Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ghost Rider (2007) Blu-Ray Extended Cut

Rating: 3 out 5 flaming skulls

Plot Synopsis:  Johnny Blaze is a death defying super stuntman.  Sort of like Super Dave Osborn, if Super Dave Osborn had received special powers for selling himself to the devil and damning his eternal soul to hell instead of 15 minutes of quasi fame in the 90’s.  He’s on a mission to stop Peter Fonda (playing himself).

The Good:

-Nic Cage is awesome as Johnny Blaze.  I love Nic Cage in general but in this movie he does a great job.  He plays Johnny as sort of a mix between Elvis and Evel Knieval with a ton of just interesting quirks.  He’s fun to watch in every scene.

-Watching Ghost Rider evolve is pretty cool as well.  He starts out pretty vanilla with just a flaming skull and a leather jacket but slowly gathers his traditional accoutrements.  He gets hung with a chain which he adopts into his trademark melee weapon, transforms his bike, steals a spiky jacket from a sinner, gets his shotgun from the previous Rider.  When he finally meets Blackheart for the big showdown he is every bit the Ghost Rider we want to see.

-Peter Fonda plays the Devil in this little morality tale.  He is unexpectedly awesome at it.  The Easy Rider himself fits well with the bike/biker theme and he plays the part very well.  He’s dark, mysterious and filled with personality and menace.

-Donal Logue as Johnny Blazes right hand man.  Every time he talks I’m reminded of the Tiny Elvis sketch and how all of Tiny Elvis’ people just agree and chuckle nervously.  He takes things seriously enough to provide comic relief.  Every scene he’s in is awesome.

-Blackhearts posse is pretty bad-ass.

-Eva Mendes is always fun to look at.

The Bad:

-Remember what I said about Peter Fonda?  Yeah, well the opposite is true for Blackheart, the son of the devil.  Wes Bentley is terrible with his perma-smirk and hipster-douchebag air about him.  In the comics Blackheart is a pointy, black, snarling soulless demon from hell.  Here he is played by the kid who found plastic bags so absolutely fucking fascinating that he taped one for hours.  He is not in any way interesting or threatening, even when he absorbs a crap ton of souls and supposedly becomes the new mega power “Legion”.  I couldn’t wait for the movie to be done with him.

-Donal Logue dies and he pretty much just goes out like a bitch.

The Ugly:

-I really want to like the Caretaker played by Sam Eliot.  I really, really do but they just don’t do enough with him and then he gets all “Ridered” up and then he vanishes.  It’s so stupid that they would introduce him and then not even have him fight and get killed.  I like Sam Eliot and he does really well with what little he’s given but it’s just sort of a waste of talent.

Final Thoughts:  I like this movie.  It isn’t world changing or innovative.  It doesn’t bring anything new to the table or do something old perfectly.  It’s just a good comic book movie if taken with a grain of salt.  The acting in it is good with the exception of the black hole that is Wes Bently, which is strange because he was good in American Beauty.  I just think he was the exact wrong choice for Blackheart.  There are funny moments in this movie, triumphant moments, stupid moments and serious moments.  It’s like the fast food of comic movies, it has everything you need to walk away feeling satisfied but it’s not particularly well done nor is it exactly healthy for you but sometimes that’s exactly what you want.

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