Film Review: ‘Ghostbusters’ Entertains, But Lacks the Paul Feig Edge

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Average: 3 (2 votes)

CHICAGO –Throughout the reboot of “Ghostbusters,” it becomes obvious that co-writer/director Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “The Heat”) is just going to do a straight re-do of the 1984 film, because the film lacks his sardonic touch, even though it does entertain and has the requisite big special effects. Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

The film amuses, but is rarely laugh-out-loud funny. It chooses to focus on ghost busting itself, which means lots of running towards the next adventure, an over-analyzing on what the ghosts are or mean, and less commentary on the absurdity of it all. Except for Kate McKinnon – and maybe Kristen Wiig – the all female G-busters are stripped of any character or personality, and could have been played by anybody. Why cast Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones (of “Saturday Night Live”) if you can’t let them loose? There are great special effects, the film used amazing modern techniques that weren’t available in 1984, but the humans and their jokes take a backseat to that overindulgence.

Erin (Kristen Wiig) is a professor on the fast track at a prestigious New York City university, until her past starts to catch up with her. Early in her career, she paired with Abby (Melissa McCarthy) to write a book on the paranormal and ghosts, and Abby has re-issued the book to fund her work at a lesser college. When Erin visits the lab, she meets Jillian (Kate McKinnon), Abby’s partner in ghost research.

When the three investigate a haunting at an old New York City mansion, the publicity gets Erin fired. Undeterred, the newly formed Ghostbusters find space on top of a Chinese restaurant, and add a “himbo” receptionist named Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) and a subway worker named Patty (Leslie Jones) as the fourth ‘buster, after she sees some spooky apparitions on the underground tracks. It turns out that these spirits are part of an opening of a vortex between the real and ghost worlds. Who ya gonna call?

“Ghostbusters” opens everywhere on July 15th, in regular, 3D and IMAX showings. See local listings for 3D and IMAX theaters and show times. Featuring Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson. Written by Paul Feig and Katie Dippold. Directed by Paul Feig. Rated “PG-13.”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Ghostbusters”

Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon are the ‘Ghostbusters’
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Ghostbusters”

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