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Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (2016) Movie Poster
  •  USA / Australia  •    •  117m  •    •  Directed by: Paul Feig.  •  Starring: Zach Woods, Kristen Wiig, Ed Begley Jr., Charles Dance, John Milhiser, Ben Harris, Melissa McCarthy, Karan Soni, Kate McKinnon, Bess Rous, Steve Higgins, Leslie Jones, Neil Casey.  •  Music by: Theodore Shapiro.
        Paranormal researcher Abby Yates and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitude, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.

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Review:

Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
Image from: Ghostbusters (2016)
When original Ghostbusters creators teamed with director Paul Feig to reboot the Ghostbusters franchise, there was little reaction on the internet. Largely because despite a tepid 1989 sequel, there is a lot of juice in the Ghostbusters canon. However, when Feig and company announced that the new Ghostbusters would be played by four comediennes, the internet erupted immediately into a juvenile frenzy comprised of outraged man-babies who apparently felt the original would now be forever soiled by this all-female GB team infecting it with girl cooties or something, withering misogynists who turned every movie site talk back section on the internet into a toxic spill filled with profane words describing the women in the cast and "traitor" Paul Feig, and those "high-minded" people who were only now so incensed by Hollywood's effort to remakereboot everything (something that has been going on for generations...hello!), who hoped all would overlook that suspiciously only this particular film was the target of their rage. And all of this was before a single frame of film was shot.

After all the rage, withering commentary, sexist profanity, attempts to undermine the film at every turn, and assorted vapors by aged geekboys taken to the fainting couch, how does the film actually stack up? Surprisingly well. Is it in the same class as the original Ghostbusters? Hardly. Nothing could possibly have the impact of the original which was a surprise success in its day. That said, this film certainly has enough genuine laughs to rank it a success, it has a strong cast and it is much better than the pleasant but thunderingly disappointing sequel that the original Ghostbusters cast and crew reunited to perpetrate in 1989.

Professor Kristen Wiig discovers to her horror that former associatefriend parapsychologist Melissa McCarthy has released their little known ghost-hunting novel online which could jeopardize her tenure. When trying to convince her to remove it, Wiig gets dragged into a ghost-hunting expedition that ruins her tenure, revives her passion for the paranormal and throws her back together with McCarthy and oddball techno geek Kate McKinnon. As they investigate increased phenomena around Manhattan, they are joined by NYC subway worker Leslie Jones and dim receptionist Chris Hemsworth.

The story hits many of the same beats as the original, but works best when not being slavish to the original. There are moments that are on-the-mark funny, moments that you wish were funnier and moments that just don't work, but there are enough successes to push it over. Ironically, the film works best remedying two minor nuisances from the original. First, whereas the original was dominated solely by Bill Murray and squandered the guys playing the other Ghostbusters, this version spreads the material out evenly, allowing everyone to have their moments and have just enough to do. Second, having a main villain, a sort of a Ghostbuster gone bad responsible for the paranormal disasters, is inspired.

The visual effects are well done and incorporated quite nicely. Perhaps not as dazzling as the original, but much better than the ho-hum effects of Ghostbusters II. The opening sequence at the haunted house and a later sequence in a bathroom are actually rather creepy considering this is a comedy.

The cast is uniformly good, but there are those that fare better than others. Wiig and McCarthy pretty much play the whole thing straight. In particular, McCarthy seems oddly restrained and one keeps waiting for the moments where her character really has an explosive comedic moment that never comes.

By contrast, Jones and McKinnon are having a ball. Unlike Ernie Hudson's extra wheel Ghostbuster that never had anything to do, Jones comes into the action early, is incorporated quite well in with the other team members and bring a lot of energy, comic chops and pizazz to her part. Her reactions are often priceless, my favorite being when she walks into the room of mannequins while hunting a ghost. McKinnon creates a character all her own. Sporting an oddball hairdo, bizarre glasses and an attitude that seems to indicate that she is joining us from a higher consciousness, McKinnon capably walks off with the film. This is the kind of performance one suspects Harold Ramis would have given if he (and Aykroyd) were not so busy lavishing everything funny to do on Murray in the original. Truthfully, if they spun Jones and McKinnon off into their own film, I would not be upset. Also worth mentioning is Hemsworth's performance as the sole male in the group. Hemsworth undoubtedly had enough clout to do anything, but kudos for taking such a change-of-pace. As Kevin, the sublimely incompetent receptionist, Hemsworth seems to be channeling the ingenious cluelessness of Gracie Allen. His lack of social graces, issues with answering the telephone and puppy dog energy of being one with the Ghostbusters team, combine to make an endearing and fun character. Plus his over-the-credits dance mix while possessed is one the film's highlights. Contrary to naysayers, this is not a one-note beefcake part (in fact Hemsworth is refreshingly dorky here), but rather a pu pu platter of comic riches. I also must admit that I found Andy Garcia's turn as the ridiculously upbeat, glad-handing mayor rather amusing as well. Although his thunderous reaction when Wiig tells him not to be "like the mayor in Jaws" belies the jerk that lies beneath. There are also nice cameo bits from the original cast, with my favorites being Bill Murray as an obnoxious paranormal debunker and Sigourney Weaver as McKinnon's mentor.

After a bit of a slow start, the film hits its stride fairly quickly and stays with it. What problems arise are easily fixable for potential sequels (if there are any). This end result is no classic, but is most definitely a fun and feel-good summer flick. Those wanting to be upset about the defiling of the original Ghostbusters actually have more cause to direct that enmity towards its unfunny 1989 sequel than this promising reboot.


Review by kira02bit from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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