(Written for CageFest)
I originally saw Ghost Rider last year during an airplane flight, and immediately hated it. After signing up to review it for Fletch’s CageFest, I was curious if I would find myself enjoying it more the second time around. I believe that many initial reactions for films come from the viewer’s mood at the time and the overall timing of the viewing. The DVD of Ghost Rider was also a director’s cut, so maybe there was something new that I would like more.
I was mistaken. I hate Ghost Rider just as much now as when I first watched it.
Judging from the opening and closing credits, which reminded me of “The Grindhouse Experience”, I wonder what it would have been like Quentin Tarantino had gotten his hands on the project.
In my opinion, Ghost Rider struggled from trying to be two different films: A corny, over-the-top flick and a somewhat realistic approach to the superhero genre. I would have rather seen one or the other, instead of the mismatch that it sadly is.
Nicholas Cage, while not bringing anything new in terms of his acting, played the role fairly well. There were a few scenes in his more ‘demonic’ state that were convincing, though. It seemed to be a glimpse into his earlier acting, which I’m now more interested in seeing.
The main detriment to the film was the villains, sans Peter Fonda as The Devil. Not only were they cliché and lacking in development, but they were just too easily defeated. They could have been killed by a baby using a hammer that he couldn’t lift. For all intents and purposes, they were just there as minor hurdles for our hero to leap over with ease.
Along those same lines, the story was melodramatic and bland to this viewer. The romantic scenes between our main characters at a young age were giggle-worthy. Age didn’t improve it all that much.
That said, the overall themes of the film are worthy brain-food. Too bad the rest of the film doesn’t live up to it.