2007’s Ghost Rider is not a good film. At all. Directed (awfully) by Mark Stephen Johnson, the “auteur” behind Daredevil, it essentially did everything wrong that you could do with the Ghost Rider character. It was dumb, boring, and a complete disgrace to the character. So naturally, it made a butt-ton of money. Somehow, someway, it was the number one movie at the box office for weeks. This can be attributed to the devil, the fact that our society is becoming more and more like Mike Judge’s movie Idiocracy, or Nic Cage’s stunning hairpiece in the film. Regardless of how it became so successful in spite of being terrible, we’re getting a sequel.
And I cannot wait for it.
I know, I’m just as surprised as you are. Ghost Rider is one of my favorite Marvel characters, and was one of the first characters I was ever exposed to. Seeing Ghost Rider riding around on his hellfire bike instantly brings me back to being five years old. There’s just something about the character that appeals to me. Of course he’s awesome from a visual standpoint, but I’ve always like the origin of Johnny Blaze, how he willingly sells his soul to save his stepfather, and must live with the choice that he made forever.
|The first time I ever saw Ghost Rider…and Spider-man|
Which brings me to my biggest problem of with the movie, besides the fact that it’s completely, utterly terrible: the origin. In the film, Johnny Blaze pricks his finger on the devil’s contract, causing a droplet of blood to hit the parchment. The Devil grabs it and says, “that’ll do”, essentially making it so that Blaze is tricked into becoming the Ghost Rider. Sure, he willingly meets with the devil, but we’re led to believe that he wouldn’t have gone through with the deal if he had that extra few seconds to think about it. In the comic book, Blaze goes through with it wholeheartedly. He loves his adoptive father enough to sell his soul for all time. He does it out of love, much like Roxanne’s actions to drive off the devil when he comes to collect. Making it so that Blaze is tricked into selling his soul takes away the tragedy behind the character. He did something to protect someone he loves, it backfired, and now he must pay a huge, insurmountable price.
|IMO, the Ghost Rider: Mythos one shot is the best origin|
Another piece of disdain I have for the film is the way they treated Ghost Rider when he was onscreen. Yes he looked cool, but he had a total of three lines, all of which were variations of him saying “guilty”. Every fight in the film follows this pattern: Ghost Rider shows up, the bad guy knocks him down, Ghost Rider gets up and whips him with his chain, killing him. That’s EVERY FIGHT in the movie. No knockdown drag out awesome fire battles, no dragging someone behind his motorcycle, nothing! It’s like the animators only had enough time for one-30 second part of the fight and decided to just reuse it for each battle.
So yes, I pretty much hate the original Ghost Rider film. It’s just lazy, and no one, with the exception of Nic Cage, looks like they want to be in it. The only way I can accept its existence is by embracing its sheer awfulness and making fun of it (hence why I often say “let’s ride” in casual conversation). It’s really not a good film, unless you can hammer down a twelve pack while watching it. However, I’m genuinely excited for the sequel, which judging by the trailer looks like it will have some insane action. This is largely due to the directors: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Don’t believe me? Watch this. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Was that not the most insane thing you have ever SEEN? Neveldine is behind a motorcycle on roller-skates with NO HELMET! People should see this movie just because of that guy’s commitment to getting that shot! Sure, Nic Cage is still in it, and it features some pretty terrible/hilarious lines, but at least with this movie, we KNOW what to expect from it: absolute, complete carnage and over-the-top, unbelievable scenarios.
When I heard Neveldine and Taylor were helming the sequel to Ghost Rider, I was cautiously optimistic. I’m a big fan of Crank (the sequel….not so much) and I liked the premise behind Gamer. As long as these two turn out something crazy in a good way, and not in a Crank 2: High Voltage way, then Spirit Of Vengeance is going to be an absolute blast when it comes to theaters next month.
Seriously. Yes, SERIOUSLY!