Ahoy Lads and Lasses – There Be Spoilers Ahead…
“Ghostrider.” Hmmm. Let me just say that I really wanted to love “Ghostrider.” I remember buying the first issue way back in the seventies and loved it. I kept on reading and found that I began to really love the tragic – deal with the devil – figure that Johnny Blaze represented. High drama? Yeah, and it should be. I cared about what happened to Johnny Blaze because he had heart and soul, albeit a bought one. He was still trying to do the best he could with a bad situation – hoping beyond hope that he was on the road to redemption. The movie reflects a lot of this, which is ultimately a reflection of the heart of the comic.
Did I love it? No. I didn’t hate it and there are parts that are down right likeable but I didn’t love this movie. Believe me I wanted to but there are one too many lines of dialogue that made me cringe; there are too many actors just walking through their roles and too many characters that are just underdeveloped.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh – after all this is a movie about a flaming skeleton on a motorcycle. I should lighten up. There is stuff to like about “Ghostrider”, Sam Shepard, Peter Fonda, Nicholas Cage (at some points) and the straining buttons on Eva Mendez’s blouse all give wonderful performances. The special effects are top notch and I dug the voice of the Ghostrider. It’s the small things that tripped me up like having Johnny being stabbed in the shoulder while in the Ghostrider state and having to be sowed up by Sam Shepard when he’s in human form. If you establish that as the rule in this world that you’ve created then so be it; unfortunately about 15 minutes later the Ghostrider gets shot up by the whole police force and when he regains human form Johnny is not Swiss cheese – you have already established that he will be wounded and it never happens. 5 minutes after he is sowed up Johnny should have a pretty good scar on his shoulder. This is not the case, we see, as he tries to bring on the Ghostrider state in front of a mirror with no shirt on. Hey – no scar. Johnny learns how to control his “inner element” pretty easy too. Yes – I get it, there is supposed to be a camp element evoked with the story but some of the dialogue is horrendous. I felt embarrassed for Cage, having to deliver some of those lines.
You know, I’m being too harsh again. Did I mention the great effects? You know another thing that didn’t do it for me? Trench coats, sneers and young punk attitudes on the bad guys – come on, these are supposed to be fallen angels who have existed for untold millennia and what do we get? – Trench coats and punks with sneers? Uoof-Fah. “Blackheart” the devil’s son is leading them; who happens to be a whiney little git with a trench coat and a sneer.
Did I mention the special effects were great? How about the buttons on Eva Mendez’s blouse?
This movie will make barrels of money and is a decent popcorn flick and harbinger of things to come. The multiplexes will be full this summer as opposed to last. I only hope that the caliber of the movie making gets a little higher.
Oh well, BRING ON 300!