<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Paul Feig. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Charles Dance, Andy Garcia
Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
There’s something strange in Hollywood. They are remaking and rebooting like crazy. Very few reboots are actually working. The recent Star Trek: Beyond is an example of how they’ve gotten it brilliantly right. Ghostbusters, on the other hand, is an example of how classics shouldn’t be touched unless a superb script is in place.
When the film was first announced with a recasting of the characters with an all-female group of Ghostbusters, the internet exploded with fans of the franchise crying foul for such a ghoulish plot. I have to admit, I wasn’t too thrilled either, not because they are women but because if they’re rehashing then they’ll probably mess with other stuff as well. Unfortunately, the female cast – though not too bad – can’t help save the lacklustre plot and overuse of CGI that adds nothing to the narrative.
What Ghostbusters has going for it is some relatively funny dialogue here and there, a few scares and Chris Hemsworth’s beefy charm and surprisingly good comedic timing.
Ghostbusters spends way too much time in technical talk and girlie banter – at points inducing a headache – and not enough in creating a bond between the characters. Melissa McCarthy is well, herself. Hers was actually the weakest character in the film. Kristen Wiig is interesting and her crush on the hunky Hemsworth makes for some fun wisecracks. Kate McKinnon shines through at points but never gets to fully explore her potential as a possible leader. Leslie Jones is the loudest, which isn’t always a good thing but at least she’s the most real of the four.
In spite of members of the original cast making cameos during the film, you feel like they’re squandered. And the CGI ghosts have absolutely no personality. In fact, there’s a scene with ‘balloon ghosts’ in a parade that makes no sense whatsoever since they just burst like real balloons: so are they ghosts or what?
There were points where I just took off my 3D glasses and watched disinterestedly at the girls screaming and cackling. There is no real desperation in the film about ghosts threatening humanity. It’s just a side plot for a lot of aimless slapstick. Ghostbusters fails miserably at recreating the magic and chemistry of the original and should not end up having a sequel as the film’s end credit scenes suggest.