Ghost Rider

2007-06-18 12:36
What it’s about:

Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) is held to contract by the devil (Peter Fonda) when the devil’s son Blackheart (Wes Bentley) arrives on Earth to take over or some such fiendish delight.

What we thought of it:

A biker with a flaming skull for a head should not strike you as a nice guy, much less the uncertain offspring of a three-way between Elvis, Evel Knievel and Martha Stewart.

Ghost Rider was never going to be easy to make. It’s a very stylised canon, akin to Todd McFarlane’s Spawn or even DC’s Hellblazer (erm… in the movies that’s Constantine). But few knew to what degree this unfortunate Marvel anti-hero’s name could be dragged through hell and back.

Ghost Rider is shocking. Shockingly bad, that is. Poor characterisation, sloppy editing, and ropey effects are not going to endear movie fans. Neither is a vague story (Darkheart might as well have been on Earth to open another Starbucks branch, and we'd be more excited.)

As for padding out the cast list with name actors, the usually competent Bentley is really tightly wound into that long coat - his lines are the lines of a very uncomfortable man who doesn’t actually want to be in the movie.

Meanwhile Peter Fonda’s groaning is reminiscent of the pizza delivery guy in a 70s porn movie. And the surprised-looking Eva Mendez has absolutely no value to the plot whatsoever, other than to serve as a piece of meat for the boys to chew on. There are some other actors in it, too – most of them die, presumably because they had better agents than Mendez and Bentley.

The only performance worth mentioning at all is that of the old man himself, Sam Elliot, who retains a screen full of charisma as effortlessly as twenty years ago, when he was only three hundred years old.

It’s telling to note that despite all the flames and skulls and otherworldly goings-on, a grizzled Elliot is indeed the only watchable thing in the movie. A shame that his involvement in the story ends with – wait for it – nothing. Yes. Nothing. How can this be, you ask? You’ll have to see it to believe it.

Perhaps the main cock up here is director Johnson’s insistence (or perhaps the studio’s), that Ghost Rider is in fact a film that needed to be suitable for the profitable PG13 rating.

The Constantine adap was violent, had a somewhat horrifying undercurrent, and could have been a classic with better acting. Ghost Rider’s acting is hammy too, but the film completely lacks menace. It bears nothing to even remotely suggest that either the Rider or Blackheart actually could be evil guys.

In fact, Ghost Rider is a film so devoid of anything new or intriguing that it feels like the Kung Pow of superhero pics. Only it isn’t a parody. At least it's not supposed to be.

- Anton Marshall

PS: Doesn't Nic Cage have an Oscar? Can't they take it back?
Ghost Rider has left the building. Elvis seen thumbing a lift, Evel Knievel throws hands up in disgust.

