Saturday, May 31, 2008
I set my DVR last week to record a couple films, and one of them was Ghost Rider, the 2007 comic book adaptation of the Marvel hero. This film stars Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt rider who makes a deal with the devil only to later learn that there is hell to pay. Eva Mendes, Donal Logue, Sam Elliot and Peter Fonda also star.
I have to say that I had heard last year that this was a pretty good adaptation, but we never got around to seeing it in the theatres. I am glad I finally got around to it though, as I thought it was pretty well done. The special effects were awesome. The unique look of the hero - the flaming skull head and the flaming cycle - came across well in a live action film. The storyline too was pretty faithful to the comics, pulling in all the key elements of the character, and at the same time told a solid story for film-goers.
Now, I wasn't a huge Ghost Rider fan in the 70's when the comic debuted. I knew the character from occasional team-ups with Spider-Man and the Thing in their respective team-up books. But his solo adventures were not something I readily sought out at the time. In recent years, via Marvel's Essentials line and then, when the movie came out, via the GIT Corp release of "the Complete Ghost Rider" on DVD-ROM, I have grown to know more about the character and his early adventures.
Looking back at the film, I'd have to rate it easily in my top 10 of comic book films - both on faithfulness to the original material and as a film experience. I'd say Ghost Rider would be rather close to hitting the top 5 in fact (I'd put it in at 6 or 7). If you haven't seen it, check your cable listings or your local video store and give it a view. If you like the genre, I think you'll be glad you did.