It was my privilege to see a preview screening of Ghost Rider last week. I know, I know, its meaningless since the movie’s in wide release now, but whatever. I’m sick and need a quickie update.
Ghost Rider is an OK movie. Simple plot is Johnny Blaze (Nic Cage) makes a deal with the devil to save his dad from cancer, which turns into a screw job when daddy Blaze dies anyway and Johnny gets drafted as Mephisto’s (I refuse to call him Mephistopheles as the movie does. It was originally Mephisto, and that’s what I’m sticking with) bounty hunter, a rider sent to collect on others who’ve made deals with the devil.
Well, Johnny ain’t happy about his situation, especially not when Mephisto sends him after his truant emo son Blackheart (also from the comics) and three elementally-based mini-bosses-I mean nephilim. And there’s something about Eva Mendes in there too, but the love angle falls a little flat (unlike Mendes’ torso, zing!).
Right, let's get this over with quick. Effects are pretty good overall. The flaming head stuff works pretty well and they do some nifty stuff with the bike, like driving up a building. No major complaints. Cage really puts in a lot of effort as Blaze (he’d better considering he’s got a Ghost Rider tattoo). Some of the imagery really jumps out at you, like the scene where Blaze & another Rider (a glee-inducing nod to the fanboy audience) charge off through the night to the final showdown.
As far as comic book movies goes, Ghost Rider’s pretty decent. Its not nearly as good as Batman Begins, X-Men 1 and 2 and the Spider-Man movies, but its no Elektra, Hulk or Fantastic Four either. Its middle of the road, hanging out with the likes of Daredevil and Blade. Look, the people aren’t going to be going in massive droves to see this movie. It will not inspire some youth to cure cancer. Its GHOST RIDER for crying out loud! Before this, his highest pop culture cred outside of comics was being a common theme for metalheads to put on their t-shirts.
I’m gonna go swig some Nyquil.