SUPERSTAR MOTORCYCLE STUNT RIDER JOHNNY BLAZE STRIKES A DEAL WITH THE VILE MEPHISTOPHELES FOR THE MOST PRECIOUS OF COMMODITIES, HIS IMMORTAL SOUL. NOW JOHNNY BLAZE IS FOREVER DESTINED TO RIDE NIGHT AFTER NIGHT AS THE HOST ... more »TO THE POWERFUL SUPERNATURAL ENTITY KNOWN AS THE GHOST RIDER.« less
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 12/30/2014...
Not my type of movie but Yes, I did love it.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 4/2/2010...
Waste. This film had potential, but it quickly becomes a badly done cliched mess. I think it might have worked if rated R and given a more mature storyline. Look at the success of Blade. If you r making a film based of obscure comic book characters u have the freedom too push the limits. Harmless junk
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Alison C. from NEWARK, NJ Reviewed on 3/3/2010...
I didn't think it was possible for Nick Cage to overact as badly as he did in this film. A better time is had watching paint dry.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Daniel S. (SmithBad05) from WEDOWEE, AL Reviewed on 12/24/2007...
I purchased this DVD when it first came out and gave $20 for it. It was a total waste of money. I hated it and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It was advertised much differently from what it really is. About a man who sells his soul to the devil. Bad, bad, bad!!!!
2 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Worth Seeing for Comic Fans
P. Fry | 04/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To clarify, I've never read this exact comic. But I think one could assume that this was a good comic/movie rendering, a simple plot without being old and recycled. The Mephistopheles character seeks out and tricks the hero, a daredevil motorcyclist from the carnival named Johnny Blaze, and he is subsequently sent to fight against other rival "baddies" of the underworld in the service of the Bug Guy. So in a sense he becomes the devil's slave even in a fight against evil.
The effects are great. The transformation of the motor-cycle and the hero's head into a burning skull are very convincing. Also noteworthy is the effect whereby he can use his power to cause a human-being to come face to face with all the evil things he has done in his life. The action is somewhat over the top, but mostly in the zone for a super-natural thriller. Johnny is invincible when he is the Ghost Rider, of course, and fighting against virtually indestructible foes will cause major damage to the landscape.
Casting was superb. Cage was a great pick for the Johnny Blaze, the understated soft-spoken daredevil. The love story aspect is a little flat, hence the 4-stars. Although both women playing Johnny's girl-friend are picture-perfect as ideal comic book babes, Eva Mendes isn't given much in the way of a script which is the main reason her character loses in the depth department. So it's no Spiderman II story-wise. Sam Elliot is tremendously fun to watch if you like him because he is basically playing Sam Elliot; he's pretty much reprising his last 6 or so tough guy cowboy roles, which he always does masterfully."
The Spirit of Vengeance rides again!
OAKSHAMAN | Algoma, WI United States | 06/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes a flaming skull can be the mask of an avenging angel.
First of all I admit that I am a long time fan of the Ghost Rider comic series. I waited for this movie to get made for years- through all the delays. Now that it has been made I am not disappointed. I thought that this was a very good job of writing, acting, casting, and special effects.
The first thing you have to realize is that this is a morality play. The Rider is the Spirit of Vengeance. He instantly knows the guilty from the innocent. His greatest weapon is his ability to make criminals feel their victims pain through his "penance stare." He is supposed to be disturbing, upsetting, frightening. If you have a problem with paying for your crimes then you are going to have a problem with the Rider...
I especially liked the tribute to the original western Ghost Rider (excellently played by Sam Elliot) and his tie in to the mythos of the Johnny Blaze incarnation. It was so appropriate to use the old "Ghost Riders in the Sky" theme here for it was the original inspiration for the character.
I wouldn't hesitate to allow children to watch this, but I would watch with them and explain it. Blaze made a deal with the devil, but he did it for unselfish, sacrificial reasons. And while the devil got his soul, he didn't get his spirit. The Ghost Rider is darkness in the service of light. He willed himself from the devil's bounty hunter to his greatest nemesis on earth. He owned his curse and turned the devil's power against him. And the Rider never, ever harms the innocent.
Yeah, I liked the craftsmanship and I liked the message- a lot. "
Oh so very very bad that it is painful to watch!
Get What We Give | Georgia | 07/12/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If Ghost Rider doesn't win a Razzy Award for Worst Picture of 2007, then there is something wrong. It is bad with a capital B!
Ghost Rider completed filming back in 2005, but it was shelved because the studio didn't believe the film was good enough to be released. Apparently a lot of editing was done and a great deal of the film was scuttled, resulting in the disaster that was presented in 2007. Whenever a film sits gathering dust for that long, you can be pretty certain that it is not going to be very good.
