By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
Ghost Rider is comic book set to film, with all the silliness and adolescent horror characteristic of the genre. I am not a fan of the GR comic, as the star Nicholas Cage is reported to be, but I got a big kick out of the cycling blazing skeleton.
Cage plays Johnny Blaze, who sold his soul to Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda! who else would be peddling chopped bikes?)for his father's health. Now he roams at night, skeleton head ablaze, protecting the innocent and being very bad about bad boys. Cage seems miscast, too old to be called Kid, dyed receding hair, abs that must have been digitized (he couldn't be in all these second-rate films and develop a six pack like that). As for the cleavage of his girlfriend Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes), that looked real to me, and pervasive, a typical comic book excess.
It's great to see Sam Eliot playing himself once more, but not half as much fun as seeing Peter Fonda having a devil of a time. The hot bike is cool, Cage brings a certain interesting weirdness, and the computer graphics of ghosts and wrecks is just fun enough for comic book geeks to enjoy and regular geeks like me to think I should read the comic to get really in on the action.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com