From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jul 17 19:51:13 2016
A film review by David N. Butterworth
Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth
*1/2 (out of ****)
Don't stick Melissa McCarthy into a big summer remake of a classic 80s
comedy and then hide her light under a bushel. Do the right thing. Give
her a funny script and let her loose.
"Ghostbusters," the 2016 reboot (technically "Ghostbusters: Answer the Call," although nobody's doing anything with that), is watchable for the
first fifteen minutes or so and then devolves into an effects-laden snooze-a-thon with obligatory cameos from the original 1984 cast--Murray, Aykroyd, Weaver, Hudson, and Potts. It's not just McCarthy who's
shockingly subdued though, as if in deference to her co-stars. Kristen Wiig--often called on to play the straight man--is mediocre at best, and
SNL's Kate McKinnon is in a world of her own, over-gesticulating as if her paycheck depended on it (perhaps it did). A broad Leslie Jones,
unfortunately stuck in a sidekick role, fares no better.
Frequent McCarthy collaborator Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids," "The Heat," "Spy") helms, but it's his script, co-written by Katie Dippold, that fails
to bring anything new to the paranormal nonsense--no creativity, no
cleverness, nothing particularly fun or funny (except, that is, for Chris Hemsworth as the investigators' bimbo receptionist, Kevin; he's super
cute). Oh wait. There *is* something new of course. The Ghostbusters are all... women! Wow. Who saw *that* coming? How 2016.
I know what you're all thinking: another guy critic hating on the
gals. Not at all. "Ghostbusters" isn't bad because they changed genders.
It's bad because the filmmakers are so in awe of their source material
(which, let's face it, wasn't genius to begin with) that they're afraid to upset the apple cart.
If you truly want to see "Ghostbusters" remade in a fresh and
reverential way, rent "Be Kind Rewind."