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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Movie Review - Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (2016)
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Andy Garcia, Neil Casey, and Chris Hemsworth
Directed by Paul Feig

There was much brouhaha over the fact that 2016's iteration of the classic Ghostbusters was being fronted by a quartet of women instead of a quartet of men.  Internet taunts and nasty comments were bandied about by anonymous individuals behind computer screens about how women aren't funny and couldn't possibly headline of film of this ilk.  While that's all certainly uncalled for, what's really unfortunate is that this version of Ghostbusters isn't good -- those initial trailers which were ridiculed across the World Wide Web were justly criticized because director and co-writer Paul Feig has crafted a numbingly painful supernatural action comedy that starts off incredibly promising and then begins to fail set piece by set piece until it makes its way to its disappointingly dull finale.  And the worst part of it is that it's not the fault of the quartet of actresses onscreen, yet the foursome shouldered much of the criticism lodged at the film.

Quite frankly, a plot summary isn't really necessary here -- four gals get together and eventually try and hunt down some ghosts before the supernatural beings take over the city of New York.  Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy take center stage during the film's initial scenes as a dueling duo who once worked together before drifting apart and I must admit that I found myself laughing out loud more than once as they tossed one-liners back and forth at each other.  Thirty minutes in and I was wondering why in the world this flick was so lambasted upon its release.  Gradually, Kate McKinnon works her way into the mix as a kooky mechanic of sorts (her role was praised the most, yet I found it a bit one-note and reminiscent of many an SNL character of hers) and Leslie Jones gets added as an NYC subway operator who calls upon the ghostbusting gang to investigate an occult occurrence on a subway track.  McKinnon and Jones are both fine, but they begin to take away from the more successful camaraderie of Wiig and McCarthy.

And then writers Paul Feig and Katie Dippold just throw everything down the drain with attempts at creating a variety of set pieces in which our female quartet fights ghosts and the whole movie falls apart.  The action aspects are a jumbled mess.  The comedy bits become tired.  Worst of all, the whole film becomes dreadfully boring.  Feig (as a director) has had his share of hits and misses in my book, and this falls on the miss side.  While I would've loved to have seen a resurrection of the Ghostbusters franchise, this female-fronted flick just doesn't fit the bill as the ladies here aren't helped by the behind-the-scenes team.

The RyMickey Rating:  D+

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