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Friday, October 19, 2007

Ghost Rider

***½ Ghost Rider. Science fiction, action/adventure.

Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson.

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Peter Fonda, Sam Elliott

We rented this DVD from the Shoppette.

If, like me, you're unfamiliar with the comic, here's the story: Johnny Blaze, motorcycle daredevil, sells his soul to the devil (Peter Fonda) in exchange for curing his father's cancer. His father's cured, all right, but he dies anyway, and Johnny Blaze is stuck with owing the devil.

Knowing the devil could return at any time, he leaves his girlfriend and becomes a recluse, emerging only to do more and more dangerous stunts, taunting the devil who's keeping him alive.

Then his old girlfriend reenters his life, and at the same time, the devil returns to collect. Johnny's mission is to retrieve a scroll, and to do that, he can become the Ghost Rider, who also ends up having some crime-fighting abilities.

Along the way, he meets a mentor (Sam Elliot), who explains all the Ghost Rider lore.

It was a nice way to spend a couple hours--not a great movie, but not terrible, either. I'd probably have found the flaming skull less silly if I'd been a fan of the comics, but it's just one of those things you have to accept or they'll spoil the movie.

The story made sense, and was acted believably. Nicholas Cage fits as the resigned loner, though the haircut (bad wig?) made me cringe every time I saw it. And thank goodness it was a DVD and we watched it at home, because I think my incredulous burst of laughter when he appeared shirtless onscreen at the fake-looking abs (seriously, they looked like foam strips glued to his stomach) would have irritated other theatergoers.

Sam Elliot was wonderful, of course--he always is. And I'd probably have appreciated Peter Fonda more if I'd ever seen Easy Rider. Ah, well.

Basically, it was a fun movie, but there was nothing to really make it stand out.


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