Ricky Gervais hasn’t taken too many risks trying to launch his Hollywood career after an exceptional rise to the upper echelons of British comedy.
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However, Ghost Town won’t do his status in Tinseltown any favours. There are many problems with the movie, not the least being Gervais yet again playing the same character he always seems to play. It lends itself to leaving no petrol in the tank, and you can almost say his lines for him, such is the predictability of it all.
Gervais plays Bertram Pincus, a dentist who leads a mean, lonely and boring existence who dies on the operating table for 10 minutes undergoing what is a supposed routine operation. When he comes back to life he finds he is the conduit by which all the world’s ghosts try and resolve their problems that were left hanging when they suddenly died. While the premise sounds great, the execution is awful.
A mediocre script and miscasting seem to be the main culprits – I mean, who really believes a beautiful-looking Tea Leoni is going to fall for a slightly pot-bellied, obnoxious, average-looking guy like Gervais? Greg Kinnear as Leoni’s recently departed philandering husband does the best he can, but overall the film is a mess. A couple of gags come off, but a little more work on the cast and script could have done wonders for what must have seemed like a great idea at the time.