Ghost riders in the skyyyy.

Ghost riders in the skyyyy.

PLOT

The Devil, Mephistopheles (AKA Mephisto), sends his bounty hunter of the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve the contract of San Venganza for control of a thousand corrupt souls. Seeing that the contract would give Mephisto the power to bring Hell on Earth, the Rider refuses to give him the contract.

In 1986, Mephisto reaches out to 17-year-old stunt motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze, offering to cure his father’s cancer in exchange for Blaze’s soul, to which he hastily accepts. The next morning, Blaze awakes to discover that his father’s cancer is cured, but he is killed that same day in a motorcycle stunt in which he falls into the ring of fire he is jumping through. Blaze accuses Mephisto of causing his father’s death, but Mephisto considers their contract to be fulfilled and promises to one day see him again.

21 years later, Blaze has become a famous stunt motorcycle rider known for surviving numerous deadly crashes. Blaze meets his lifelong sweetheart Roxanne Simpson, now a news reporter, whom he abandoned after his father’s death. He convinces her to attend a dinner date. Meanwhile, Blackheart, the demonic son of Mephisto, comes to Earth, along with three fallen angels who bonded with the elements Air, Earth, and Water. They are tasked to find the lost contract of San Venganza. In response, Mephisto makes Blaze the new Ghost Rider and offers to return his soul if he defeats Blackhearts, though he is also told he has no choice in the matter. Blaze is driven straight to the station on his “first ride”, where he transforms into the Ghost Rider and kills the Earth Angel Gressil. The next day, he meets a man called the Caretaker, who seems to know all about the history of the Ghost Rider. He tells him everything that happened was not a dream and that it will happen again, especially at night when he is near an evil soul.

When he arrives home, Blaze finds Simpson and reveals himself as the Devil’s bounty hunter. Unconvinced, she walks away in disbelief. After a brief imprisonment for the murders that Blackheart committed, Blaze kills the Air Angel Abigor, and escapes from The Police, before returning to the Caretaker who tells him of his predecessor, Carter Slade, a Texas Ranger who hid the contract of San Venganza. Blaze returns home to find that Blackheart has killed his friend Mack and has taken Roxanne captive, threatening to kill her if Blaze does not deliver the contract. Blaze tries to use the Penance Stare on Blackheart, only for it not to work since Blackheart has no soul to burn.

Blaze returns to the Caretaker and obtains the contract. The Caretaker reveals that he is Carter Slade. Slade tells Blaze that he is more powerful than his predecessors since he sold his soul for love as opposed to greed. Slade leads Blaze to San Venganza, then gives Blaze a lever action shotgun before fading away.

After killing the Water angel Wallow, Blaze gives the contract to Blackheart. He quickly transforms into Ghost Rider in an effort to subdue Blackheart, but dawn arrives and he is rendered powerless. Blackheart uses the contract to absorb the thousand souls into his body. He attempts to kill Blaze, but is distracted when Simpson uses Blaze’s discarded shotgun to separate them. After Blaze tries to kill Blackheart with the shotgun, he moves in and uses his Penance Stare to render him catatonic, burning all the corrupt souls within Blackheart, which is what he had hoped for.

Mephisto appears and returns Blaze his soul, offering to take back the curse of the Ghost Rider. Determined not to make another deal, Blaze declines, saying that he will use his power against him, and against all harm that comes to the innocent. Infuriated of being robbed of the power, Mephisto vows to make Blaze pay, but Blaze tells Mephisto that he is not afraid. Mephisto then disappears, taking Blackheart’s body with him. Later, Simpson tells Blaze that he got his second chance before sharing a final kiss with him. Blaze then rides away on his motorcycle, turning into the Ghost Rider.

REVIEW

The film is really goofy, and I actually enjoyed it. First, the good things: visual effects were off the chart in Ghost Rider. Most of the acting was well put and directed quite well. Nicholas Cage isn’t the best Ghost Rider, but Cage still stayed true to the role. Eva Mendes was OK. It wasn’t the perfect acting, but it worked for me. Now, unfortunately, the bad things: the villains: Gressil, Wallow, and Abigor. They all represent an element of earth. Do they provide a challenge for Ghost Rider? NO. They’re OK, but each one had little screen time. Lastly, Wes Bently’s portrayal of Blackheart. He seemed to be trying a little to hard to be hammy, but he just didn’t pull it off as well as Nick Cage. Overall, while it has it’s moments, I wouldn’t say it’s the best Marvel has to offer.

But, you got to admit, this scene was pretty damn cool.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next time we take one finally look at The Punisher.

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