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"GHOST RIDER"
(2007) (Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Extreme *Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Mild Extreme None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Horror/Action: Years after selling his soul to the Devil, a motorcycle stunt rider finds himself afflicted with a curse that leaves him normal during the day, but turns him into a fiery, skeletal figure at night, something that comes in handy as he battles the Devil's renegade son.
PLOT:
Years ago, Johnny Blaze (NICOLAS CAGE) was part of a father-son motorcycle stunt show, but upon learning that his dad had cancer, Johnny flippantly agreed to sell his soul to Mephistopheles (PETER FONDA) in order to cure the malady. The Devil held up his end of the bargain, but didn't save Johnny's father from a stunt-related accident. Years later, Johnny's the best motorcycle jumper in the world, much to the chagrin of his crew chief Mack (DONAL LOGUE) who worries that his boss has some sort of death wish based on the elaborate jumps he performs.

While Johnny normally doesn't do interviews, he makes an exception when he sees the alluring Roxanne Simpson (EVA MENDES), a TV reporter who long ago was the love of his life. He hopes to make his way back into hers, but unfortunately for him, Mephistopheles comes calling.

It seems his renegade son Blackheart (WES BENTLEY) and his ghostly minions, Gressil (LAURENCE BREULS), Wallow (DANIEL FREDERIKSEN) and Abigor (MATHEW WILKINSON), are after a contract Mephistopheles' former bounty hunter stole away from him. The Devil now wants Johnny to be his new ghost rider, a supernatural being who turns into an immortal, and burning skeletal figure at night and/or in the presence of evil.

With the aid and advice of the Caretaker (SAM ELLIOTT) of a local cemetery, Johnny tries to figure out what's going on. As he begins to control his alter ego and his resultant fiery powers, Johnny sets out to find and stop Blackheart, all while trying to keep his curse secret from Roxanne who eventually unwillingly gets caught up in his supernatural predicament.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the comic book, movies based on comic books, or anyone in the cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For horror violence and disturbing images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays a risk-taking motorcycle stunt-rider who sold his soul long ago in hopes of curing his father's cancer. Now the biggest bike star in the world, he finds himself with the curse of being the Devil's bounty hunter known as the Ghost Rider. As the fiery skeletal figure, he battles injustice and evil, including Blackheart and his minions. At the same time, and as Johnny, he tries to rekindle his long lost love with Roxanne.
  • EVA MENDES plays his former teen lover who's now grown up to be a TV reporter who doesn't want to get involved with him again, but finds herself drawn to him anyway. She drinks a lot of wine in one scene while waiting for him to show up.
  • PETER FONDA plays the Devil who convinces young Johnny to sell his soul to him in exchange for curing his father's cancer. He then commands Johnny as his bounty hunter and wants him to stop his renegade son.
  • SAM ELLIOTT plays a cemetery caretaker who seems quite knowledgeable about Johnny and his supernatural plight.
  • DONAL LOGUE plays Johnny's manager who's concerned he's taking too many unnecessary risks with his stunt jumps. He briefly drinks.
  • WES BENTLEY plays Mephistopheles' renegade son who wants a contract that will give him more evil power, and he battles Ghost Rider for that.
  • LAURENCE BREULS, DANIEL FREDERIKSEN and MATHEW WILKINSON play his ghostly minions who similarly battle Ghost Rider.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action-based horror film. Profanity consists of at least 1 "s" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Varying amounts of cleavage are present, a buff man is seen shirtless, and some brief making out occurs.

    Supernatural based violence includes evil characters killing various humans (turning them black, veiny, and all dried out), while battling others of their ilk. There are some bloody results, while those violent scenes, moments of potential peril, and various ghostly and ghastly visuals might be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to some viewers (the latter especially for younger kids).

