Feel-Good Cast: 9/10
Many a pirate has described a mysterious ship that is there one minute and gone the next. Many a sailor has seen something that can’t be explained, and talks about it for the rest of his life. Many a movie has had the two people of minority die first. “Ghost Ship” takes these old ocean stereotypes and wraps them into one ship called the Antonia Graza, and the salvage team that tries to cash in on it.
Gabriel Byrne takes a break from being a priest or the Devil, and plays Captain Murphy of the tugboat Arctic Warrior, who is head of the best ocean salvage team in the business. Joined by a star-studded cast including Karl Urban(Doom, Chronicles Of Riddick), Isaiah Washington(Romeo Must Die, Wild Things 2), Julianna Margulies(Snakes On A Plane, Hitler: Rise of Evil), and Ron Eldard(???,???), Murphy takes on a job to salvage a strange ship floating in the Bering Sea, possibly worth millions. The crew anxious to collect their fortunes, even more so when they realize that the ship is the Antonia Graza, presumed lost for 40 years.
Once on board, however, strange goin’ ons….go on. A little girl pops up here and there to scare the bejesus out of people, and everybody starts to see the unexplained. It would almost be too scary, except they find some gold bars in mint condition, and figure they can just grab that and go. While carrying it back to ship, the Hispanic guy becomes the first casualty in a freak explosion caused by a gas leak in the engine room of their tugboat. They are stranded! And to make matters worse, everybody is fighting!
Next on the death toll, the black guy gets seduced by a ghost and walks into an elevator shaft. Meanwhile, Murphy has a drink with the dead captain and learns the horrible truth about the ship. He goes crazy when he thinks his dead crewmen are attacking him, and goes after Epps(Margulies), who gets saved by the guy that gave them this dumb job in the first place. She’s grateful until the little girl ghost reveals that this guy is the demon that traps people on the boat to harvest their souls. So, he’s like some supernatural soul-fisherman. Trippy.
Everybody else starts to die off, one by one, including Murphy, but Epps manages to stay alive long enough to set some C4 explosives(no idea where she got it) to blow the ship back to hell. After the detonator is knocked out of her hand by demon-head, she manages to grab a harpoon gun and(using the best aim I have ever seen with a harpoon gun) shoots the trigger and sets off the explosives! Big Shocker: She lives.
All the souls that are trapped on the ship get set free, and she is left floating on a piece of driftwood until being picked up by a luxury cruise liner. She did it! But as she waits in the ambulance, finally ashore, she sees that dead asshole boarding the cruise ship with his gold, ready to start the whole mess again. Guess what? You didn’t do crap.
The best scene for me was in the first couple of minutes, when about 100 people get sliced in half by a loose steel cable. The real payoff there is the slow collapse of every person, realizing they now require assembly. Then a horrible scene where Karl Urban is tricked into eating a bucket of maggots, thinking they are delicious beans. Yum. I would love to see a movie like this where the ghosts try to mess with people who eat maggots for breakfast and think corpses are hot. Who would win that one?
Thanks for the request, Michele, I enjoyed this one. And thanks to everyone who keeps submitting movies, though I wouldn’t mind a break from the Bruce Campbell requests(“My Name Is Bruce” forthcoming…). Until next time!