Ghost Rider is not very good seems like a
fool’s exercise, especially now. After all, it’s easy to decry the
messenger, especially when a movie’s Presidents’ Day weekend release
generates a record-setting gross of $51.5 million. Still, the subgenre
of comic book adaptations needn’t automatically lend itself to critical
derision, as the warm critical embrace of the Spider-Man films, Christopher Nolan’s Batman reboot or even the more mixed but passionate critics’ defenses of graphic novel flicks like V For Vendetta and Sin City fittingly demonstrate.
Ghost Rider, though, is a glossy, big-budget affair that in almost every significant way behind
the camera — and in more than a few ways in front of it — feels like
both a fatally compromised and hopelessly amateurish production. This
is the type of film which the actors involved carefully describe in press junkets and interviews as “a lot of fun” rather than good. They talk about how much they enjoyed making it instead of how they’re proud of it. For the full review from FilmStew, including reactions of a paying general audience, click here.