- 7x7 2023
USA / Australia 2007
Avi Arad, Michael De Luca, Gary Foster, Steven Paul, Norman Golightly (executive), David S.Goyer (executive), Stan Lee (executive), Lynwood Spinks (executive), E.Bennett Walsh (executive) for Relativity Media, Crystal Sky Pictures, Vengeance Productions, Marvel Comics/Columbia
directed by Mark Steven Johnson
starring Nicolas Cage, Peter Fonda, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott, Brett Cullen, Donal Logue, Wes Bentley, Eddie Baroo, Jessica Napier, Laurence Breuls, Daniel Frederiksen, Mathew Wilkinson, Matt Long, Raquel Alessi, Kirstie Hutton, Gibson Nolte, David Roberts, Charlie Garber, Sandy Kerr, arthur Angel, Lawrence Cameron Steele, Tony Ghosthawk, Hugh Sexton, Marcus Jones, Matt Norman, Kenneth Ransom, Alexis Porter, Ryan Johnson, Jonathan Oldham, Peter Callan, Rebel Wilson, Peter Barry, Bruce Hughes, Rita Kalnejais, Jason Raftopolous, Brett Swain, Duncan Young, Joel Tobeck, Jacob Vanderpuije, Fabio Robles, Marty Fields, Troy Planet, Vittorio Scalise, Richard Ian Cox, Tang Ling-Hsueh
written by Mark Steven Johnson, based on the Marvel Comics-character, music by Christopher Young, visual effects by CaféFX, Gentle Giant Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks
Sam Jones from DVD is Go
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Ghost Rider sees Hollywood moving away from the
premier comic book heroes that bring in the big
crowds with a film that focuses on a slightly
less mainstream hero. The Ghost Rider is
directed by Mark Steven Johnson, whose CV seems
to be built around second tier supeheroes.
Previous work on such competent but dull action
fare as Elektra and
Daredevil means that he
should be well versed in heroic schlock by now.
The Ghost Rider is a man called Johnny Blaze,
portrayed by Nicholas Cage at his demented best.
Blaze is part of a carnival sideshow where he
performs motorcycle stunt shows with his father
(Brett Cullen). When Blaze discovers that his
father is dying on the day before he is about to
elope with his sweetheart Roxanne, all seems
lost. Lost that is until the devil himself makes
a fiendish appearance in a shroud of CGI mist.
Old Nick is going by the name of Mephistopheles
in this picture and he makes a deal with Blaze;
a cure for his father in return for his immortal
soul. Blaze signs up...
Johnny learns his first tough lesson when the
Devil causes a fatal accident in the circus ring
that leaves Blaze an orphan. His elopement with
Roxanne is no longer viable either. How can he
drag his love to hell with him. The devil has a
mission for Johnny and until that day he has to
live with that knowledge so he pushes himself to
ever bigger and more foolhardy stunts in a
effort to wipe himself out. The Devil's hand is
on his shoulder however, so no amount of
suicidal jumps can save him from his certain
What ensues is a movie in which Cage must
transform into the flame skulled Ghost Rider
every time there is evil about. His job is to hunt
down some escaped demons who are after some kind
of magical contract that will give them the keys
to hell. I couldn't really follow that part too
closely but it doesn't really matter. What's
important is that some demons need catching and
the devil is sending a big guy with a flaming
head and a leather jacket, astride a satanic
motorbike, to go get them.
The film tries to bring in the lost love sub
plot, in which Eva Mendes has little to do as
the grown up Roxanne, and has lots of angst
ridden, searching stuff that is par for the
course when it comes to modern day superheroes.
If I could make my head catch fire and shot
bombs out of my palms while riding around on a
cranked up devil hog, I'd be inclined to a
little less soul searching and a little more
riding. Relief from the tidal wave of trash this
film has to offer comes in the form of moustache
ambassador Sam Elliot who is, as ever, great to
watch in his usual mystical cowboy role. He's on
hand to fill in some details about the ancient
history of the Ghost Riders...Thanks Sam!
Ghost Rider is a potential future cult movie for
all the wrong reasons. It's the Valley of the
Dolls of comic book movies. Dolls is a movie
where everything seems to be slightly wrong. No
one does a bad job and the production values are
fine but something about the picture just seems
off in a comic and entertaining way. Ghost Rider
has some cringe worthy scenes, particularly a
father/son talk that culminates in the patriarch
handing over the keys to his most precious bike
and it's this stuff, along with Cage's Elvis
shtick and the general unintentional (..or not?)
camp of the whole affair, that makes much of the
running time such a joy for a bad movie fan. The
CGI effects are all fine and dandy with a cool
sequence in which Ghost Rider stares into a
victims soul with his hollow eye sockets, but
the plot, hammy dialogue and especially Peter
Fonda's excruciatingly hip Devil character all
drag the film down - is there something in his contract that says he
has to say "far out" in every film he's in, just
because he made Easy Rider 500 years ago?
In ten years time people will be renting this as
a fun movie to watch with like-minded friends
who enjoy tacky movies. Like Xanadu or the
Pepper movie in the 70s, it's worthless crap
elevated by the talent involved who valiantly
try to save the picture. Their failure makes for
extremely entertaining viewing. This is a movie
where the adage so bad it's good is actually
true. Whereas other fairly recent bad Superhero
movies such as Catwoman have bored audiences to
tears by committing the unforgivable crime of
being rubbish and dull, at least Ghost Rider
can't be accused of being boring.
I'm covering this film for a BBC radio review
and I have to give it a rating out of 10. This
week I'll have to give a dual rating.
For Serious Movie Fans: 2
For Bad Movie Fans: 9
review © by Sam Jones from DVD is Go
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Robots and rats,
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