    Various characters have bad attitudes, some of the behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate, and some drinking and smoking occur. Some tense family material (including a parental death) is also present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that during thunderstorms.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, we see an animated point of view shot of a motorcycle rider zipping down animated roads and such. At other points, live-action footage shows varying amounts of camera movement, while a few overhead shots show straight-down views that might affect those who suffer from vertigo.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Young Johnny (17) returns home to find his dad asleep or passed out with an open bottle of liquor near him.
  • Miscellaneous people in a crowd drink beer.
  • Various members of Johnny's crew drink beer. Mack then has one and offers some to Johnny, but the latter says he doesn't drink as it gives him nightmares (but he does have a martini glass full of candy).
  • A man has a bottle of beer that suddenly turns ice cold when Blackheart arrives.
  • People in a crowd have beer.
  • Roxanne has wine in a restaurant as do others. With Johnny being late to arrive, she has more and has the waiter fill up her glass even more.
  • Seeing Johnny appearing agitated in a police holding cell, an inmate sarcastically says it "looks like somebody's tripping out" (which is not the case, at least from drugs).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • In a flashback, we see a drop of blood hit the ground.
  • Young Johnny accidentally cuts his finger on the Devil's contract, resulting in a drop of blood falling on the signature line, thus sealing the deal.
  • When a bar patron or bouncer won't let Blackheart enter a bar, Blackheart puts his finger to the man's chest, causing his face to turn grey to black, with dark veins appearing in his skin that dries up like a mummy (the man dies).
  • We see a waitress hiding in a bar behind the bar. When she peers over it, Blackheart grabs and lifts her by her throat, causing her skin to go all grey, black and veiny before dying. We then see various similar looking dead bodies in the bar from Blackheart's previous but unseen contact with them.
  • A watery spirit wipes his eye off his wet face, only to have it reform there.
  • A man turns all black, veiny, and sucked dry during a deadly encounter with Blackheart.
  • As Johnny turns into Ghost Rider, the skin on his face burns away until he's just a fiery skull.
  • Roxanne adversely reacts to the sight of a charred arm as an otherwise covered body is carried off.
  • We see a long and somewhat bloody slice on Johnny's shoulder, and briefly see a close-up view of Caretaker stitching it closed.
  • We see black and white photos of a charred corpse that's missing its eyes.
  • Ghost Rider creates a fiery vortex of sorts that captures an airy spirit and causes him to burn up and disintegrate.
  • We see a man's face turn black, veiny and be sucked dry as Blackheart kills him from behind.
  • A shotgun blast blows off Blackheart's head, but it then regenerates.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Mephistopheles gets a non-believing Johnny to sell his soul to him to cure Johnny's father's cancer (and he does just that), but doesn't save him from a deadly accident.
  • Blackheart has turned against his father and wants an old contact that will give him additional evil powers. He kills various humans and tries to do the same to Johnny/Ghost Rider.
  • There's some family tension and bad blood between Mephistopheles and Blackheart (father and son), with the latter saying (about Johnny), "I'll retire him just like I'll retire you."
  • About Johnny seemingly standing her up on their date, Roxanne asks a waiter if he thinks she's pretty, but he just shrugs (in a negative fashion) before walking off.
  • Ghost Rider comes across a thug holding a knife to a woman's throat.
  • A cop shoves Johnny into a holding cell with various criminals who then proceed to beat him up until he turns into Ghost Rider.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Those sensitive to material related to the Devil and evil spirits should be warned that the film contains a great deal of that.
  • On various occasions, skull and/or monstrous apparitions form on the faces of Johnny, Mephistopheles, Blackheart or other evil spirits. Some of them (with sharp teeth, etc.) may be unsettling or scary to some viewers.
  • Ghost Rider's appearance (skull and skeletal hands, often engulfed in flames) might also be unsettling for some viewers.
  • As Mephistopheles arrives, various light bulbs blow out as he walks past them.
  • During a motorcycle jump, Johnny goes over the handlebars, smacks his head on the front tire and then the ramp, and then slides hard into a wall. Everyone thinks he's dead or badly injured, but due to the spell he's under, he gets up and is okay.
  • Rather than jump a football field length of cars, Johnny opts to jump over helicopters (with blades spinning) covering the same distance. This is seen in slow motion and he just makes it.
  • While riding alongside Roxanne's TV van, Johnny (on his motorcycle) is nearly hit by two trucks in his (and their) lane, causing him to swerve around them. To get her driver to stop, he then suddenly stops sideways in front of him, causing Roxanne's driver to slam on the brakes, with the van stopping just inches from Johnny.
  • We see a former ghost rider also in flames, as is the ghost horse he rides.