Nicolas Cage (who looks like he has a 50 year old's head on a 30 year old's body) absolutely chews up the scenery with such a bad acting job, attempting to channel Elvis Presley. In one scene he goes through some sort of Bad Acting 101 display as he dramatically and very slowly (not in slow motion though) raises his arm and points (but doesn't use the single index finger that most of us would use) and then utters the brilliantly scripted: "Yoooooooooooooooooooooou" as he speaks to Peter Fonda who laughably plays the devil.
Cage was never secretive about his desire to play this character. Apparently he has been a fan of the comic for a long time. He must have put up some of the money for the film, because that can be the only explanation for the lousy performance. There's no reason for his character to speak like Elvis (and he isn't consistent in delivering it that way either).
The special effects are cool in some scenes, but the battle scenes are really a let down. I've seen better in video games. Even the transformation from man to Ghost Rider is not exciting. It looks fake (which, I'll grant you is really misleading since no such creature exists. However, Marvel has done a great job with XMen and the Fantastic Four in creating films that incorporate the real world into their mythos). That said, the transformation should have been more dramatic and less drawn out.
Cage's rug is its own character. And that brings to surface something really creepy about this film. Cage playing the title character. Never mind that he's about thirty years older than the character is supposed to be. Never mind that he overacts so badly that you feel compelled to turn away from the screen. It's the fact that he looks so very very old. His face is craggy and his pores look huge. He actually looks like he is ill: his body ripped with sinewy muscle, but his face drawn and sallow.
Eva Mendes doesn't so much act as she moves around a bit and smiles and delivers a line.
Wes Bentley resurfaces from previously committing career suicide (he insulted Harvey Weinstein of Miramax and threw prima donna tantrums on the set of The Four Feathers, garnering Weinstein's wrath to the point of being exiled from A list films)and plays one of the devil's sons: Blackheart. Bentley once said he would never be caught dead in a special effects film, because he was a "serious actor". Well, he's right about one thing: he is serious....seriously bad. Bentley phones in his performance and seems about as menacing as a Chatty Cathy doll.
Maybe there were supposed to be better special effects added that never happened. Maybe there was a better film that ended up on the cutting room floor. Maybe there really is a man in the moon. Who cares? It doesn't matter about the maybes, because the film that we see in this DVD is so bad that it should have remained on the shelf."
Better than expected
Imsimplyhere | 04/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was surprisingly good. I went into it, not expecting much after recently watching the Fantastic Four movie. Ghost Rider starts off with a young Johnny Blaze, teamed up with his father, who is sick. He makes a deal with the Devil and sells his soul to heal his father. Unfortunately, the Devil never strikes a bargain with fairness in mind and Johnny is left to wait for the Devil to call. When the Devil calls, the special effects were actually amazing. The story was a bit on the short side with an ending that left a bit to be desired. Overall, this IS a fun movie to watch and the action is consistent throughout. This one will be added to my library when it's released. Enjoy."
"You can't live in fear"
- Durrkk | Ohio/PA border USA | 12/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I personally feel that the numerous superhero films that have been popping up since "X-Men" came out in 2000 are all of about the same quality. Yeah, everyone has their personal favorites (mine is "Daredevil: The Director's Cut") but, generally speaking, they're all decent cinematic versions of the comic heroes.
Mark Steven Johnson's "Ghost Rider" (2007) combines Faust and Spider-Man and mixes in elements of all the variations of the Ghost Rider comics up to the present, including the 50's Western hero, but it's main inspiration is the 70s-80s comic featuring Johnny Blaze as the protagonist.
What makes Ghost Rider appealing? Well, the only thing cooler than a guy in black leather and chains driving a Harley is a flaming skeleton in black leather and chains driving a supernatural flaming Harley. That pretty much explains it.
THE PLOT: Johnny Blaze and his father make a living as Evel Knieval-like stunt riders in a carnival. When Johnny's dad is diagnosed with cancer he is mislead into making a deal with the devil. His father is healed of the cancer but Satan makes sure he dies in a stunt accident. Johnny ultimately discovers that, because of his foolish deal, he is cursed to become the nigh-invincible Ghost Rider -- a supernatural flaming skeleton -- whenever he comes face to face with evil. Satan then enlists him as his "bounty hunter" to capture his prodigal son, Blackheart, who naturally hates his father and is intent on getting the "contract of San Vengaza" for the purpose of starting some kind of hell on earth. Ultimately Johnny must make a decision about what to do with his powers -- give 'em back to Satan or use 'em to fight evil.
Some criticize Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze because Blaze is supposed to be about 30 years old, while Cage was around 41 during filming. Yeah, someone like James Franco would have been better for the role, especially since Franco looks exactly like Mike Ploog's version of Blaze, but Cage does a fine, likable job. Besides, I know guys 25 years old that look older than Cage does in the film. In fact, you'll see that Cage is in incredible shape for a man in his early forties. As for Eva Mendes, who plays Johnny's girlfriend Roxanne, she's ten years younger than Cage and is both voluptuous and adequate in the role, not to mention highly likable.
Some criticize the film as too serious, others as too goofy, but the fact is that "Ghost Rider" has the same general tone as all the other superhero flicks released since 2000. It's a serious story for the most part, although completely unbelievable due to the subject matter, with some humor thrown in for good measure. In other words, it's neither deathly serious nor a campy goof-fest; it rides the line between these two extremes.
If all you want out of "Ghost Rider" is an entertaining supernatural superhero flick "Ghost Rider" delivers and is worth renting or owning for that purpose. But thankfully the film delivers on a deeper level as well. Allow me to throw out to you a smattering of the many noteworthy or fascinating aspects of the film:
-- Note that Johnny is mislead into "selling his soul" to the devil and has to face the negative consequences of his decision. Few people will literally "sell their soul" to Satan as shown in the story but we can all relate to the struggle with the evil that exists within our own hearts. If or when we decide to live according to the inclinations of our lower, destructive, selfish nature are we not, in a sense, "selling our soul" to the devil? (regardless of whether we view the devil as a literal spiritual being or merely as a symbol of potential human evil). Whenever we choose to live according to this lower nature will we not automatically perform evil and, in that sense, fulfill the devil's will? (ditto).
-- Peter Fonda as Satan is perfect and entertaining, as is Sam Elliott as the old Westerner.
-- Love is a strong theme in the story. Johnny "sells his soul" for love of his father. He didn't do it for greed or some other carnal purpose. This is agape love, self-sacrificial love, love in it's highest and purest form. This puts Johnny on God's side (as Elliott's character observes in the film) and makes him a serious threat to the devil's purposes on earth.
-- We also witness Blaze's great love for Roxanne and vice versa, as well as Mack's love for Johnny, etc.
-- This is brilliantly contrasted by the total absence of love in Satan's kingdom. The devil hates his son and vice versa. This is a fitting depiction because God is described as love in the Bible; and since Satan has chosen to separate from God and be His enemy, he has naturally separated himself from love and become love's enemy. Hate in all its ugly manifestations is therefore the essence of the devil's kingdom and relationships.
-- When Blaze first turns into the Ghost Rider and goes for a ride in his flame cycle he causes great havok wherever he goes. You'll note that this is much toned down in his later excursions as Ghost Rider. The explanation? Johnny simply didn't know how to control the supernatural hellfire and "spirit of vengeance" during his initial conversion.
-- Although it's supposed to be amusing, it makes sense that Johnny would listen to The Carpenters in his down time. Blaze's daredevil lifestyle and his problems with the Ghost Rider curse would understandably cause him a great deal of stress. Listening to Karen's ultra-soothing voice would be a great pacifier.
-- There's a great scene of Ghost Rider riding off the top of a skyscrapper, whipping his chain in exulting fury, and then riding full blast down the building smashing into the pavement below as police and onlookers observe in total disbelief.
-- In the comics Blackheart was the only comic character that ever sent literal chills down my spine (in Ann Nocenti's Daredevil). I didn't get this feeling from Wes Bentley's portrayal in the film, although there's a hint of that. Regardless, Bentley does a fine job in the role. And Blackheart's total ugly wickedness is certainly revealed or demonstrated here and there.
-- There's a great musical interlude featuring the Ghost Rider and the Caretaker (Elliott) riding through the night desert for hundreds of miles to San Vengaza. Fittingly, the song is a modern hard rock version of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" (I love that song! Who doesn't?)
-- I saw the theatrical version when it first came out on DVD and recently purchased the director's cut, which adds approximately 10 minutes of extra footage for a total of about 2 hours runtime. Unlike "Daredevil," where the director's cut transformed a mediocre flick into a great one, the extra footage for "Ghost Rider" doesn't make or break the story. In fact, I can't really tell what the extra footage is. It's mostly just extended dialogue, I guess. So, if you don't feel like shelling out the extra cash for the director's cut, you're not missing all that much, if anything the extra footage just slows the film down (but I prefer it).
-- The picture was filmed in Victoria, Australia, and the city of Melbourne.
-- The Ghost Rider himself (itself?) is a triumph of special effects. Needless to say, the film is enjoyable just to look at.
-- On the extra features disk (director's cut only) there's a great 4-part documentary called "Sin and Salvation" on each of the comics incarnations of Ghost Rider up to the present, which runs approximately 45 minutes. It features such comics notables as Roy Thomas, Mike Ploog, J.M. DeMatteis, Howard Mackie and many more.
CONCLUSION: 4 Stars for the film itself and 1 Star for the "Sin and Salvation" documentary.
If anything I've mentioned here trips your trigger be sure to check out "Ghost Rider.""