Nicolas Cage stars as Johnny Blaze, a stunt rider who sells his soul to the devil (Peter Fonda) in order to save his father, only to find that things don't work out as he hoped. Flash-forward a couple of decades and the bill has come due, with Mephistopheles ordering Johnny to hunt down and kill his wayward son, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), who, along with a trio of other fallen angels, is bent on dominating the world. There's also Johnny's long-lost love interest, Roxanne (Eva Mendes), who comes back into his life just he is gearing up to fight for his very existence.
As unwieldy a film as one can imagine, Ghost Rider mixes Christian theology, classic Western motifs, pure horror (Johnny transforms into a skeleton with a burning skull when darkness comes), quirky humor, glitzy special effects and modern superhero angst to deathly ill effect. None of it is executed with any real directorial skill; nor can the actors for the most part bring themselves to take the hokey plot or dialogue too seriously—watching Cage and Fonda's verbal face-off is excruciating. As Johnny's best buddy, Donal Logue has a couple of nice riffs, but, other than standing around looking pretty, Mendes does little with her tepid role as a damsel in distress.
wasn't screened for U.S. critics; had it been, this soporific movie would likely just have put them to sleep.
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley, Sam Elliott, Donal Logue, Matt Long and Peter Fonda
Director/Screenwriter: Mark Steven Johnson
Producers: Avi Arad, Steven Paul, Michael De Luca and Gary Foster
Genre: Fantasy action
Rating: PG-13 for horror violence and disturbing images
Running time: 108 min.
Release date: February 16, 2007