This post-Sixth Sense film takes the basic idea of being able to see and communicate with dead people and shines a different light on it. The grotesque and scary nature of the dead people is gone and is replaced with the exact image just moments before they pass. They are wearing the exact clothes and carrying the exact same objects, but the visual representation of their deaths are not shown, which helps the film out since it is not taken in such a serious light. Ghost Town is a comedy about a closed off dentist who briefly dies during a medical operation. After he is awoken, he has the unpleasant ability to see and communicate with ghosts. It takes place in New York City, where numerous dead people have unfinished business and they all flock to see Bertram Pincus, our hermit of a hero. Pincus is played by Ricky Gervais, who is mainly known for roll in the HBO series Extras and the BBC version of The Office, and he is a master of comedy. His talkative, over-confident ghost counterpart is Frank Herlihy, played by Greg Kinnear. The two of them make a deal; if Pincus is able to break up Frank’s widow (Tea Leoni), he promises to make all the other ghosts leave Pincus alone.
The humor of the film is really what helps to drive it along, but it’s not always laugh-out-loud funny. There are quite a few moments where I wanted to giggle and definitely smirk, but rarely did I burst out. It was written and directed by David Koepp, who is mainly known for being the scribe on such films as Jurassic Park, and Spider-Man. With it being his seventh time directing a film, he is still yet to find his niche. His films aren’t bad by any means, I usually enjoy them quite a bit, but he hasn’t completely figured out his own style and what separates him from the rest. Gervais plays his verbally abusive character well but still feels very static at times. Kinnear on the other hand plays his character well, but it’s because it’s the character he often plays. The narcissistic pompous man who thinks he has done no wrong, even though he’s an adulterer, or was anyway.
Ghost Town can be a lot of fun to watch. It has humor, decent acting and a good life lesson. It shows you what happens to the guy who hated everything. It’s not going to win any big awards or even be remembered until it comes out on video, but if you find yourself needing something to do over the next couple weeks, Ghost Town is not a waste of time. 2 Stars
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