In the realm of Marvel Comics turned into movies, “Ghost Rider” falls somewhere in the middle “ nowhere near the artistic heights of “Spider-Man 2,” but diverting enough to avoid the label of failure of, say, the current “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” After all, it’s not every day you can see a movie about a motorcyclist with a flaming skull for a head.
Nicolas Cage stars as Johnny Blaze, the stuntman who’s tricked into selling his soul to Satan (Peter Fonda, of course) and harbored with the curse of having a flammable noggin once the sun sets. Eva Mendes is the requisite beauty-marked love interest, and “American Beauty”‘s Wes Bentley is a demon of some sort, hunting for a bunch of lost souls that will make him even more evil.
There’s no point in following the story; the kick is simply in watching this supremely silly blockbuster vacillate between fantasy, action, horror and romance “ some more successfully than others. Cage brings his brand of quirk to it, which helps when your writer/director is a coaster like Mark Steven Johnson (“Daredevil”).
Pick up the double-disc set for an unrated, extended cut, as well as a nifty, multipart documentary about the history of “Ghost Rider” comics.