the wall. but other than that...SHIT!
nuck82 - 8/25/2011, 11:18 AM
i really dont get why you do this to yourself, you pick the worest movies to re review, i can sit thru maybe 30min of this movie when its on tv
nuck82 - 8/25/2011, 11:19 AM
the only funny part in th emovie is when he gave the cops the bird, and fellow cbm.com member MASS pointed out to me that he was giving the finger to us not the cops
SageMode - 8/25/2011, 11:19 AM
The ONLY good thing about this movie was actually seeing the character of Ghost Rider (not Nicolas Cage's Johnny Blaze) on screen, but everything else was garbage.

If someone else was playing Ghost Rider in GR:SOV, then i'd go see it, but I'll pass. They shouldve gotten Karl Urban as GR.....

nuck82 - 8/25/2011, 11:25 AM
sundried gusto, your sundried, theres a diff
SageMode - 8/25/2011, 11:26 AM
Or Josh Holloway

MrSuperheromoviefan - 8/25/2011, 11:26 AM
WOW! You gave a positive review. 2 stars is positive review for this movie. Even Transformers 3 is better. The only acceptble thing in this movie is how GR looks.
But, still good review.
greenlanternsector2814 - 8/25/2011, 11:27 AM
I think the biggest thing that turned me off to the movie was the humor they tried to incorporate into Ghost Rider. I mean, "Yee-Haw"...really?
Fogs - 8/25/2011, 11:30 AM
Someone please post that movie where Cage is attacked by the bees? I loved that one, hahaha!
Fogs - 8/25/2011, 11:31 AM
@0SageMode0 that's the dude from Lost? I think he should be Gambit.
SageMode - 8/25/2011, 11:37 AM
@Aklash: Yeah, that's him. I think he's a little too old for Gambit. Taylor Kitsch was cool as Gambit in the Wolverine flick.
SageMode - 8/25/2011, 11:44 AM
@Teabag: LMAO, is that the old man from Strangers With Candy?
Fogs - 8/25/2011, 11:46 AM
@StarfckerRun & Tea - LOOOL
TheDarkKnightWing - 8/25/2011, 12:11 PM
Personally I dont hate Nic Cage.I think that when great, hes really great but when he sucks, he really sucks. Hes never just alright. Unfortunately, Ghost Rider falls into that "really sucks" category.
TheLokey1 - 8/25/2011, 12:18 PM
This movie never gets reviewed correctly. If you're looking for a serious cbm about a man possessed by a demon in order to fight other renegade demons than this is in fact a terible movie. However, if you review this movie as a comedy, it's pure gold. right on par with Adam West Batman ;)
TyrannicalOverlord - 8/25/2011, 12:41 PM
A HEnry Rollins soundtrack would have been an improvement. Using "Ghost Riders in the Sky"= lame.
And the Johnny Blaze ala Elvis was annoying as hell.
plasticman - 8/25/2011, 12:53 PM
Teabag, I'm with you on this one. You beat me to the comment I was going to leave which was that the finger pointing was acceptable as Johnny Blaze because I understood it was Nic Cage and he is a doofus. But when they take the time to spend money adding CGI to Ghost Rider pointing the finger at the camera/other guy, then you know that the movie blows. Save the Elvis impersonations for yoru lady friends in the bedroom, Cage.

Peter Fonda was annoying in this movie. You could tell he only showed up for the paycheck. And Eve Mendes didn't better her career at all with her character. T

he only non-CGI ray of hope in this film was Sam Elliot. I would hope that he makes an appearance in the new reboot. The scene with the two Ghost Riders heading to the village of San Moganza (or whatever it was) with the Ghost Rider song in the background was the only decent lasting impression other than driving up the building.
SpiderFan35 - 8/25/2011, 12:58 PM
@ TyrannicalOverlord: that's the problem with Cage, he does everything a la Elvis lol. And since it looks like his hair is taking another twist, I thought this was appropriate (and hilarious):



I am not getting my hopes up for any life changing drama in SOV, there will be some cool 'splosions and that's about it. But I'll go see it, what else have we got to do in the dead of winter when this thing comes out?
dellamorte1872 - 8/25/2011, 1:40 PM
this film mildly pissed me off! i hate this film and iy blows but Daredevil hit me a lot harder b/c unlike GR whose cool, i am an avid fan and appreciator of the DD mythology and THAT film made me furious. this one was just disappointing.
dellamorte1872 - 8/25/2011, 1:41 PM
i'd give this and DD half a star. but im cynical
joncochino - 8/25/2011, 1:58 PM
i loved daredevil,but i was born legally blind,so he's always been my hero,andi come from a biker family,so ghost rider is also a fav
Stumblin - 8/25/2011, 2:06 PM
Cage was shitty as Big Daddy too.
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