Imagine being an 8-year-old, watching men in skin-tight suits and red capes swinging or flying around in big cities.
If that’s not cool enough, try leather jackets, motorcycles, explosions and classic rock n’ roll hits.
Released in 2007 and written and directed by Mark Johnson, “Ghost Rider” follows Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) after he sells his soul to the devil in an attempt to save his father’s life. As most deals with the devil go, Johnny is not only cheated out of his father’s life, but also out of young love with Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes).
20 years later, after Johnny has become the world’s best motorcycle stuntman, he and Roxanne meet for the first time since his father’s death, but then the devil comes knocking at his door to make good on the deal they made.
In return for curing his father’s cancer, Johnny must act as the devil’s bounty hunter and kill a group of demons trying to overthrow the devil.
After Johnny’s first night transforming into the Ghost Rider, he meets the Caretaker (Sam Elliott), who explains to him what his role is and how to stop the demons from collecting the thousands of souls from a scroll. What follows is a lot of crazy computer-generated imagery fight scenes with fire and motorcycle chases.
But while Johnny is off battling his demons (literally), the rekindled relationship between him and Roxanne starts to dwindle away in the past because of his newfound duties.
After Johnny hunts demons for two nights, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), leader of the demons, takes Roxanne hostage from Johnny’s apartment and tells him to bring the scroll and he might spare her life.
Johnny then visits the Caretaker again to collect the scroll from him.
With the scroll in hand, Johnny and the Caretaker ride out of town to meet Blackheart for the exchange. What ensues next, is an epic fight between the Ghost Rider and Blackheart.
Johnny finally defeats Blackheart by making him feel the pain of all the souls he had tortured over the years.
After the battle has ended, the devil shows up and tells Johnny he is free from the curse and can start a normal life with Roxanne. Johnny refuses the offer, telling the devil he plans to use his power against him to prevent the death of innocents like his father.
Due to his commitment to stop evil, Johnny and Roxanne share one last kiss before heading their separate ways.
In the end, “Ghost Rider” is a fun and easy movie to watch. I thought my opinion might be skewed on account of it being one of my favorite childhood movies, but going back and rewatching it, “Ghost Rider” still holds its own when it comes to action sequences. The soundtrack is still better than ever.
The movie never won any awards and it’s not necessarily one of Nicolas Cage’s best roles, but it continues to be entertaining (even in college).
Similar to all 2000s superhero-action movies, “Ghost Rider” is so bad — it’s good. You come for the flaming action scenes and stay for the cheesy jokes and awkward dialogue.
Crawford can be reached at [email protected].