Director: Mark Seven Johnson
Starring: Sam Elliott, Eva Mendes,Wes Bentley, Peter Fonda, Nicholas Cage .USA. 1h 50m
The talking point of this lackluster movie for me is, Who would you have cast as the Ghost Rider? Personally I’d love to see a young Jack Nicholson or Ron Perlman, or even a jacked up Henry Rollins just spittin some wild lyrics! Alas as Nicholas Cage is such a giant Ghost Rider fan he lobbied for the role and eventually got it, sadly he had to have this Ghost Rider tattoo covered up for the role…of Ghost Rider..
Generally the film follows aspects of the beginning of the original comic series, Johnny Blaze, as a youngster is forced to sell his soul to the Mephistopheles in order to save his father’s life, but is duped by the devil and unwittingly he becomes a deathly servant and transforms into a hellish entity with a flaming skull. He’s woes come with trying to handle his new persona and a hot girlfriend Roxanne (Mendes) when they reunite years later and he’s working as a Stunt Rider and shes made it to the Lois Lane stage of comic hero’s side chick life, isn’t it a hard knock life hey Dorothy, in actuality the struggle is more to do with his alter ego and the trick played by Mephistopheles who believes their bargain is ripened and is ready to make Blaze/Ghost Rider collect souls so he can bring Hell to Earth and Johnny basically not wanting to do as he’s told.
The film takes too long to really get going, after over complicating and dragging everything out for the first half, Cage is barely in his leathers and fresh wig (that took 3 hours a day to affix) before the fun really starts. The transformation scenes were the big point of what was going to drag the crowds in, and CGI was chosen, instead of a good ole fashioned Rick Baker/Rob Bottin-esque bit by bit transformation scene, it could have been visceral, instead we’re left with this first transformation scene. But a tiny bit of well known trivia for you, the skull used is mapped from Cage’s own skull … I guess that’s clever?
Sadly the CGI and the numerous Cagisms don’t help glaze over the massive plots or just how terrible the film becomes. However Sam Elliott does pop in to save the day with his Tash, and that wry smile giving a full dose of authentic Western appeal with a much needed breath of fresh air but soon after his nit, the movie sinks further into action nonsense, cardboard cut out villains and cheesy dialogue, but what would we expect from a Cage Comic Film?
He’s the only one that can walk on both worlds.
It could have been so much more, something crafted for the life long fans, made without the need to hit a monetary target and for that it would have exceeded that target but instead it’s an almost childish attempt at a Ghost Rider adaptation. For me it would need to take a really hard horror/comedy edge, give it to Sam Rami and Bruce Campbell..
Related: Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance (2011), Drive Angry (2011), Daredevil (2003), Spawn (1997),Hellboy (2004), Blade (1998)
List: Comics to Movies Vol 1
Spotlight: Nicholas Cage, Sam Elliott.