Ghost Rider (PG-13)

Action/Adventure 110 February 16, 2007
By Nathan Lee
When studios elect not to press screen a movie for critics, it usually says something about the movie. In the case of Ghost Rider, it’s kind of a moot point. Dude, they actually let the guy who made Daredevil make another movie? Starring Nicolas Cage as a demonic, hog-humping leather daddy on fire? Oh, yes, they did, and it doesn’t seem entirely coincidental that the plot involves selling your soul to the devil. Having bargained with Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) to save his father’s life, motorcycle daredevil Johnny Blaze (Cage) awaits the day that the dark one will come calling. Enter Blackheart, a.k.a. Satan Jr. (Wes Bentley), with a clutch of minions and an Oedipal agenda to wrest an ancient soul scroll away from Daddy--or whatever. Point is, Ghost Rider is enlisted to kick their ass, which he does through such remarkable techniques as yelling really loud and throwing clumps of dirt. Writer-director Mark Steven Johnson gives the okay to some exceptionally muddled CGI while eking a surprisingly witty performance from Cage, here proving there is absolutely nothing, nothing he won’t lend his name to. He’s got some charming scenes with Eva Mendes as the inevitable girl reporter/first love/botox babe, and while Ghost Rider lacks both tongue and cheek, he shoulders his flaming skull lightly. (Nathan Lee)
Mark Steven Johnson Nicolas Cage, Wes Bentley, Eva Mendes, Matthew Long, Peter Fonda, Donal Logue Mark Steven Johnson, Shane Salerno, David S Goyer, Jonathan Hensleigh Gary Foster, Avi Arad, Steven Paul, Michael De Luca, E Bennett Walsh Sony Pictures

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