Ghostbusters (2016)

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It’s got no balls. Now listen, before you completely misunderstand, I was rooting for these ladies. Hard. But Paul Feig’s direction, along with his co-screenwriter Katie Dippold, completely lets this talented cast down. It’s like they are running scared. From ghosts. Or the nostalgic apparitions of Murray, Ackroyd, Ramis, Hudson, Weaver, Moranis and Potts. Their long-in-the-tooth versions appear here, in cameo form, btw. Sans Rick Moranis, who has been semi-retired for two decades. Lucky him. Also, the late Harold Ramis gets a blink and you’ll miss it onscreen tribute. But they would have been better off ignoring the original cast completely in this female-heavy reboot. These are funny, eclectic women. Mostly though, they are wasted here.

I mean, I can hardly muster a darn plot description. Three highly educated white gals, team up with a  sassy, African-American, MTA worker, and try to capture ghosts. So, right there is an issue. But that’s it…along with a lot of mugging, scenery-chewing, and a lazy script. And every time there’s a lull, or a lack of momentum, someone sings, dances, or lip-syncs. Bright spots? Sure. Kate McKinnon finds almost every unusual, and delightful, way, to make her character of Dr. Holtzmann the absolute standout. But the talented Kristen Wiig as Dr. Gilbert, and Melissa McCarthy as Dr. Yates, are given almost nothing to do. Leslie Jones as partner Patty Tolan is loud, BIG, and abrasive. That, I guess, is supposed to be funny all by itself. And Chris “Thor” Hemsworth, makes the most of the ridiculously written role of Kevin, the hunky, but dimwitted receptionist. He tries. Or, they just let him dance.

Special effects are very good…and I bet it looked great in 3D. 1984 touchstones: Slimer, Stay-Puft, lines of dialogue, plot devices, ghost-mobile, the cameos…there’s a lot. There’s even an after-credits scene mention of Zuul. This movie has a distinct lack of identity. It fully relies on the first film’s good graces. I mean, take a look at 1984’s “Ghostbusters” again. That one is overrated! These gals should have been given a chance to spread their wings without its memory. McKinnon was obviously up for the challenge. This deserved to tank at the box office–like it did. Not because it’s distaff, but because it is toothless. No one was given the chance to bite. It’s like they were told to just try to be charming. Too bad.

Grade:  C


4 comments on “Ghostbusters (2016)

  1. I appreciate how you feel but I really enjoyed this.

  2. I totally agree that this should have been a home run based on the cast alone. But every choice felt either safe, a comment or nod to the backlash (Answer the Call? Really?), or a mandatory plot point from the original. Such a waste.

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