Ghost Rider 

2007

 

In the realm of Marvel Comics turned into movies, "Ghost Rider" falls somewhere in the middle "? nowhere near the artistic heights of "Spider-Man 2," but diverting enough to avoid the label of failure of, say, the current "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer." After all, it's not every day you can see a movie about a motorcyclist with a flaming skull for a head.

 

Nicolas Cage stars as Johnny Blaze, the stuntman who's tricked into selling his soul to Satan (Peter Fonda, of course) and harbored with the curse of having a flammable noggin once the sun sets. Eva Mendes is the requisite beauty-marked love interest, and "American Beauty"'s Wes Bentley is a demon of some sort, hunting for a bunch of lost souls that will make him even more evil.

 

There's no point in following the story; the kick is simply in watching this supremely silly blockbuster vacillate between fantasy, action, horror and romance "? some more successfully than others. Cage brings his brand of quirk to it, which helps when your writer/director is a coaster like Mark Steven Johnson ("Daredevil").

 

Pick up the double-disc set for an unrated, extended cut, as well as a nifty, multipart documentary about the history of "Ghost Rider" comics.

 

"?Rod Lott

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