Ghost Rider is a fun ride. The computer generated images are excellent. Nicolas Cage delivers the lines with his usual quirky, over-the-top enthusiasm (or lack thereof). His chemistry onscreen with Eva Mendes is believable and makes the story work quite well.
I knew very little about the comic book character Ghost Rider before seeing this movie, so I enjoyed not comparing the storyline to any preconceived notion of what I thought this film should be. I was simply along for the ride.
What makes this movie so enjoyable is that I kept picturing Nicolas Cage reading the script and saying, “Wow, I’m going to have fun playing this guy!” And that’s the way it seemed throughout the whole movie. Whether it was an “extra” in the background, staring at the Ghost Rider’s fiery trail, or one of the headlining actors in the film, I could see that “this is a fun movie to be involved with” look in their eyes.
Johnny Blaze has his work cut out for him: Save the girl; figure out exactly who he has become; analyze his powers and figure out what works and what doesn’t; and deal with the authorities chasing him down every time he’s trying to get rid of some spirit-world bad guys. The action scenes, whether Johnny is riding his mortal-cycle or immortal-cycle, look really good. I never found myself saying, “Awe, c’mon, that looked way too fake.” And unlike “The Hulk” movie, the scenes were shot with lighting that actually allowed the fighting to be seen instead of covered over by shades of black.
Raquel Alessi, who plays the young Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes’ character in the movie), looks uncannily like Mendes. This really adds to the overall realism of the movie. I think it was a little harder to find a young actor who looks anything like a young Nicolas Cage, so that transition was more difficult to pull off.
I was happy with the way this movie wasn’t afraid to show the real difference between good and evil, innocent and guilty, love and hate.
Peter Fonda makes a great devil. Not sure if that’s a compliment, but I just had to throw that in. He delivered some of the silliest lines in the movie, but somehow manages to make them work. Now that’s good acting. Watching Fonda in this film made me want to run out and rent some of his other films (like Easy Rider).
So, to sum up my review: Ghost Rider manages to deliver a good solid script, some talented actors and actresses, really good special effects, suspense, drama, and action. Ignore the naysayers and give this movie a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.