|Ghost Rider (film)|
|Director:||Mark Steven Johnson|
|Writer(s):||Mark Steven Johnson|
|Running Time:|| Theatrical Cut: |
Ghost Rider is a 2007 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Ghost Rider. The film was written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson and it stars Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes. A sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, was released in 2012.
In the American Old West, Mephistopheles sends his bounty hunter of the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve a contract for a thousand corrupt souls from the town of San Venganza. Because such a large amount of souls would cause Hell on Earth, the Rider refuses to give the contract and escapes Mephistopheles, later to hide the contract and himself.
A century and a half later, Mephistopheles reaches out to seventeen-year-old stunt motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze, offering to cure his father's lung cancer in exchange for Johnny's soul. Johnny inadvertently 'signs' the contract when a drop of his blood lands on it after it was pricked by Mephistopheles before Johnny could refuse. The next morning Johnny awakes to discover that his father's cancer is cured, but his father dies that same day in a motorcycle crash. Johnny accuses Mephistopheles of causing his father's death, but Mephistopheles considers their contract fulfilled. Years later, Johnny has become a stunt rider famous for surviving disastrous feats.
Before a particularly dangerous new stunt, Johnny meets his childhood sweetheart Roxanne Simpson, now a journalist, and makes a dinner date with her that evening. During the same time, Blackheart, Mephistopheles' son, comes to Earth to find the lost contract and use its power to overcome his father. To ensure himself allies, he enlists the fallen angels known as the Hidden, a trio of demon spirits who represent three of the four elements — the water-demon Wallow, the earth-demon Gressil, and the air-demon Abigor. In response, Mephistopheles makes Johnny the new Ghost Rider, offering Johnny his soul in return for defeating Blackheart. While in Ghost Rider form, his head is a skull with fire round it, and his motorcycle is transformed into a fire-emitting shape fuelled not by earthly gasoline but by hellfire, going far faster than any natural motorcycle, and never crashing: in one shot a policeman's handheld radar speed gun aimed at him reads 198 mph and still increasing; where it goes, it leaves a burnt trail of damage in the road; it can go up and down vertical sides of buildings, and on and under water; it can come back to him on command; when day comes, it and he revert to their natural forms. Mephistopheles also gives Johnny the 'Penance Stare', an ability to sear the pain felt by all whom a person has harmed into the wrongdoer's soul.
Johnny rides away; his passage burns the road and makes nearby windows blow out. Police chase him, but he is too fast, and he and his motorcycle are bulletproof in that form. Johnny goes to where the contract was once buried, but the area has been built over and the graves have been moved. He confronts Blackheart at a railroad station on the site and kills Gressil while the others escape. On his way out of the station he uses his Penance Stare on a mugger, leaving the man catatonic; the mugger's victim gets away.
The next day, Johnny wakes in a cemetery chapel, where he meets a man called the Caretaker, who seems to know all the history of the Ghost Rider. When he arrives home, Johnny finds Roxanne and tries to explain his situation, but she doesn't believe him. The police arrive and take Johnny into custody for his connection to the damage done to the city and the deaths caused by Blackheart. He transforms into Ghost Rider in the cell and escapes to track down Blackheart. He fights and kills Abigor, in full view of Roxanne and much of the police force. Observing the scene after obtaining the location of the contract, Blackheart realizes that Roxanne is Johnny's weakness.
Johnny goes for advice to the Caretaker, who tells him of his predecessor, Carter Slade, a Texas Ranger known as a man of honor before his greed became a reason for him to be sentenced to death. Slade made a deal with Mephistopheles to break free; in return, Slade became the Ghost Rider who hid the contract of San Venganza. The Caretaker then warns Johnny to stay away from those whom Blackheart and the fallen angels can use against him. Johnny then returns home to find that Blackheart already has Roxanne. During their resulting fight, Johnny finds that his Penance Stare has no effect on Blackheart, who has no (human) soul. Blackheart threatens to kill Roxanne if Johnny does not deliver the contract to him.
Johnny returns to the Caretaker to obtain the contract. Johnny guesses that the contract is buried in one of the graves. He picks up a shovel and starts to dig. The Caretakes snatches the shovel and breaks it, revealing the contract hidden in its hollow handle. Though reminded of the consequences, Johnny asks the Caretaker to trust him. The Caretaker then reveals that he is Carter Slade, having held on to his last bit of power in expectation of this moment. He speculates that Johnny has God on his side because he made his deal with Mephistopheles because of love rather than greed or desperation, and shows Johnny the way to San Venganza. They ride together into the desert, both in Ghost Rider form; Slade is riding a supernatural horse which can keep up with Johnny's motorcycle. They stop a short distance from the town, where Slade gives Johnny his pump-action shotgun and the warning to "stick to the shadows" before fading away.
After killing Wallow, Johnny gives the contract to Blackheart. He quickly transforms into Ghost Rider in an effort to subdue Blackheart, but dawn comes and he is rendered powerless, but his power returns when he crawls into dark shadows. Blackheart uses the contract to absorb the thousand souls into his body, taking the name "Legion". He attempts to kill Johnny, but is distracted when Roxanne uses Johnny's shotgun (which Johnny discarded when it went empty) to separate them. After she fails to destroy Legion, Johnny takes the gun and moves into shadows. This allows him to transform to Ghost Rider form; the shotgun transforms into a supernatural weapon which blasts hellfire (perhaps an ability given to it when Slade was made into a Ghost Rider), and Johnny uses it to blast Legion apart. Legion re-forms, but Johnny moves in and uses his Penance Stare, made effective by the thousand souls inhabiting Legion's body, to render him catatonic. Johnny turns away from Roxanne, ashamed of his monstrous appearance; but she approaches him.
Mephistopheles appears and gives Johnny his soul, offering to terminate the burden of Ghost Rider. Johnny refuses, saying that he will use his power against Mephistopheles, against all harm that comes to the innocent and avenge for his father. Infuriated of being robbed of the power, Mephistopheles vows to make Johnny pay, to which Johnny in response recites his favorite saying: "You can't live in fear". Mephistopheles then disappears, and Blackheart's body dissipates with him. As Roxanne strokes Johnny's bare skull, he reverts to human form and the flesh and skin and hair of his head reappears. Johnny and Roxanne share words and a kiss at a tree marked to symbolize their relationship, whereupon Johnny rides into the sunset. Slade's voice then acts as narrator to close the film.
- Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
- Matt Long as Young Johnny Blaze
- Eva Mendes as Roxanne Simpson
- Raquel Alessi as Young Roxanne Simpson
- Brett Cullen as Barton Blaze
- Wes Bentley as Blackheart/Legion
- Sam Elliott as Carter Slade/Caretaker
- Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles
- Donal Logue as Mack
- Laurence Breuls as Gressil
- Daniel Frederiksen as Wallow
- Mathew Wilkinson as Abigor
- David Roberts as Captain Dolan
- Rebel Wilson as Girl in Alley
- His Curse Will Become His Power
- Hell Is About To Be Unleashed
- He's the only one that can walk on both worlds.
- Long ago he made a deal to save someone he loved.
The film was shot in Victoria, Australia and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- Main article: Ghost Rider (film)/Gallery
For trailers, clips, interviews, and behind the scenes, see Ghost Rider (film)/Gallery.
|Ghost Rider | Spirit of Vengeance|