Before I review GHOST RIDER, I feel compelled to mention that I was probably one of the only professional reviewers who gave Mathew Brodrick's remake of GODZILLA a thumbs up... in print. Yes, that's right. Sizes Matters? I totally thought so.
Having said that, it should come as no surprise that I thought Nicholas Cages' GHOST RIDER totally rocked. No, I am not kidding. I'm serious. No, really.
Come on, you know I really hate it when you point and laugh like that.
What was I smoking, you ask? No, man, I was totally sober. Here's the thing. Though I'm a true believer (as my man Stan would say), a Marvel Grrl to the core, I never read a single issue of GHOST RIDER. I always looked at the covers when I was hunting for the newest issue of X-MEN, and honestly thought RIDER was both too cheesy and had too much of a Hell's Angel's vibe to it.
I grew up in a working class town in the Midwest. Biker guys with flaming skull heads were my neighbors, you know?
But I LOVE comicbooks. Ever since the moment my cousin Laun unwrapped from the mylar the first issue of AMAZING STORIES with Spiderman on the cover, I was hooked. Though I read DC comics, they didn't captivate me the way Marvel stories did.
I think that being unfamilar with the original, but totally into comic book sensiblities helps explain my reaction. Flaming chains? Nifty! Motorcyle that becomes the death ride? OOOOooh, pretty! Nicholas Cage's head exploding into flames? Added bonus!
The other part comes down to Other Me's obsession with Christianity. (See my previous review of Hellblazer). This movie is surprisingly Christian, which may explain it's failure at the box office. I was totally enchanted by the moment when the Ghost Rider/Johnny Blaze discovers that he can walk in both worlds. He may have sold his soul to the devil, but because he did it for love God give him face. Plus, I know people are annoyed by Cage, but in this film, I thought he was hillarious. When he's talking to himself about second chances and he notices his hand in glowing... made my day. The whole quirky bit about the Carpenters and monkey videos? What can I say? It worked for me.
Am I telling you to go Netflix this movie? No, probably not. But, Shawn and I kept turning to each other and high-fiving at every explosion (and when the Ranger rides again...? ahhhh! Shiney! I think if you were in the mood for comicbook cool Velvetta, this is totally the film for you.