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Ghost Town

3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

Before ‘Ghost Town’ was released in the US, writer-director David Koepp suggested that he had doubts whether Ricky Gervais would be able to carry the project. It’s an odd remark, especially when Gervais is the last person who should be blamed for the film’s failings. Assuming his usual guise as the jittery, acid-tongued malcontent, he excels as a dentist with the Groucho-esque moniker of Bertram Pincus. He dies for seven minutes during a colonoscopy and, on leaving hospital, is able to see members of NYC’s dead who have business to attend to in the land of the living. The spirit of a city slicker played by Greg Kinnear railroads him into stopping his graceful other half (Téa Leoni) marrying a smug lawyer, but when Pincus gets to know her, well, you can guess the rest…

It’s not unlikeable – but no effort has been made to make anything more of the Scrooge-comes-good model. Gervais’s sweetly pathetic performance masks many of the failings of the by-the-book quirky direction and workaday script, but Leoni is decent as the romantic foil and Kinnear’s slimy-everyman act works well. Enjoyable as it is to see Gervais trying (and often succeeding) to make something of the mediocre dialogue, it’s not enough.

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Friday 24 October 2008
  • Duration:102 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:David Koepp
  • Screenwriter:David Koepp, John Kamps
  • Cast:
    • Ricky Gervais
    • Téa Leoni
    • Greg Kinnear
    • Aasif Mandvi
    • Kristen Wiig
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