Dave White
Ghost Rider Review

Dave's Rating:

3.0

… very good at being a stupid piece of junk …

Who's in It: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Donal Logue, Wes Bentley, Peter Fonda

The Basics: It does, in fact, have a plot. Cage is Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt rider who makes a deal with Satan (Fonda, for that Easy Rider association you just know Cage was all giddy about) to save his father from cancer. After that, Cage is assigned to be the devil's bounty hunter, and he gets a very cool ride to do it on.

What's the Deal? Sometimes a movie fails and succeeds at the same time. Because by any real-world standard, this is a stupid piece of junk. But it's very good at being a stupid piece of junk, if for no other reason than the insane premise and for being kind of a window into Cage's bizarro soul: the strange, borderline-Liza Minnelli wig he's wearing; the immobile face that defies plastic surgery accusations because for all we know he injects it with some kind of exotic snake venom to freeze the forehead muscles — you know, as an acting choice — before the director yells, "Action!"; and the Elvis-isms. So many of those happening. It adds up to nonstop fascination if you're paying attention to the right details.

Best Parts: When he's on fire and riding the bike and meting out justice to the damned. I mean, obviously.

And Again, It's Relentlessly Dumb, but This Is the Other Best Part: The scene where he's sitting at home watching a chimp do karate on TV, eating a martini glass full of jellybeans and listening to the Carpenters sing "Superstar." They play that song a few times here. In fact, the scene where Logue tries to interrupt Cage while he's listening to the song and Cage says "You're stepping on Karen" may be my favorite line of dialogue in a movie of 2007. I know it's only February, but is it going to get better than that? I doubt it.

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