First, I must explain I haven’t actually seen this movie in a theater. I only saw part of it, in my head, last night, while I was sleeping. And this version was called Hell Rider. Now you know.
That being said, I give it about half a star on your typical five star scale. First and foremost, Nicholas Cage is a goofball, plain and simple, and it was no different this time, in spite of the supposed-to-be-manly flaming head. Adding immensely to the overall goofiness was the heroine’s mode of transportation.
It was slightly frightening at the outset, what with silver-headed demon riders on Harleys chasing this young woman down some dark, downtown street, trying to get The Very Important Thing that was in a canvas bag slung over her shoulder. I’m not sure what The Very Important Thing Was, but I know they wanted it for the Hell Rider because on side of the canvas sack, in big, black letters, were the words Hell Rider. On the other side, presumably for the fundamentalists, were the words Heck Rider.
My panic for the young woman soon gave way to relief as I realized she was outrunning the pack of demons. This quickly gave way to, “Oh, right, like that could ever happen,” when I realized she was outrunning them on a Vespa.
Disappointed with the progress of his minions, the Hell Rider emerged from a side street to take up the chase himself. The demons dropped off and the chase continued. I really though for a moment Heck Rider was going to overtake her, but she inched ahead on what was now a motorized Razor scooter. Though I didn’t actually see the outcome of what was apparently a race between our heroine and Nick Cage, I know she won.
I know this because the scene cut away to her, standing on a large snowbank, digging a narrow but very deep hole in which to bury the canvas bag containing The Very Important Thing. There was another woman walking along a neighboring snowdrift who called out to the heroine in friendly greeting and congratulated her for winning against that force of goofy evil. The heroine responded that she had talked to him on the phone since defeating him and he was supposed to be coming out to the snow bank. To watch the burial of The Very Important Thing? I don’t know. I never got that figured out because the thump, thump, thump, thumping of Tank Boy sliding down the stairs on his bottom in the middle of the night woke me up.
Thanks for saving me from a real snoozer, kid.
So, to summarize: half a star, because goofiness compounded by implausibility is not my kind of movie.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello!