Film features the heart of St. Louis

“The Ghost Who Walks,” a crime drama filmed in St. Louis, features outstanding acting performances despite lackluster storytelling. The backdrop of the film, however, struck a chord with many viewers because of its familiarity.

I love St. Louis more than pretty much anything else. It’s the city that formed who I am as a person, and for those of you who know me, you know that I never shut up about it. So when I heard there was a movie recently added to Netflix that was set in St. Louis, written, directed, produced and starring St. Louisans, I knew I had to check it out.

The Ghost Who Walks premiered last year, in July, at the St. Louis International Film Festival.  It’s a crime drama following Nolan (Garland Scott) as he is released from prison after he rats out his former boss, so that he could have the chance to meet his daughter for the first time and steal his family away from the danger surrounding them.

Honestly, I’m not typically the biggest fan of crime dramas, but as I said before, this one was set in St. Louis, and I had a friend work on it, so I felt compelled to watch it. 

That said, the movie was decent. It hit pretty much every note a movie in this genre ought to hit — Nolan is released under witness protection, and as he’s walking out, he encounters a hit man sent by his old boss who tells him he’s dead meat, albeit in more polite terms. 

Of course, Nolan escapes from the less than watchful eyes of the witness protection agents and heads to the house his ex was living in when he was locked up five years before, and after a few fight scenes he narrowly escapes with his life and the knowledge that she’s now married to his former boss, Donnie (Gil Darnell).

The story continues, according to the tropes: He meets someone from his past named Stitches (Frank Mosley) who helps him out, he finds his ex (Alexia Rasussen) and promises to save her, there’s a scene in a strip club; a well-meaning sex worker (Dasha Nekrasova) helps him figure out how to be a good father; he faces a sudden betrayal, goes on a rampage and finally meets his daughter. 

While the story is predictable, it’s a well-written film. However, the best of it was definitely the acting.

Scott delivers an outstanding performance as Nolan and turns a character that could easily be two-dimensional due to the tropey nature of the story into a three-dimensional person. While his delivery of lines is great, he stands out the most in the scenes where he doesn’t speak, just silently observing the world around him. 

Mitzie, the well-meaning sex worker who helps Nolan discover how to be a father, is another standout character and is brought to life by Nekrasova. However, again, it’s not through the words the character says, but through the scenes of her silently observing others. 

Stitches, the ragtag man from Nolan’s past who helps him out, is treated too well by Mosley. I wasn’t a fan of the character, but Mosley at least did a better job creating him on the screen than the script. 

All in all, it was a pretty all right film. While my favorite part of watching was seeing characters wander around my city (even if they jumped three miles with a right turn), I still enjoyed the entire product. Crime dramas aren’t my cup of tea, but supporting local artists is, and I definitely don’t regret watching this film.