Ghostbusters (2016)

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I fully admit that this probably would have received a slightly higher rating from me if I didn’t know the original version of this comedy classic. But I do, and this is a pale shade of the original in pretty much every way.

Melissa McCarthy (The Boss), Kristin Wiig (Welcome to Me), and Kate McKinnon (Angry Birds) were all fine, but not very believable nor charismatic. Most surprising to me was Leslie Jones (Masterminds). Every trailer indicated that Jones would be delivering absurd, over-the-top comedy non-stop. As it turns out, of the four women, hers was the most grounded and best performance. But none of them have a real story, nothing to overcome, no relationships that matter, and nothing to really fight for. In fact, they aren’t even great role models. And Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman: Winter’s War), though he certainly had fun with his part, had no connection with his fellow cast. He was there purely for the visual.

What worked so well in the original movie was that the characters were endearing and, nutty as they were, believable. It allowed you to cheer for them and to watch those nerds grow as people and rise to heroes for the city that had spurned them. The biggest issue with the tale is that director/co-writer Feig (The Heat) decided to reboot the story rather than just move forward. He tried to tie it to the past with some pointless and silly cameos, but that became distracting rather than helpful.

But there wasn’t a need to recreate the story, they could have built on the existing knowledge of the Ghostbusters lore to do something new, rather than conflate the first two films into a pointless mess. Heck, the rules of the world and the ghosts weren’t even consistent, unlike the original, which made the action just confusing. The result was like watching a high school musical adaptation of a Broadway hit; it touched on all the plot points, but had none of the talent behind it. And the final tag, after the credits, was pointless as I can’t imagine a sequel to this film given its poor showing in theaters. At least I can hope this bit of undead film will simply fade away.

The original may be dated (and its original sequel really pretty bad), but it holds together much better and was handled more deftly than this remake.

Ghostbusters

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