Ghost Rider

Rated PG-13 2007

When studios elect not to screen a movie for critics, it usually says something about the movie. In the case of Ghost Rider, it's kind of a moot point. Dude, they actually let the guy who made Daredevil make another movie? Starring Nicolas Cage as a demonic, hog-humping leather daddy on fire? Oh yes they did, and it doesn't seem entirely coincidental that the plot involves selling your soul to the devil. Having bargained with Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) to save his father's life, motorcycle daredevil Johnny Blaze (Cage) awaits the day the dark one will come calling. Enter Blackheart, aka Satan Jr. (Wes Bentley), with a clutch of minions and an Oedipal agenda to wrest an ancient soul scroll away from Daddy -- or whatever. Point is, Ghost Rider is enlisted to kick their ass, which he does through such remarkable techniques as yelling really loudly and throwing clumps of dirt. Writer-director Mark Steven Johnson gives the OK to some exceptionally muddled CGI while eking a surprisingly witty performance from Cage, here proving there is absolutely nothing, nothing, he won't lend his name to. He's got some charming scenes with Eva Mendes as the inevitable girl reporter/first love/botox babe, and while Ghost Rider lacks both tongue and cheek, he shoulders his flaming skull lightly.

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Ghost Rider

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