Rated PG-13 for horror violence and disturbing images.
Written and Directed By: Mark Steven Johnson
Staring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley, Peter Fonda, Brett Cullen, and Donal Logue
It’s said that the West was built on legends. Tall tales that help us make sense of things too great or too terrifying to believe. This is the legend of the Ghost Rider. -The Caretaker
I didn’t want to dislike this one, but I had no choice in the matter. Cage is charming and Mendes is irreverent, but their great chemistry doesn’t translate into a workable movie. As it were, everything was working against the likable leads. I have no empathy for a film that uses badCGI. If you can’t make it fluid and have realism, there is no point. I’d rather have a fake mask with no flames, but the CGI was only the start of what I didn’t like about Ghostrider.
The plot was overworked. There were simple motivators, and a simple storyline would have been fine, if the action and dialogue had been decent. With huge gapes intime-frames , and overkill on explaining everything, there was no sense of tension, suspense, or thrill that this kind of movie should have been pumping out left and right. The drama, comedy, and darkness of it all never was cohesive. The different elements all felt like separate parts of different plays shoved together.
The length was really too much. If they’d cut thirty minutes off some of the films missteps could have been easier ignored, but instead they loomed naked before the audience showing every single small thing that was wrong, and unfortunately there was a lot. The dialogue lacked, and with the atrocious pacing it was only left the negative open to shine.
CGI can be amazing. We’ve seen Gollum, King Kong, and some pretty intricate stuff the The Golden Compass, but the actual rider in Ghostrider is so clearly a CGI creation it’s distracting, and comes off as more of a parody instead of a dark movie about the devil and his bounty hunter. If you could focus on the flaming skull alone it was pretty cool, but attached to the body it was horrid.
This movie could have been so ridiculously awesome, and yet it was the complete opposite. Cage and Mendes did their share of shining and were essentially the only presence restraining me from turning the tube off or simply dozing off. Fans of Marvel or otherwise just looking for a cool escapism type flick aren’t going to get into this movie, and if they can’t I really don’t expect people who aren’t avid supporters of this kind of movie to either. The potential for greatness was there, but it was squandered with quaint dialogue, mediocre plot development, shameless lack of creativity, and horrificCGI. Ghostrider was a nightmare alright.