There used to be a time when we were starved of entertainment, and waited eagerly to catch ‘Giant Robot’ on Doordarshan.
We didn’t care much for the quality of visual effects, logical reasoning or the corn-ball excuses needed for Johnny Socko to open his little watch and order: Giant Robot, come soon. Or remember ‘He Man and the Masters of the Universe’ fighting Skeletor?
Years later, we find ourselves watching Ghost Rider pretty much the same way. It needs large doses of willing suspension of disbelief. A normal hero who transforms into a blazing ghost-fighter riding a cruiser that also transforms into something that’s probably common mode of transport in Hell. You can’t help but remember He-Man here, only that Ghost Rider looks like Skeletor on a motorcycle.
Only that, today, we have a wide range of choice from reality shows to crossover cinema to spectacular epic films with zillion visual effects and there is pretty much no reason to watch Ghost Rider but for the child that in you that digs mindless action and comic-book visual effects.
Ghost Rider, at least visually, seems to be a faithful re-creation of the Marvel Comics superhero. And, Nicolas Cage coasts along comfortably in a black-leather biker suit and a stunt cruiser, in a role that he could have very well sleepwalked through. Or maybe he did. Eva Mendes, as his childhood sweetheart, provides the much-needed relief in a film dominated by ghosts spouting the silliest lines.
Given the cheesy lines, it might actually be a good idea to catch Ghost Rider in Tamil. Hitch a ride with Kaalabhairavan. Time-travel to the days we didn’t have satellite television.