While I’ve never gotten into the Ghost Rider comic books, it seems like a cool idea on the surface.
And when I first heard that Nicolas Cage was going to act the part of (title character) Johnny Blaze, I didn’t think that was a good idea. Mind you, that was before I saw him in Wicker Man, The Ant Bully, even The Weather Man. After seeing those, I knew it was a bad idea. But the special effects looked whiz-bang, and the story looked something like the shallow kiddie-area of the acting pool – perfect for Nic’s recent acting endeavors, under the proper directing lifeguard’s supervision.
The director (also the writer)’s last three movies (as the writer), unfortunately, were Elektra, Daredevil (doubling as a director for the first time), and Jack Frost. Not exactly a stellar line-up, and Ghost Rider didn’t exactly propel this man to new, glorious cinematic heights.
Now, the film has plenty of quirks that I can easily take issue with: ridiculous “scary” moments, lame “scary” transformations, weak characters, questionable action stunts, corny dialogue, an inexplicable plot, and Nicolas Cage. But I’d like to focus on just that last problem.
Is it being harsh to say that a sadly incompetent arch-villain from a popular 80’s cartoon show could have done just as well in Cage’s role? Not if it’s true! And the more I think about it, the more it all comes together. Apparently, a couple of years ago, the evil Skeletor offed the Nicolas Cage we all used to know and like, and donned a rubber, vaguely expressionless and largely vacant-eyed mask to impersonate him! Surely, this masquerade will one day lead him to Castle Greyskull’s secrets… and then, all the power in the world will be his! Haaaa hee hee hee hee ha! Ghost Rider was, clearly, the first role in which he didn’t need a mask.
One quick, final note: the main villain of the film is not even vaguely as threatening, interesting, or cool-looking as he is in the comic books. I’m glad I’m not into those, or else that would have been my main complaint about the movie.