Filmmaker Cody Stokes is excellent at composing action sequences. The Ghost Who Walks, which he directed and co-wrote, contains several exciting and hard-hitting scenes, and they certainly showcase his talent. Unfortunately, a meandering and clichéd narrative fills the space in-between those moments. The end result doesn’t quite hold together.
“I got a little girl out there who deserves to know who her real father is,” proclaims the newly released from prison Nolan (Garland Scott). He got out of jail early for ratting out a bigwig mafioso, and embarks on a search for the love of his life, Lena (Alexia Rasmussen), and their daughter Amy (Destiny Bauer). The journey is dangerous, as Nolan has to narrowly escape mobsters out for revenge. A brief, unpleasant reunion with his pops (Dennis Lebby), leads our hero to Lena’s new husband, the villainous Donnie (Gil Darnell), who’s got her working at a money-laundering jewelry store.
“…intends to search for the love of his life…the journey is dangerous, as Nolan has to narrowly escape mobsters out for revenge.”
After they bang it out in the back of her store, Nolan promises Lena that he will rescue her and Amy, and take them to a farmhouse in Iceland. “You can raise chickens and s**t,” he tells her. This is where the story gets too convoluted to suss out all the details. Let’s just say that Nolan’s repugnant friend, Stitch (Frank Mosley), gets involved; Nolan spends a good chunk of the narrative hanging out and shopping with Mitzie (Dasha Nekrasova), a prostitute; and the whole thing culminates in a betrayal and a chase scene involving a crowd of Santas.
Stokes clearly aspires to the pantheon of great Christmas action-thriller films, such as Die Hard and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. No one can fault him for not making the Christmas vibe palpable. There are twinkling lights, red and green hues, pine trees, Santas, and merry musical cues aplenty. That’s about where the similarities end. Unlike those films, The Ghost Who Walks lacks a well-structured plot and a compelling hero.
"…contains several exciting and hard-hitting scenes...dedicated to a meandering and clichéd narrative that doesn't hold together."