There seems to be a trend at the moment that sees successful British comedians crossing the Atlantic to start in America comedies. With British and American humour being so far apart you’d think this was a recipe for disaster, but as Simon Pegg proved, it actually works quite well. So much so, that Ricky Gervais has decided to give it a go with Ghost Town.
Ghost Town sees Gervais play Bertram Pincus, a socially retarded dentist who absolutely hates people – not in a necessarily mean way, jut in a he-can’t-deal-with-them way. Pincus has to deviate from his daily routine to go to hospital and have a minor operation, but things don’t go to plan and he dies on the operating table, only to be brought back to life seven minutes later.
The only side effect from this seven-minute hiatus is that Pincus can now see and communicate with dead people.
The idea may have been stolen off The Sixth Sense, but Ghost Town is comedy all the way, with a little bit of romance tossed in for good measure. The movie starts off slowly giving the impression that this si going to be a low-key affair, with the laughter being internal, but then Gervais seems to find his groove and laughter erupts around the cinema time and time again.
Ghost Town has all the elements; the protagonist who you start out not liking, the evil character that has a secret agenda, and the love interest that isn’t interested.
The humour carries the movie along at an enjoyable pace and by the time all the pieces have been played out, and you leave the theatre with a smile on your face it doesn’t feel like you’ve just sat through a one and a three-quarter hour movie.
As well as giving you an excuse to laugh out loud, Ghost Town has some interesting themes about life and death. The protagonist has to learn that you need meaning in your life to really be living and the theory that death is just the beginning of a different kind of journey is subtly explored.
All in all, a good, well rounded movie.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: M – Contains Offensive Language.
Duration: 102 mins.
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance.
Director: David Koepp.
Actors: Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Téa Leoni, Kristen Wiig, Alan Ruck.
Release Date: Now showing.