Quotes that were… "YOU… GUILTY."
And quotes that should have been… "Read below for your punishment."
I would just like to say thank you to Nicolas Cage. He has done more for my career as a reviewer of bad movies than any other actor in the past three years. His true awfulness began with The WICKER MAN, it's most recent installment was NEXT, and inbetween there darkness lies: GHOST RIDER. To be fair, like most comic movies, GR is fun to watch. The graphics are silly but fun and far less offensive to my senses than the onslaught that was TRANSFORMERS.
I mean, if you're going to do CGI, you might as well do make your central character's head a skull and light it on fire. There's something so audacious about that (which stems of course from the comic's design) that I can't help but like it.
This movie is truly, delightfully campy. It telegraphs every plot point by a mile. I've never read the comics, but I was about three curves ahead of everything the film threw at me. Hmm, make a deal with the devil to save dad from cancer will you? Too bad you didn't make the deal for him to live forever, idiot. Hahahaha. Ah, finally got a second chance with your ex-girlfriend, did you? Too bad you just happened to turn into a flaming skull that night. Hahahaha.
Let's what else… ah, the villains. Well it's the Ghostrider (aka Johnny Blaze) versus the son of the devil (aka Blackheart). Blackheart has all sorts of minions who die in fights that last of all thirty seconds but are helpfully spaced out over the last hour of the film. The thing with Ghost Rider, of course, is that he doesn't really kill people (even hellspawn) in ways all that interesting. Generally speaking, fire is involved. He does have one "fatality" or whatnot where he stares into the eyes of a sinner and forces them to confront all the evil they've committed. This confrontation is depicted as said villain screaming and having a seizure while surrounded by CGI flames. FINISH HIM!!! The acting is of course, terrible. Cage's southern accent comes and goes and the way he delivers the comic book lines remind us all why the medium was (and still should be) called "comic." Meanwhile Eva Mendes is absolutely hilarious for all the wrong reasons. I'm not sure what to call her acting style… but it's the one where you emote everything physically. If you're nervous you actually wring your hands (who does that?) If you're sexually frustrated you pout your lips out (okay, granted, I do that too) and if you're a news reporter you emote cleavage.
All the familiar comic book archetypes are there (plus the always needed product placement). All in all, GHOST RIDER is a campy romp and a complete waste of time. Expect to waste even more time, however, as I'm thinking of writing a full recap of this bad boy…