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Ghost Rider Review

Poster Art Country : USA
Year: 2007
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Format: Cinema
Running Time: 114 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures

Deals with the Devil can go sour, as a motorcycle stuntman finds out when he trades his soul to save a loved one from death, only to be cheated and transformed into fiery cyclist from the nether regions....

Credits
Written and Directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Starring Nicholas Cage, Peter Fonda Wes Bentley, Eva Mendes, Matthew Long and Donal Logue.



You know, I loved this flick. Yes, overzealous at times to the point of hokey -- in either visual or circumstance, but mostly the picture is determined as Ghost Rider himself to do the right thing. Though they both make a few mistakes at times, I enjoyed, believed in, and respected them as well.

Based on the Marvel comic series. A motorcycle stuntman, Johnny Blaze, makes a pact with the Devil himself, selling his soul to save his father. When the bargain goes sour and dad dies anyway, Blaze is transformed, gaining raging superpowers.


The action sequences in this film are strong and approach the "thrill" factor of those in Spider-man. And the sound hits on the audio track crunch that action into something you can feel (like the way Johnny Blaze rides) first and foremost, this film is sharply sleekly perfectly edited. Kudos to writer/director Mark Steven Johnson and editor Richard Francis-Bruce for that.

Initially, I'd thought Nicolas Cage (who I am NOT a fan of at all) was an odd cast for a superhero, but he plays the role of Johnny Blaze "the Rider" with great strength and vulnerability. His internal struggle (justice or vengeance?) drives the film. That and his attraction to his childhood sweetheart Roxanne Simpson played by the gorgeous Eva Mendes. Wes Bentley does a good job as the opposing force/Devil's son Blackheart. Not to mention, the F/X are outstanding! I also saw this in DLP, which for me, is the only way to watch films from now on. It is what CGI was made for apparently.


Unfortunately, all the dots don't quite connect, and an otherwise fun action ending doesn't satisfy as squarely. Still, I like this comic book hero, grittier. The film does a great job of showing us how he came to be and how he is still coming to be. Yes, Blaze is a nut who watches a lot of TV, eats jelly beans out of a martini glass, and listens to the Carpenters, but those minor details were not enough to spoil anything for me. In fact, I thought those elements were great. But then again, I have never read one issue of Ghost Rider, so comic book dorks start typing up your hate mail. The film draws the audience in with its confidence, Blaze's burden and that childhood movie magic that even some of us adults still love to buy into.


I just have to give Ghost Rider the Pit of Horror seal of approval!

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Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com

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