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Movie Review: Ghost Rider

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Marvel had been teasing us with a Ghost Rider film for the last few years and finally brought it to us — the story of Johnny Blaze, the man who sold his soul for love. Hell on two wheels. And they did it with Nicolas Cage as the anti-hero, Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider.

But after watching the movie, I have to be honest and say that Cage actually manages to pull the whole thing off pretty well and I did not think he could do it. Using his own ideas about the character and his actual knowledge of the Ghost Rider actually helped his transition between both Blaze and Ghost Rider and turned it into something that was both fun and exciting to watch.

No, there was nothing new, or eye-popping in the special effects and in fact you have probably seen most of them in the trailers. But what is fun and what does make this a good film to spend time and money on is to watch all the effects come together to form a complete film.

The movie stays close to the comic book character and manages to keep the action and excitement going through the entire film. The plot is easy to follow; young Johnny Blaze makes a deal to save his father from dying of cancer, only to discover that the Devil is not called "The Trickster" or the "Prince of Liars" for nothing.

As the years pass, Blaze becomes a world-renowned motorcycle entertainer and stunt driver. He has merchandising programs, video games, and even clothing lines named after him. He is considered to have the best luck in the game, having survived numerous bouts with accidents that would have killed a normal person.

Yes, it is a straight out popcorn flick, plain guiltless fun. Nicolas Cage is wonderful to watch as he changes into the Ghost Rider, screaming and laughing as his skin starts to steam and, well, never mind my description. This is something you have to see to believe or understand.

At one point, I suddenly imagined Nicolas Cage as Etrigan. And yes, you have to be a comic fan to understand that idea. Otherwise, the CGI was very well done with the Rider's motorcycle something to truly see to be believed.

It was nothing short of amazing, especially since it is based on a real motorcycle design from what I understand. The shotgun used is also based on a real design, an antique from the late 1800s. But the movie does not rely totally on the CGI, there are also some incredible sets used, showing the destruction that occurs when a Demonic force battles otherworldly forces.

Sam Elliott as the caretaker of the graveyard Johnny wakes up in after his first night as GR is truly a fun guy to watch. His grizzled looks and weatherworn features worked perfect in his role as the hard-working guy who is just trying to guide Johnny in what is happening to him.

And the final battle between Ghost Rider and Blackheart is fantastic to watch. For a little while, you almost thought there was going to have to be a sequel just to settle matters. And it does not leave anything to the imagination; it lays everything out for all to see. It is like the "Mother of All Battles" between good and evil.

I don't think it was as good as the train fight in Spider-Man II, or the knock-down, drag-out between Superman and the Kryptonians in Superman II, but it was a good battle.

Wes Bentley as Blackheart was superb, bringing both a natural charm and a devilish evil to his character that I think would have been difficult for many others to pull off.
As for Eva Mendes (and I am sure this is what all the guys care about), yes she is beautiful, she is hot, none of her shirts fit properly, and at least half her boobs were exposed in every shot. I guess the budget for the film was spent on CGI, special effects, and set pieces, and nothing was left to buy her a shirt that was the right size. Sad when Hollywood goes… BUST. Hahahaha… sorry.

This is a fun, entertaining film that is a nice prelude to the summer of comic book-based films that are coming out: "Spider Man 3", "Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer", "300", "30 Days of Night", and these are just the major ones. Who knows how many will go directly to video shelves?

So, take a chance and have some fun. Get a big bucket of popcorn, though; you won't want to miss any of the action going for refills.

Ghost Rider

Written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson
With Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Peter Fonda, Donal Logue, Wes Bentley

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