I finally gave in and saw Ghost Rider, facilitated by 300 being sold out. I had intended to catch it, at least for laughs, but had never gotten around to it, lacking the time to go out and see it.
Well, let me save you all some money and time... Don't bother. Wait until it's on cable. The movie is horrifyingly, laughably bad. It's a clusterfuck of total retardation.
Sure, some people will point to the bright spots like the effects and... well, the effects. But you can't trust those people. Those people are fucking liars and want only to hurt you and everyone you love. Either that or they are the dumbest bags of shit you'll ever come across. Only a severely impared and mentally inferior human being could enjoy this movie.
Okay, I know. It fills the time, it doesn't murder you family, and it's only a few bucks. Who cares? Well, probably anyone that had an expectation that the movie would be written instead of shitted up onto the screen in a torrent of wet squirts.
Ghost Rider is a dumb character, I understand. When your character is best expressed in song by "Ghost Rider - motorcycle hero", you're in trouble. I mean, Evel Knievel is then on the same par if that's all it takes. And, of course, this movie steals heartily from the likes of Mr. Knievel and makes Nicholas Cage into a deathless daredevil, recruited by the devil (apparently Mephisto was too good to be in the movie) to reclaim the souls of the damned, in this case his unruly son, Blackheart.
Blackheart in the comics was a spiky, black monster. Apparently the vastly incompetant shithead director, Daredevil's own Mark Steven Johnson, thought it would be a better idea to make him into a simpering wannabe-Goth fuckhead who pouts around the world, killing people for no reason other than to show off how "evil" he is. He's accompanied by a rouge's gallery of nephilim, an interesting idea, executed in the dumbest way possible by Johnson, turning them all into element-based douchebags in matching dusters. Yes, they're all ugly, pouting Linkin Park-listeners, showing daddy Satan how they're their own men and they don't need anybody. So the forces of the underworld have all been turned into spoiled, pouting, angsty teenage shitsticks. Wes Bentley should be publically flogged for his performance.
The movie opens slowly and takes a while to get to the present and its point, but, after it does, you so very much wish that the opening had gone on longer.
Johnny Blaze, played by Cage, is betrayed by the devil, who takes his soul, saves his daredevil father from cancer, and then kills him in an accident. This leaves Blaze apparently a fucking weirdo who spends all his time reading books on the occult. His comic relief sidekick played by Donal Logue is really one of the only highlights of the movie and it's during the long start that we see the most of him.
The early parts play out fairly well until Johnson starts stylizing the film with lame jump-cuts that attempt to "scare" you with screaming monster faces, a tactic so fucking tranparent that it wouldn't scare a 4-year-old. In fact, the movie elicits groans a-plenty with its tacky and stupid visual hijinks.
Cage is interspersed in between, trying to reclaim the lady love of his youth, played by Eva Mendes. Cage's acting veers wildly back and forth between seeming almost retarded, severely drunk, and chewing scenery like a coked-up Willem Dafoe. The audience is forced to watch slack-jawed as he delivers his odd performace while trying to pick up the 20-year-younger Mendes.
Eva is actually one of the highlights of the film, as her appearances allow you to take your attention off the "plot" involving Ghost Rider and Mephistopheles. Her acting is actually rather naturalistic and she provides some great comedic moments, breaking up the monotony of the sub-Elektra writing of the film. In fact, the only moments the movie works are when people are just sitting around, talking - shoeleather scenes where the director doesn't bother to do more than point a camera at people and film. The rest of Ghost Rider is a badly-cobbled together visual nightmare of stupid shit happening, even bothering to drag in Sam Elliot in one of the biggest throwaway wasted performances ever.
The dialogue trickles out in phrases that one would expect from an aspiring third-grade comic-writing hopeful. It has everything short of Ghost Rider claiming that his dad could beat up Blackheart's dad.
Every point plays out transparently and in the most obvious and stupid fashion possible, leaving you to hope that the movie ends quickly, as you've got to get an early start on talking about how fucking bad the movie is to everyone you know.
The Ghost Rider design and effects are the only thing that works about the film, the rest of the monsters being fucking worthless and shitty (especially sad considering the fact that Ghost Rider came pre-visualized, so the movie did nothing well at all).
There are few things to compare the film to, except possibly herpes. The writing could also be likened to herpes, except it definitely doesn't carry that much weight. Thankfully, a few days after you've seen it, most of it has been erased from your memory. You can't ask for much more than that.
Really... Don't watch this shit.