  • Blackheart evokes some sort of incantation that results in various ghostly and somewhat monstrous looking spirits and apparitions to fly out and swarm around and then into Blackheart. His eyes are all fiery red and he appears even more monstrous than ever before.
  • We see Blackheart's eyes burning like a lava field.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Shotguns/Machine guns/Knives/: Carried and/or used to threaten or attempt to kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bullsh*t," "Hot shot," "I feel healthy as a horse," "(C'mon) You son of a bitch," "You should be taking a dirt nap," "This jump is nuts," "Who the hell else?" "You're freaking me out," "You're screwed," "I will retire him just like I'll retire you," "You're going down," "Morning, bonehead," "I feel like my skull's on fire," "Piss off," "It hurts like hell," "You're still just a carney," "Move your ass," "Looks like somebody's tripping out," "You're pissing me off," "Everything went to hell," "Tell me what the hell's going on," "He may have my soul, but he doesn't have my spirit" and "My name is Legion."
  • The film's various stunts (especially the motorcycle-related ones where Johnny jumps various things off ramps, through rings of fire, does back and front wheelies, etc.) might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Miscellaneous characters in various scenes have various sorts of tattoos.
  • We see a man with a pierced nostril.
  • Johnny drinks hot coffee directly from the coffee pot.
  • A miscellaneous woman wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • A punk-type girl wears studded bracelets and a T-shirt that appeared to read, "I love bite marks."
  • Johnny makes various faces (trying to recreate his previous skull look) in the mirror.
  • We briefly see some miscellaneous graffiti.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Blackheart's face suddenly turns monstrous.
  • As Johnny slowly rides through a swamp, a watery spirit suddenly grabs him from out of the water into which it then pulls him.
  • A ghostly spirit pops up and comes right at the camera.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous, suspenseful and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "s" word, 5 damns, 4 hells, 3 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 1 crap, 5 uses of "Oh God," 3 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Godforsaken," "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Young Roxanne shows some cleavage.
  • We see a brief flashback or an imagined view of young Johnny and Roxanne kissing.
  • Miscellaneous women in a crowd sport cleavage.
  • When Mack tells Johnny that the latter's place could use a woman's touch, Johnny sarcastically replies that Mack could use a woman's touch.
  • An old drawing in a book shows what appears to be a nude man, but no view of his crotch area is observed.
  • Roxanne wears a very tight dress while doing an interview with Johnny. She also sports varying amounts of cleavage (sometimes a lot) in various outfits throughout the film.
  • Johnny passionately kisses Roxanne and she goes along with that for a moment before pushing him away.
  • We see a wet Johnny looking quite buff and muscular while shirtless and looking at himself in the mirror.
  • Roxanne passionately kisses Johnny, but he stops and tells her she should be on her way (for fear of her being harmed by his alter-ego or any of the evil spirits).
  • SMOKING
  • Johnny's dad smokes once (and young Johnny takes a pack out of his father's hand while the latter is asleep or passed out), while some miscellaneous people also smoke.
  • A cop (doing the good cop, bad cop thing) offers Johnny a cigarette. Johnny declines the offer, and the cop starts to light up, but the flame from the lighter goes crazy and he doesn't smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Young Roxanne informs young Johnny that her dad is sending her to live with her mom (presumably to keep her away from Johnny who she says he says is just a phase she's going through).
  • Young Johnny (17) finds a notice in the trash about his father having advanced cancer.
  • Young Johnny's father dies in a motorcycle stunt that goes bad when he wipes out in a ring of fire. We don't see him on fire, but he's a little charred when Johnny rushes up to him, just before he dies.
  • There's some family tension and bad blood between Mephistopheles and Blackheart (father and son), with the latter saying (about Johnny), "I'll retire him just like I'll retire you."
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Young Johnny (17) finds a notice in the trash about his father having advanced cancer.
  • The Devil and other supernatural material.
  • The "Crossroads" legend of musician Robert Johnson selling his soul to the Devil.
  • The fact that young Johnny sells his soul to the Devil not for his own gain, but to try to save his father's life.
  • The fact that Johnny survives bad wipeouts doing stunts, whereas ordinary people would be killed (meant for those kids who might think they're invincible and can cheat death like him).
  • Johnny saying he's just looking for a second chance in his life.
  • Johnny stating that you can't live in fear.
  • Mephistopheles wants Johnny to find Blackheart and destroy him.
  • We hear that Blackheart and the other evil spirits are waiting for the end of days.
  • Johnny keeping the curse so that he can battle Mephistopheles in the future.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Young Johnny's father dies in a motorcycle stunt that goes bad when he wipes out in a ring of fire. We don't see him on fire, but he's a little charred when Johnny rushes up to him, just before he dies.
