In Steve Beck’s latest burlesque freakshow, the salvage crew aboard the Arctic Warrior discovers that Angelina Jolie’s little sister is keeping watch over secrets hidden inside a long-lost Italian Love Boat. Though this thoroughly embarrassing monstrosity clocks in at less than 90 minutes, it still drags on endlessly. Top dog Gabriel Byrne makes his way to “la cabina di capitano” and starts trading war stories with the deserted Antonia Graza’s ghost captain. Elsewhere on the ship: Karl Urban and Ron Eldard eat ghost beans; Isaiah Washington grieves over a ghetto photograph of his ex-girlfriend and meets a whorish lounge singer that cripples his sense of foreshadowing; and Julianna Margulies gets the Graza lowdown from button-nosed Emily Browning. Not only is Ghost Ship graceless and scare-less, it also makes absolutely no sense. Why are some ghosts crueler than others and why does the wire from the film’s opening set piece cut through the Graza passengers at different points in the body? If the Arctic Warrior went down next to the Antonia Graza, where did all the diving and welding equipment come from? Hell, what happened to Ron Eldard at the end? More importantly though: if the film’s top ghost is all-knowing then why let Margulies go through all the National Enquirer motions? Surely if he knows the creepy Browning is spilling all his secrets then he must know that the crew is on to him. And while Margulies & Co. are sealing the Graza’s many plot holes, Beck preposterously evokes the ship’s demise with attention deficit disorder. After going ape-shit all over Margulies, Byrne is shoved into the ship’s aquarium (don’t ask) and dutifully forgotten. Not only is the film’s boo-yah opening sequence derivative of Beck’s 13 Ghosts, so are all the music video tableau morts and cheesy one-liners. Eldard says it best: “You smell that? I smell bullshit!”
- Steve Beck
- Mark Hanlon, John Pogue
- Julianna Margulies, Gabriel Byrne, Ron Eldard, Isaiah Washington, Desmond Harrington, Alex Dimitriades, Karl Urban, Emily Browning, Francesca Rettondini
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