Marvel’s The Avengers was just released with such praise and so much money in the bank. It truly was a successful effort for them. However, many Marvel films are far from worth noting, and since Eva Mendes is going to star in the film Girl In Progress this week (which looks like another winner, well not really), I will combine films from both weekends to come up with a really unenjoyable film known only as Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider was based off of the Marvel comic of the same name and is about, what else, a skeleton dude that catches fire. In the comic books, there are a few people known as Ghost Rider, but the film, based on the first of these people, is Johnny Blaze; An aptly corny name for a very corny film. Who better to cast in such a corny situation than the farmer of the biggest crop of corn in Cornville himself, Nicholas Corn (or, erm, I mean Cage). Nicholas Cage is, let’s face it, not exactly the Charlton Heston of our time.
Anyways, Johnny Blaze sells his soul to the devil to cure his father’s cancer, when his father still ends up dying (of an accident, not cancer. The devil’s sure a jerk). Blaze is, like Nicholas Cage always is, full of rage and fury, and the devil insists that 1) he fulfilled his end of the bargain (well, he did), and 2) he would use Blaze sometime in the future (whatever that means). So years in the future, Blaze is just like every other over-the-top Cage performance: A supposed badass. He’s a stuntman and the world loves him. He runs into his first love who is now a reporter because, hey, what’s a cheesy movie without false hope like that?
So, an evil force, well, a group of demonic spirits, begins to walk the earth, and Blaze’s supposed help is needed. He begins to finally show his signs of possession by, well, combusting into a skeleton and getting a chain from out of thin air.
Really, this is difficult to write about because it’s just so incredibly stupid. Why would the devil get a soulless person to fight fallen angels? Fallen angels are devils, so the devil is hiring someone to fight his own? This makes absolutely no sense. Secondly, why does someone without a soul get the benefits of powers? How does he learn how to control these powers, especially after years of selling his soul? Really, this loose plot ends up being nothing more than little excuses to try and show off cgi effects. Usually this is a worthy sacrifice (in the littlest and most meaningless way possible), but in Ghost Rider, the cgi is as attractive as an abstract painting by a parrot’s diarrhea.
The skeletal body is as impressive as the basic stages of a Reboot cartoon before being worked on. They’re very obvious and it’s too annoying to look at and impossible to not think about. The way he “bursts” into this state is hilariously baboonish and can be easily compared to a bird being hit by a firework. Absolutely nothing looks nice except for maybe the motion shots of Ghost Rider and the like on their respective vehicles, where they leave trails of fire or smoke or dust or whatever. But these trails are not good enough to hold up a movie, not in any way, shape or form. Then we get to the worst effects of the film; the incredibly awkward demon sequences. We zoom right into Blaze’s eye and see a gathering of tortured souls wailing and crying, and I have never felt the need to leave a room so badly. Not from fear, but from confusion, embarrassment, and depression. There are a few of these and they are all equally as shockingly horrendous as each other, so you know you are bound to throw up in seconds when the camera starts zooming into his hollow, stupid eye hole. Usually these kinds of films have effects that will keep you interested, but not the delightful Ghost Rider. Instead, the only things that make this film just above a terrible 2 is just how unintentionally funny this film is. I mean it, it’s got so many moments that are beyond inexcusably bad, you can’t help but just accept them as hilarious. The way he whips his chain, the supposedly manly gruffness in his voice, the one liners even a one year old would be ashamed to come up with, and more. These quality moments are what gave Ghost Rider a sequel (which will probably appear on a Monday Review in the future sometime). This warrants no further viewings, though, but it is a pleasant way to cope with the terrible movie that was just on. You can remember it for the laughs you had while trying to figure out who green lighted this instead of worrying about how you will lobotomize yourself to forget the worst of it. Just like most Nicholas Cage films, you’ll get more laughs out of this than you will most comedies nowadays.