Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Ghost Rider”

(Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2007. Full Screen. Color. 1 Disc. Rated PG-13. 110 minutes. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson.) Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Peter Fonda, Wes Bentley, Donal Logue, Brett Cullen, Sam Elliott. Music by Christopher Young.

Stunt rider by day, the devil’s pawn by night! That’s Johnny Blaze, aka Ghost Rider of Marvel Comics fame. In the title role is Nicolas Cage, making a deal with the Devil (Fonda), in order to save his father (Cullen). Ol’ Mephistopheles can always be counted on to collect his debt. Blaze is himself by day and turns into Ghost Rider at night, complete with flaming skull-head, flaming motorcycle, and powers which enable him to battle Blackheart (Bentley), the Devil’s son who’s got plans to come out from under Dad’s…er, wing. Also around is The Caretaker (Elliott); Roxanne, Blaze’s childhood sweetheart (Mendes, who doesn’t seem to own a blouse that buttons up the front), and Mack, the comic-relief pal (Logue). Good effects don’t quite overcome less-than-compelling story and standard dialogue. Plus Cage’s too old for his role (Johnny Depp was first choice, but I guess he’s gotten too busy with the Pirates franchise). Director Johnson also helmed Daredevil, so you have an idea what to expect. Extras on this full-screen edition include two documentaries and a trailer. Movie is also available in widescreen and 2-disc extended cut.