Christmas is fast approaching. This means the Ghost of Christmas Present ( Will Ferrell ), Ghost of Christmas Past ( Sunita Mani ), and Ghost of Christmas to Come are looking for someone they can make a better person. They are successful with this, over time they have been able to convert countless people. But this time they have chosen a particularly tough nut: Clint Briggs ( Ryan Reynolds ). He is extremely successful with his marketing agency, which he owes not least to his unscrupulousness. For example, he sends his loyal collaborator Kimberly ( Octavia Spencer) off to find dirt on a boy who wants to be elected Head Boy like his niece Wren ( Marlow Barkley ). The spirits still have a lot of work ahead of them…
There might be no story that we associate more with Christmas than A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Almost 180 years after its publication, the novella about an old misanthropic miser who becomes a better person through the intervention of three spirits is known worldwide. This is not only due to the literary original but also to the numerous film adaptations that have been made in recent decades. Movies like The Muppet Christmas Carol or The Ghosts I Called have become classics themselves. However, this also means that every further adaptation has to ask oneself: is it really necessary? With the Apple TV+ film Spirited, the answer is not easy to give.
Director and screenwriter Sean Anders ( Plötzlich Familie, Daddy’s Home ) unsurprisingly relies on humor and, in Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds, has been able to win over two absolute comedy heavyweights. The result is about what one could imagine given this cast. While Ferrell plays the friendly, naïve idealist, Renolds is again full of sarcasm. The meta elements that are often found in the latter’s films are also represented here again. For example, Spirited pokes fun at the Dickens story and also targets Christmas movies. At the same time, however, the specifications are followed quite faithfully, which is why one of those titles comes out here that rethinks a genre and at the same time wants to confirm it – see currently Simply something nice.
“Spirited” takes on the indestructible classic by Charles Dickens and enriches it with superstars, (meta) humor and musical numbers. That’s all quite nice, but gets lost in a much too long mixture of bite and banality, when at the same time the genre is supposed to be teased and served.