No alarms and no surprises, please.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Movie Review - Ghost Rider

Nicolas Cage is a big comic fan. Bigger certainly than I am. He's desperately wanted in on every comic movie of the last 15 years. He finally got one in Ghost Rider. I was a big fan of this comic as a kid. It was a very dark story. Two bit stunt guy sells his soul to the devil and as payment, he must bond with a demon and bring justice to evildoers. That ain't no radioactive spider. I really enjoyed it and was kinda psyched that they were making the movie.

Unfortunately, I had a Nicolas Cage ban in place. See, I don't watch Nicolas Cage movies. I have a number of reasons for this, most of them relating to the fact that he sucks. But, I lifted it so that I could see that bitchin' flaming skull ride a flaming chopper and kick some bad guy ass.

Put simply: the movie didn't work for me. For one, I always find Nicolas Cage distracting. For one, he's a bit too old to play Johnny Blaze and he's way too old to be one half of a pair of teen lovers, torn apart by fate, at least when the other half is Eva Mendes. Somehow, her character aged 10 years and his aged 30. Peter Fonda mails in a performance as Mephistopheles. The kid who cries at the site of a plastic bag in American Beauty is pretty uninteresting as an Emo-Devil-Teen. Somehow, there are some other young, annoying inexplicably elemental based demons in Emo-Devil-Teens posse. The aforementioned, Eva Mendes's hooters put forth a bravura performance. Unfortunately the rest of her attended the Anna Nicole Smith Online Acting Academy. There's a dumb plotline with Sam Elliot where he turns out to be an older Ghost Rider, like from Cowboy times and yet still alive. In the most frustrating moment of the movie, he saddles up on a sweet skeleton horse, rides side by side with Ghost Rider to his final showdown with Emo-Devil-Teen. Rather than join in the ass-kicking, he says, "I could only turn into Ghost Rider one more time, and I was saving it for this." and then turns around and rides home. WTF? Noone put down their nonfat venti Latte's in the script review meeting and said that was completely lame? Hollywood douchebags.

All this brings me to Mark Steven Johnson. He's the writer-director that brought us the failed epic Daredevil and now Ghost Rider. Inexplicably, Marvel looked at the results of the Daredevil movie and said, "more please!" and got Mark to do Ghost Rider. You seem like a nice guy, Mark. Stay the fuck away from my favorite comics, please. You are simply lousy at making them into movies. The changes you make are wrong and dilute what's good about each character. You are especially bad at creating villains, which are the true key to any great heroic epic.

I hereby declare that you are forbidden from making any of the following movies from Comic Books:
- Captain America
- Deathlok (I am so ready to write the script for this one. Would be a great movie.)
- Power Man and Iron Fist (easily the dumbest comic that I loved as a kid)
- Doctor Strange (they made a terrible made for TV movie once that was still better than the live action Spider Man tv show)
- Nick Fury
- The Avengers
You are, however, free to hack apart these doozies from the Marvel Collection.
- Nova (Bland)
- Namor (Dude looked like Spock in a speedo with little wings on his ankles)
- Dazzler (A Disco heroine!)
- Alpha Flight (Eventually led to the first openly gay superhero, Northstar.)

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 possible couches.