Review: Ghost Rider

I'll be the first to admit that Ghost Rider is a character in the Marvel Universe that I know little about. His premise seems to be pretty sweet, as he's essentially the bounty hunter for the Devil. I'm sure in the comics, he's portrayed with a sense of intensity and an air of contempt for anything evil. The movie may have lost a little in translation however.
The movie was not as bad as other Marvel ventures onto the big screen (Elektra for example), but it wasn't necessarily groundbreaking either. Viewers will come away from this movie in awe of the visual effects, as they seamlessly connect Johnny Blaze to Ghost Rider with vivid transformation sequences. Speaking of Cage, you can tell that he geeked out at the chance to portray a Marvel character on the big screen, and he really pours everything he has into the role. Eva Mendes...well, she looks good (just about every shot involves her and her cleavage), but her acting leaves much to be desired. Peter Fonda turns in an awesome role as the Devil/Mephistopheles, and while you really don't see him much, he makes the most of his time on screen. Wes Bentley plays his son Blackheart, and he comes across as more petulant than diabolical. The story itself is rather briskly paced and somewhat vapid, and there really isn't much climax to anything. Ghost Rider dispatches of all the evildoers pretty easily, and it seems that the "Penance Stare" was thrown in to the movie just to appease the fans. His dialogue seems a little cheesy, and doesn't quite fit the persona of a character with his skull on fire. It waffles between a star-crossed romance between Cage and Mendes and a treatise on good and evil. The relationship between Mephistopheles and Blackheart is like a dad telling a 5 year old he can't have the candy he wants. In the end, the movie is good for probably bad reasons. Its campy enough where you can enjoy yourself, but its not a Marvel endeavor that's going to be seen as one of the greats. The visual effects are great, but the story and dialogue are a little hollow, and it probably shouldn't be 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you don't know much about Ghost Rider, I'd wait till it came out on DVD, and not necessarily rush to see it in the theater. If Ghost Rider is your favorite hero, well, let's just say, this movie doesn't really do him justice. Overall score: 55 out of 100