Review of Ghost Rider


Movie Review: "Ghost Rider" --

Rating: PG-13 (for horror, violence and disturbing images)
Length: 114 minutes
Release Date: February 16, 2007
Directed By: Mark Steven Johnson
Genre: Action/Fantasy/Thriller
Stars: 2 out of 5

"Ghost Rider" is an exciting film that centers on the triumph of good over evil. The movie is based on the character Daredevil, who appeared in Marvel Comics. Nicholas Cage plays the starring role of Johnny Blaze, a stunt motorcyclist whose father is dying of lung cancer. Blaze agrees to sell his soul to Mephisto (Peter Fonda) in exchange for his father's life. Johnny meets with Mephisto and signs a contract in blood. The next day, Johnny learns that his father's cancer has been cured. Later the same day his father dies in a motorcycle accident. Feeling betrayed, Blaze confronts Mephisto, who states that the contract has been fulfilled and he will return for Blaze when he needs him later.

Many years later, Blaze is working as a stunt rider and dating his high school sweetheart Roxanne (Eva Mendes). While this is happening, the son of Mephisto (Wes Bentley) is searching for the contract of San Venganza. The previous Ghost Rider (Sam Elliott) hid the contract centuries ago. Mephisto returns to Johnny and tells him he will release his soul if he locates the contract of San Venganza and defeat his son Blackheart. Blaze agrees to help Mephisto for his soul.

Blackheart comes to earth with a group of three fallen angels, who have all been banished from heaven by St. Michael. The three angels hide themselves in the elements of earth, wind and water. Blackheart asks the angels to help him locate the contract, which would allow him to gain control over his father and release a thousand evil souls on earth. The result would be hell on earth.

Mephisto makes Johnny Blaze the new Ghost Rider. Johnny acquires a heavy chain, which ignites when he fights. He begins fighting the angels in their first meeting, and he manages to kill one of the three. The other angels get away while Johnny is helping a woman being mugged.

The following day, Johnny wakes up in a cemetery chapel where he meets the Caretaker (Sam Elliot). The Caretaker, who was the previous Ghost Rider, explains the history of the Ghost Rider to Blaze and tells him to be sure to stay away from those closest to him while he is Ghost Rider. He tells him that Blackheart will use those closest to him as his weakness. In spite of the warning, Blaze returns home to tell Roxanne that he is working for Mephisto. Roxanne gets angry and leaves Blaze. The police show up after she leaves and arrest Blaze in connection with the deaths in the city, which are actually caused by Blackheart. While in prison, Blaze is teased by the other prisoners. He gets angry and transforms himself into the Ghost Rider to fight the prisoners and escape to locate the other angels. Blaze locates the second angel and defeats him in front of the police. Blackheart learns of Roxanne and takes her hostage. He agrees to give Roxanne back once Johnny brings him the contract.

Johnny visits the Caretaker to seek advice. Assuming the contract is in one of the graves, Johnny begins digging with the shovel. The Caretaker takes the shovel from Johnny and breaks the handle, revealing the contract. Johnny returns home to learn that Blackheart has killed one of his best friends named Mack (Donal Logue). Johnny refuses to give Blackheart the contract, and they begin fighting. Blackheart states he will kill Johnny if he does not give the contract to him.
The Caretaker, still having some of his Ghost Rider powers, joins with Johnny on one last motorcycle ride. The two ride together in the desert before the Caretaker gives Johnny his gun and then fades away.

Johnny locates the third angel and defeats him. He tricks Blackheart by handing the contract to him, and he transforms himself into the Ghost Rider. Johnny uses the Caretaker's gun to defeat Blackheart, and then Mephisto appears. Mephisto offers Johnny his soul back and says he will take the curse of the Ghost Rider. The Ghost Rider refuses, saying he will use his powers against Mephisto. Mephisto is angry at being fooled by his own trick and vows to return later to make Johnny pay. Mephisto takes Blackheart's body and leaves. Johnny and Roxanne are shown in front of a carved tree, which has their names. Roxanne offers Johnny another chance, and the film ends in a kiss.

Ghost Rider ends as a feel-good movie, which shows viewers that good can conquer evil even when all seems hopeless.