The Ghost Writer needs more ghost or more writer. Or both.

The Ghost Writer is a wispy, foamy thing. A political thriller with few thrills and the political insights of a tabloid headline (Blair was Bush’s Lapdog.). Even the plot is trite. Spoiler: the CIA did it. (The butler had the night off.)

The titular character – a dead writer who communicates with his living proxy, Ewan McGregor, via an acrostic, two dates neatly circled in red and the programmed GPS route of an SUV – is little more than a contrivance; a pretext. Who was he? Who cares! Instead, we’re left with a bumbling protagonist who must be told where to go and what to think at every turn.

Having just watched The Others earlier this week, I guess I wasn’t in the mood for a half-assed ghost story. Having watched The Parallax View more than a few times, nor was I in the mood for a half-assed political thriller.