February 21st, 2007 15:05 EST
Nic Cage Didn't Burn at the Box Office as Ghost Rider
What would you do to save the person you love? How much would it cost you?
For Johnny Blaze, these questions will be answered in Ghost Rider, the latest Marvel Comics character that jumps out of the comic pages and into the big screen. Scripted and directed by Daredevil's Mark Steven Johnson, Oscar winner Nicolas Cage hops on as the protagonist.
Years ago, young Johnny Blaze (Matt Long) and his father Barton (Brent Cullen) were a popular motorcycle-riding duo for the carnival. Johnny loved to show off, especially for his girlfriend Roxanne (Raquel Alessi).
But the good times are over for Johnny when he discovers that his father is dying of cancer. So, one night while working on his bike, a stranger approaches the young man and offers him the opportunity to save his father's life. Johnny accepted the offer, but there was one problem: his father died while doing a stunt. And the youth soon realize that he made a deal with the devil (Peter Fonda), and it costs Johnny two prices: the loss of his soul and the loss of his true love Roxanne.
In present-day, we see Johnny as an adult, more successful than ever as a solo motorcycle stuntman. While his top crewman (Donal Logue) believe that he's got an angel watching out for him, Johnny thinks it is something else. It is also in the present time that Johnny is reunited with Roxanne (Eva Mendes)-- now a television reporter, hoping to rekindle their romance.
But that had to wait when the devil came back to collect the debt Johnny has own as a youth. The Devil's son, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), and his demonic henchman are unleashing a greater Hell on Earth than Dad ever had. So, at night, in the presence of evil, Johnny becomes the Ghost Rider, the spirit of vengeance.
Despite mixed reviews, Ghost Rider dusts the competition and came in at number one at the U.S. box office, raking in at $44.5 million during the weekend.
Like most comic book characters-- such as Spawn and Constantine, Ghost Rider is a tragic character cursed with his power. He is an anti-hero that walks a line between good and evil. But he is also someone searching for a sense of purpose and peace, as well as his own place in the world.