My apologies to our entrants for taking so long to post this, but I finally have the results of our Blog@ Go Team Blaze! Movie Review Contest. So here we go …
Our first winner is Martin Allen, who wrote and emailed his review to me specifically for the contest:
Spider-Man has nothing to worry about. Ghost Rider will not soon replace him in public hearts.
The film’s first reel is its best, relating Johnny Blaze’s youth and the deal with the devil he has made. Nicholas Cage brings goofy charm to Blaze, gobbling jellybeans from a martini glass and grooving to the Carpenters between death-defying motorcycle jumps, pushing his limits while waiting for the contract on his soul to come due. Unfortunately, he is soon replaced by a characterless, digitally generated Spirit of Vengeance, battling against Blackheart, son of Mephistopheles, in a series of increasingly dull face-offs.
Some game performances surround the noise. Cage works hard, and Eva Mendes tries valiantly to put some emotion into her role as his long-lost love, even though so much of the budget went to special effects that they were unable to afford top buttons for any of her shirts.
Despite a nice set-up, however, these characters are soon lost in a flurry of computer-on-computer violence as Ghost Rider battles a gang of elemental demons. This group is certainly the worst part of the film, a snickering band of emo-affected nincompoops in costumes straight out of 1987’s The Lost Boys, but with far more questionable facial hair. When they are finally dispatched via flaming chain, the viewer is not cheered at the defeat of evil, but simply relieved to finally have them off-screen. Given such unthreatening and frankly annoying villains, victory seems both assured from the start, and anticlimactic when it arrives.