Ghost Rider is a 2007 American supernatural/horror superhero film written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, the director of Daredevil. Based on the character of the same name which appeared in Marvel Comics,the character's first appearance being in 1972. The film stars Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze with supporting roles done by Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley, Sam Elliott, Donal Logue, Matt Long, and Peter Fonda. The film was met with negative reviews by critics but was a success at the box office.
The Devil, Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda), sends his bounty hunter of the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve a contract for a thousand corrupt souls. Seeing that the contract would give Mephisto the power to bring Hell to Earth, the Rider refuses to give him the contract.
A century and a half later, Mephisto reaches out to 17-year-old stunt motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze (Matt Long) who is romancing his lady love Roxanne (Raquel Alessi), offering to cure his father's lung cancer in exchange for Johnny's soul in which he would become Ghost Rider. The next morning Johnny awakes to discover that his father's cancer is cured, but his father is killed that same day in a motorcycle stunt in which he falls into the ring of fire he is jumping through. Johnny accuses Mephisto of causing his father's death, but Mephisto considers their contract to be fulfilled and Johnny remains the Ghost Rider.
Years later, Johnny (Nicolas Cage) has become a famous stunt rider. Johnny meets his former childhood sweetheart Roxanne (Eva Mendes), now a journalist, in which he makes a dinner date with her that evening in order to make amends due to still having feelings for her. During the same time, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), the demonic son of Mephisto, comes to Earth, along with the hidden Gressil, Abigor, and Wallow, a group of three fallen angels. They are tasked by Blackheart to find the lost contract of San Venganza, the contract for one thousand corrupt souls (previously sought out by his father). In response, the Devil makes Johnny the new Ghost Rider, and offers him his soul back in return for defeating Blackheart. Johnny is driven straight to the station on his "first ride", where he transforms fully into the Ghost Rider and a fight with the fallen angels ensues. The next day he meets a man called the Caretaker (Sam Elliott), who suspiciously seems to know all about the history of the Ghost Rider. He tells him everything that happened wasn't a dream and that it will happen again, especially when placed around evil.
When he arrives home, Johnny finds Roxanne and reveals himself as the Devil's bounty hunter. Not being convinced, she leaves in anger and disbelief at his tale, accusing him of being insane. The police arrive and take Johnny into custody for the deaths caused by Blackheart. After changing into the Ghost Rider when in the cell with the prisoners, he walks out of prison and resumes his hunt for Blackheart and his fallen angels. Johnny goes to the Caretaker for advice, who tells him of his predecessor, Carter Slade, a Texas Ranger who hid the contract of San Venganza. The Caretaker then warns Johnny to stay away from those whom Blackheart can use against him. Johnny then returns home to find that Blackheart has killed his friend Mack (Donal Logue) and already has taken Roxanne captive in order to get Johnny to give in to his demands. During their resulting fight, Johnny finds that his Penance Stare has no effect on Blackheart since he has no soul. Blackheart threatens to kill Roxanne if Johnny does not deliver the contract to him.
Johnny returns to the Caretaker to obtain the contract. After giving him the contract the Caretaker reveals that he is in fact Carter Slade, the last known Ghost Rider having held on to his last bit of power in expectation of this moment. He tells Johnny that he (Johnny) is more powerful and unpredictable than his predecessors since Johnny sold his soul for the "right reason,", for love opposed to greed and the two then leave for San Venganza after having made the transformations to the Ghost Riders. Slade gives Johnny his lever action shotgun, and the warning to "stick to the shadows" before fading away.
After killing Wallow, Johnny gives the contract to Blackheart. He quickly transforms into Ghost Rider in an effort to subdue Blackheart, but dawn comes and he is rendered powerless. since Johnny can only change to the Rider at night. Blackheart uses the contract to absorb the thousand souls into his body, referencing the Biblical demon Legion. He attempts to kill Johnny, but is distracted when Roxanne uses Johnny's discarded shotgun to separate them. After Johnny unsuccessfully tries to kill Blackheart with the now modified shotgun, he moves in and uses his Penance Stare to render him catatonic, burning all the corrupt souls now within Blackheart.
Mephisto appears and gives Johnny his soul, offering to take back the curse of the Ghost Rider. Johnny refuses, saying that he will use his power against him, and against all harm that comes to the innocent. Infuriated of being robbed of the power, Mephisto vows to make Johnny pay, to which Johnny in response recites his favorite saying: "You can't live in fear". Mephisto then disappears, taking Blackheart's body with him. Johnny and Roxanne share some parting words at the tree on which Johnny carved "J&R FOREVER" at the beginning of the film. Roxanne then tells Johnny that he got his second chance before sharing a final kiss with him. Johnny then rides away on his motorcycle, turning into the Ghost Rider for a final time.
- Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider
- Eva Mendes as Roxanne Simpson
- Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles
- Wes Bentley as Blackheart / Legion
- Sam Elliott as Carter Slade / Caretaker
- Matt Long as Young Johnny Blaze
- Raquel Alessi as Young Roxanne Simpson
- Brett Cullen as Barton Blaze
- Donal Logue as Mack
- Matt Norman as Team Blaze
- David Roberts as Captain Dolan
- Rebel Wilson as Girl in Alley