Albert 2007/04/05 7:12 AM
Ghost Rider Where do this critic come from ,did he even see the movie.In my opinion it was an exellent movie with great acting.
CJ 2007/04/05 8:29 AM
Ghost Rider Hey Mr Marshall, Get with the programme man. Open your mind. Did you not read comic strips as a kid? Movies are fantasies and that's why we go there. We actually WANT to watch some BS, to rid our minds of some of the horrid realities around us. If you want the truth, look around in your neighbourhood, attend parliament... boring hey? As for the rest of the public; go see Ghost Rider.
Sandra 2007/04/05 8:45 AM
Ghost Riders Just want to let you now the movies age restriction is not PG. I went to pay tickets yesterday and it is 13V.
Carl 2007/04/05 10:22 AM
Ghost Rider and Anton I couldnt agree with you more Anton! This film promised so much and failed to deliver. The FX were appalling, in a time when they do films like "The 300" surely they could have done better with the FX. I agree that this film needed to be more violent, i always saw Ghost Rider who rips off the heads of his enemies and pees down their throats. To CJ I also want to escape reality, but in order to do that we need to believe it and this film simply isnt believable. EXCELLENT REVIEW and stop reading the critics if you think they are so bad Albert.
Carmen 2007/04/05 10:47 AM
Ghost Rider - a the Comic I haven't seen the movie yet, but I cannot wait to go, despite the critiscm. If you've ever read comic books (and enjoyed them), then you'll understand the appeal.
Ghost Rider Himself 2007/04/05 11:46 AM
Ghost Rider The movie is a very good one and in actual fact I don't know where you watched the movie for appalling effects, maybe you watched the taped version of it ! Anyways the movie is good and the effects is cool , better than Spawn I would say this is actually one of the best movies next to spider man and superman !
Sharon 2007/04/05 12:21 PM
Ghost Rider Hollywood should leave the DC comics alone now - Hellboy and Span were awaited with baited breathe and failed miserably to deliver - perhaps the directors should read a couple to get the proper feel - no wanting to be completly disheartened - I think I'll wait tillit comes out on rental dvd - don't want to waste hard earned cash on POOP!
Eva 2007/04/05 12:32 PM
Ghost Riders After all these years I still can't fathom why we have movie critics, it's their opinion that gets printed. Everyone is different including their take on movies. Anton hates it, Ghostrider says it's brilliant, someone else will say it's mediocre. Come on guys, don't always rely on the critics. Open your minds & imagination to a film like this as if you were actually reading the comic itself.
aungphyo06 2007/04/05 12:40 PM
hihi hihi
Angelpie 2007/04/05 12:48 PM
Comic Book heroes rule!!! I tend to find that the critics are too harsh on movies that they don't like - they tend to become a bit sarcastic like Anton- and are too sweet on movies they do like - they sing the praises as though the movies don't have a flaw - Let's face it movie is perfect and the only way that one can pass judgement is to see it themselves. I never rely on the crits to make up my mind on whether or not I will see a movie and anyone who does then shouldn't bother to have a mind of their own... I love the new movies that are coming out about the superhero's of the comics and in my opinion the only way that i could possibly anticipate seeing this movie more than i already am was if it had Vin Diesel or Hugh Jackman in it as a lead...!!!
KB 2007/04/05 1:34 PM
Ghostrider A film critics review makes up 80% of my decision on whether to watch it, or skip it and wait until a lot later when it comes out on DVD. Besides the fact that time is precious (and we don't want to waste it watching dud films when we could be watching good ones instead), and that movie tickets are not cheap these days (why pay more to watch a dud?), I have standards when it comes to what I spend my money on and it's a let-down when you spend a fortune on 4 or 5 tickets for a group of you to walk out 2 hours later with the feeling that you've been had. No thanks. Film critics: Keep on performing your function - that's why you're there in the first place - to enable us to form an opinion on a film (storyline, cast, genre, etc.) and to then decide from there.
Jason 2007/04/05 2:11 PM
Ghost Rider Seldom do we see a positive crit on most movies. If I watched movies according to your outlook I'd be bored. Ever just think it's fun, cool, exciting rather than the plot, deeper meaning blah blah. You'd be better suited to arthouse movies methinks. Post your pic so we can see who's behind the constant doom!
Mopheus 2007/04/05 3:06 PM
Ghost Rider I hate movie critics, they can get you all fired up on movies they like and when you get to the movies its a total bore. so my opinion about this critic is that he has his own taste in movies and comic movies are not his thing. Dont listen to critics, make up your own mind, it is the right thing to do!!!!!!!
Adrienne 2007/04/05 4:18 PM
Ghost Rider Poor B-grade movie. Really far-fetched yet predictable. I mean, who rides over hellicopters? Just as disappointing that Eva Mendes was a part of it.
Andre 2007/04/05 4:20 PM
Try not to spoil it for the rest of us I love the ghost rider comics and I would like to see a movie that does the character justice. To wit, I dont really care about your personal opinion about the movie. Read the comic and tell us how close to the original the movie is. You don't have to like it, or even understand it, just be impartial about it.
black 2007/04/05 4:42 PM
abdo b
farzaana 2007/04/05 4:49 PM
Its not bad I honestly believe that this movie is not bad,I have gone for movies that have horribe with good write ups.Or movies that i sat it wondering what better i could do with my thirty five rand.Watch it
Nightshade 2007/04/05 6:53 PM
Ghost Rider Critic should read the comic 1st and understand what ghost rider is about. I've been reading ghost rider for years now and movie rox. has some lame parts and coulde been done better but hey, take it for what it is, its ghost rider on the big screen
Ed 2007/04/06 1:29 AM
Leave the reviewers alone! This is the umpteenth review i've read on this website of credible reviews about movies and everytime a reviewer writes a harsh review about a disgusting film they get the "well that's your opinion" comment. For heaven's sake, film reviewers know more about films, at least more than what most people think. If you find the reviewer's review awful don't moan and climb into his character - you are reading a professional's opinion regarding a movie. If you don't like it then please do not click the link to read the movie reviews on this website!!
Julian 2007/04/06 11:37 PM
Toasty PG13? Whos' bright idea was that. For the love of all things dark and creepy, Ghost Rider is one of the best characters Marvel has. I didn't think it possible that such an amazing character could be so royally screwed up, but never underestimate the mad skillz of movie directors and their minions. I can forgive the acting, the plot and even how Cage reminds me more of Evel Knievel than everyones favourite Ghost Rider, but what really screwed the movie up was the age restriction. For *%$! sake, this is a story about tormented souls, demonic minions and the devil himsef, trying to fit that into a PG13 movie would require the briliiance of a superman on tik (by the way I hated that movie too). I do hope that the next Marvel movie to come out will actually do its protagonist some justice, as this mess has really missed the mark.
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