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ghost rider Ghost Rider
Directed by:
Mark Steven Johnson
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes. Peter Fonda, Sam Elliot, Donal Logue

Written by:
Ricardo Barberini

February 26, 2007

Ever wish that some fantasy was true?  Or did you ever feel that your fantasies were taken for granted by authors and movie makers?


Well, anyway, this is a movie about a fantasy.   Marvel comics has been in business a long time and to keep it going they have to continuously come up with new themes from outer space to detective stories to super humans and to horror.  Ghost Rider is a combination of supernatural and super hero fantasy.  Several generations of kids around the world have grown up with these comics

The legend starts over 150 years ago with a cowboy who is recruited by the Devil to collect the soul of over 1000 evil doers.  He decides not to honor his commitment and escapes with the contract for the soul of the evil people.

150 years later, Johnnie Blaze is a stunt motorcyclist that makes a pact with the devil to save his father’s life who is suffering from an inoperable cancer.  The devil tricks him after getting his signature by curing his father and having him killed the next day in a freak accident.

On account of the contract that he has signed with the devil, Johnny has to leave his fiancée and shun any love or affection for fellow human beings.  Being on a death wish, he takes crazy chances as a stunt motorcyclist and achieves fame by being a real daredevil.  Unbeknownst to him, the devil is protecting him while he is taking wild chances by performing seemingly impossible tasks.

Then one day, before a major jump over five helicopters with their blades running, he meets his abandoned fiancée Rosanne who is now a TV news reporter.  The old flame of love is rekindled in his heart and he hopes for a miracle to help him get back to a normal life.

However, all is not well.  The Devil has, unintentionally, spawned a son named Blackheart, who is now trying to take over from him and he is even more evil than the fallen angel himself. 

In desperation, the Devil turns to Johnny and offers to free his soul if he fights and destroys his son known as Blackheart and his cohorts.  He endows him with special powers to seek and destroy the evil spirits wherever they maybe.  Except that these powers are only available at night.

Johnny embarks on an escapade of killing the evil and rescuing the innocent.

The Police soon pick up his trail and accuse him of being the night time rider that has been destroying the city neighborhood with his blazing motorcycle.  Suffice it to say that they cannot hold in jail and he escapes.

Blackheart kidnaps Roxanne and threatens to kill her unless Johnnie finds the contract of those 1000 souls and delivers it to him.  Blackheart knows that he will be stronger than his father if he could have those thousand evils souls unite with him. 

Johnny, with the help of the original Ghost Rider who fooled the Devil 150 years ago and is still waiting around for a worthy successor, battles Blackheart and his army of evil in one climatic scene and destroys Blackheart. 

Being released from his bondage to the Devil, he swears to battle the Devil and evil doers all over the world and rides into the sunset after kissing his old girlfriend goodbye. 

Many people have thought of this movie as Nicholas Cage’s final chance to make it back into the big time movies.   We remember Nicholas when he was spiraling down into oblivion in movies such as Deadfall when as a baldy with a wig he was playing a second fiddle to a second fiddle. 

We have seen many of the famous stars sliding down that slippery slope to nothingness.  The luckiest ones ended up as realtors for Arkansas lakefront properties or mouthpieces for wine companies.  The unlucky ones ended their days in a flop house in Vegas or other places.

But, then 1995 and Leaving Las Vegas and Nicholas Cages award winning performance as Ben Sanderson changed all that.  He was extremely lucky.  The director of that movie Mike Figgis, an Englishman with hang-ups has not done much since then.  He has since made forgettable movies such as The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999), Time Code (2000) and Co/Ma (2004.)  Did your ever see any one of them?   I guess most of you didn’t.

Anyway, Nicholas rode the waves, for a while, after that Oscar with trash such as Snake Eyes (1998), Bringing out the Dead (1999) and Sonny (2002.)

In this movie, Nicholas has lost some weight and looks lean, has a new wig and plays the part of the devil’s bounty hunter with some passion that has been lacking in many of his movies since Leaving Las Vegas. 

Peter Fonda, an actor who is still living off the name of his famous father plays the Devil.  He is OK if you consider the fact that most of his acting is actually a series of special effects turning him into a skeleton or changing his face into a raggedy Andy with a zippered mouth.

The Director, Mark Stevens Johnson was a screen writer before trying his hand at directing.  The story is, though predictable, the special effects and Nicholas Cage make this movie a good enjoyable movie to watch.  The direction is not anything to write home about.

We give this move starstar1/2.  There is some violence but it is so superficial and outlandish that the kids will not find it scary.  No sex or four letter words. 

Go see it or rent it, if you are looking for mindless entertainment.

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