In 1972, Marvel Comics introduced a character named, Johnny Blaze also known as, “Ghost Rider.” A stuntman who signs a deal with a demon named, Mephisto in order to save his father from dying. Johnny signs the contract to spare his father with the cost of his soul. As a result, against his will, Johnny becomes Mephisto’s bounty hunter to collect souls transformed as a flaming skeleton possessing supernatural abilities including a motorcycle to travel in ludicrous speed, (special shout-out to Spaceballs) weapons like a magical shotgun, a chain to combat his enemies and using fire to blast anything standing in his way.
Ghost Rider appeared in various forms of media/merchandise including action figures, video games, most notably a crossover appearance in Marvel Ultimate Alliance as a playable character, animated shows, t-shirts, collectibles among many other things.
A film adaptation based on the character was in the works by Sony. Actors who were considered to play Ghost Rider such as Johnny Depp and Eric Bana were contenders, but they had to drop out due to busy schedules. Nicolas Cage ultimately won the role. Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil 2003, Jack Frost 1998, When In Rome) signed on to direct and write the movie. David S. Goyer also signed up to serve as an executive producer as he worked on “Blade 1998,” “Batman Begins” etc.
Ghost Rider was released in 2007. (same year Spider-Man 3 came out) It received negative reviews from critics, fans and movie goers alike. Despite bad reception, it managed to make a profit at the box office. A sequel titled, “Ghost Rider: The Spirit Of Vengeance” came out five years later earning negative reviews as well.
Sony is currently working on upcoming films including “Morbius” with Jared Leto as the titular character and “Venom 2” with Tom Hardy reprising his dual role as Eddie Brock & Venom. Both films are set in Sony’s cinematic universe.
Today’s review contains crucial SPOILERS. Read at your own risk. I’ll do my best not to replicate Nostalgia Critic’s review of the film. This is my own opinion of Ghost Rider.
Hot & Cold Qualities
Hot: Nicolas Cage did a solid job for his performance as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider. In addition to playing the main lead, he also wrote the script uncredited.
Fun Fact: Nic is actually a lifelong comic book fan. His real surname is Coppola. He decided to change his name to Cage (after Luke Cage) to avoid nepotism. He also named his kid after Superman’s birth name Kal-El.
Other Cast Members including Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott & the late Peter Fonda all did an ok job for their respective performances.
Some of the Action Sequences were good whenever Ghost Rider shows up riding his bike, it actually accelerates adrenaline rising beneath blood vessels.
Visual Effects bring Ghost Rider’s appearance to life. He resembles his comic book self.
One scene pays homage to Scorpion’s chain pull from “Mortal Kombat.” What’s missing is Scorpion’s line “Get Over Here!”
The Opening Credits looked pretty dang cool. Whoever designed this deserves Bonus Points and an additional paycheck worth an opening.
Carter Slade also known as the original Ghost Rider who debuted in 1967 prior to Johnny Blaze in 1972 makes an appearance played by none other than Sam Elliott.
Rebel Wilson appears as a goth bystander spared by Ghost Rider.
One scene made me laugh is when a shirtless Johnny looks at himself in the mirror doing silly things to see if something weird is happening to him.
Cold: Mark Steven Johnson did a poor job directing the film. His direction felt muddled.
Wes Bentley didn’t do a good job for his role as Blackheart. What makes his role worse is in fact, he doesn’t look like Blackheart’s appearance from the comics. He’s suppose to be a scary looking creature not a goth kid at any shopping mall.
Chemistry between Johnny & Roxanne felt awkward. For example, when Roxanne conducts an interview for Johnny, he acts like Peter Parker talking to Mary Jane. I know Johnny is shy, but this is on the same level as “Agent Cody Banks” due to his inability to talk to a girl.
The film wasted a golden opportunity to see Carter Slade & Johnny Blaze teaming up to fight Blackheart. Carter only guides him to Blackheart’s location and just walks away. Why did Mark Steven Johnson & Sony Pictures Imageworks waste millions of dollars to see an awesome moment to appease fans? If you’re gonna make one last ride with old and new, you have to band them together to take out somebody with a high power level. Gonna have to Double Down this con for discarding an epic climax.
After Blackheart absorbs many souls, he starts to sound like The Delightful Children From Down The Lane off of “Codname: Kids Next Door” or KND for short. It’s not scary, it’s cringeworthy.
Johnny’s hobbies are eating jelly beans, watching monkeys doing silly things on TV and listening to that one song by The Carpenters’ used in “Tommy Boy.” It would’ve been understandable if Johnny said he had to counteract the demon inside him to stay sane or else he will lose his humanity.
It takes 49 minutes for Johnny to finally transform. At least it didn’t take forever to see Michael Keaton eventually becoming “Jack Frost” until the third act or Fantastic Four finally banding together from the 2015 clunker.
There’s a weird moment with a cow mooing while Johnny kisses Roxanne. This couldn’t get any awkward than Anakin & Padme’s romantic chemistry from “Attack Of The Clones.”
Blackheart is so stupid he didn’t realize Ghost Rider’s “Penance Stare” can kill anybody with a soul. He should’ve not absorb many souls.
I swear to god I’m not making this up, as Roxanne waits patiently for Johnny to show up for a dinner date, she uses a magic 8-ball. Am I watching a Ghost Rider movie or a stupid parody by Aaron Seltzer & Jason Friedberg referencing “Toy Story?”
The Climatic Battle is a rip-off of both “Blade” & Ang Lee’s “Hulk.” Blackheart absorbs souls stealing a page from Hulk’s father absorbing power. Unfortunately, his plan backfires.