Ghost Rider is the Marvel Comics superhero flick targeted at a mature audience, but it doesn’t do its job very well. Nicolas Cage plays Johnny Blaze, who after making a deal with the devil gains supernatural powers and fights crime as Ghost Rider. From what I see in this film, Ghost Rider is able to “judge” a living person by staring into his or her eyes. If you are found to be “guilty”, then Ghost Rider kills you immediately by burning the inside of your body. Something like that, I’m not very sure.
There are a few villains in this film (the main baddie is Backheart, played by Wes Bentley), and they possess supernatural abilities similar to Ghost Rider. Here comes my biggest problem with the film – the fight scenes are just not interesting. There is no rhyme or reason as to what makes these ghost people live or die, and it wasn’t very clear what powers each of them had. All you see are two weird-looking people hitting each other until one of them disappears.
In contrast to the lame and unexciting fight scenes, I actually found the motorcycle riding scenes to be fairly well-done. I like that Ghost Rider has his own special motorcycle which sets itself on fire when he rides it, and you don’t get to see anything like this elsewhere. There’s a scene where the bike goes vertically against the side of a building, and you feel as if the film is worth it in those precious few seconds.
There is a character played by Sam Elliot who has an important role in story, but his speech when he tries to motivate Johnny Blaze almost put me to sleep. Our princess in distress is played by Eva Mendes, and maybe the film would have worked better if they had just left out the cliched lovely-dovey relationship between the superhero and the girl.
Ghost Rider tries to be different from other superhero movies by having a more mature and scary tone, but it didn’t turn out right. If you are not a Ghost Rider or Nicolas Cage completist, you will want to skip this (literally) lifeless tale.