  • Young Johnny sees an image of the Devil before him on the road and wipes out. Johnny tries to punch him, but misses as Mephistopheles vanishes and then reappears, putting his hand on Johnny and causing him some fiery pain (parts of Johnny glow from beneath his skin).
  • During a motorcycle jump, Johnny goes over the handlebars, smacks his head on the front tire and then the ramp, and then slides hard into a wall. Everyone thinks he's dead or badly injured, but due to the spell he's under, he gets up and is okay.
  • When a bar patron or bouncer won't let Blackheart enter a bar, Blackheart puts his finger to the man's chest, causing his face to turn grey to black, with dark veins appearing in his skin that dries up like a mummy (the man dies).
  • Johnny enjoys watching TV footage of a chimp doing some martial arts impact on a human.
  • We see a waitress hiding in a bar behind the bar. When she peers over it, Blackheart grabs and lifts her by her throat, causing her skin to go all grey, black and veiny before dying. We then see various similar looking dead bodies in the bar from Blackheart's previous but unseen contact with them.
  • As Johnny zips along as the Ghost Rider, glass breaks in his path, followed by cars and other objects catching on fire, some cars flip over, and a long gash is carved in the road. The sonic blast from his speed also knocks a cop off his motorcycle.
  • A man turns all black, veiny, and sucked dry during a deadly encounter with Blackheart.
  • Johnny crashes off his bike, slides along the road and catches on fire (while becoming Ghost Rider).
  • A spirit knocks Ghost Rider back into a chain from which he briefly hangs. A watery spirit then grabs his foot from a puddle and another spirit drives a large truck into Ghost Rider, smashing him into something (presumably killing him). But Ghost Rider is alive, punches one spirit back, and then hits him with a long burning chain (that wraps around the spirit, causing him to burn up and turn to ash that then crumbles away).
  • Ghost Rider comes across a thug holding a knife to a woman's throat. His presence allows the woman to escape and Ghost Rider then picks the guy up. He tries stabbing Ghost Rider in the back, but when he pulls out the blade, it's melted. Ghost Rider then has the thug look into his eyes and see all of the crimes he's committed. We then see fiery images of those crimes (none in full), including some roughing up of victims, him firing a handgun, etc. That man's eyes are then all fiery (looking like a lava field).
  • Ghost Rider transitions back into Johnny, causing his some pain as his flesh reforms on his face, etc.
  • Cops aim handguns and shotguns at Johnny while arresting him.
  • A cop shoves Johnny into a holding cell with various criminals. One punches Johnny in the gut and he and another thug then throw Johnny across the room (with the first punching another guy there who tries to intervene). They and other inmates then start to beat Johnny on the floor, but he turns into Ghost Rider and a fiery blast knocks those inmates backwards. Ghost Rider then kills the first and the rest appear to be dead or unconscious. Ghost Rider then melts the cell bars to exit, followed by one cop hitting Ghost Rider on the head with his nightstick, dislodging Ghost Rider's lower jaw. Ghost Rider realigns that, but doesn't harm the cop.
  • Cops aim handguns and automatic weapons at Ghost Rider who escapes under a river.
  • An airy spirit knocks Ghost Rider back into a windshield.
  • Ghost Rider uses a chain to grab a helicopter's landing rail. He then pulls the chopper toward him, warns the pilot, and then swings the chopper away (it and the pilot are okay).
  • Ghost Rider creates a fiery vortex of sorts that captures an airy spirit and causes him to burn up and disintegrate.
  • Police fire handguns and machine guns into Ghost Rider, but that doesn't do him any harm. As he rides off, he blasts between several police cars, knocking them aside.
  • We see a man's face turn black, veiny and be sucked dry as Blackheart kills him from behind.
  • Blackheart slams Johnny back to a wall, and Johnny (as Ghost Rider) then does the reverse. Blackheart then grabs Ghost Rider by the neck and smashes him down to the floor.
  • As two ghost riders zip by, a lizard is incinerated down to its skeleton.
  • As Johnny slowly rides through a swamp, a watery spirit suddenly grabs him from out of the water into which it then pulls him. The two struggle underwater, with the spirit choking him until he turns into Ghost Rider and then burns that spirit to death under the water.
  • Blackheart throws Roxanne to a wall. Ghost Rider then hits Blackheart several times, but Blackheart knocks him back. Ghost Rider throws several fireballs into Blackheart, causing him pain. Ghost Rider then tries hitting Blackheart with his whip-like chain, but Blackheart catches the chain and then yanks it, sending Ghost Rider crashing into some stone structure.
  • Johnny repeatedly shoots Blackheart with a shotgun, but Blackheart then blasts him a long way back through a set of tall doors. He then lifts Johnny off the ground by his neck, but Roxanne shoots Blackheart twice. The last shot blasts off Blackheart's head, but it then regenerates. Ghost Rider then turns the shotgun into some sort of fireball weapon and he uses it to blast Blackheart several times (disintegrating him). A ghostly spirit climbs along a wall and then down into a blob that eventually turns back into Blackheart. Ghost Rider then grabs Blackheart and burns the various souls inside him, presumably killing him.



  • Reviewed February 15, 2007 / Posted February 16, 2007

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