Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)

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Paul Feig directs Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon in this scientists hunt ghosts and save NYC remake.

I love Ghostbusters but not this. I love Bridesmaids and looked forward to this even more so as a reunion of three key players… and was even more disappointed. As Wiig and McCarthy often seem unusually subdued, leaving the new to me McKinnon (aggressively quirky) and Leslie Jones (hitting her lines the most effectively) to try and steal the show. The problem is there aren’t really enough decent jokes attempted for a comedy of such length yet there are a lot of scenes of pointless improv back and forth that never produce the gold being inelegantly panned for… Doodles that are included anyway as Feig seemingly hadn’t bothered to film even one take as scripted first… just in case… as back up. It is telling that the two elements that work the best; Chris Hemsworth’s himbo receptionist and the frankly brilliant spectral effects work – are the scenes where the script is being stuck to the most out of necessity. No one would suggest the sexy Aussie lunk or CGI are funnier than Wiig any day of the week but their screentime hits well thought out punchlines rather than fannying about waiting for something better to be magicked up. There’s some really awful cameos too, not just from the original cast, and yet Slimer and Andy Garcia make you smile whenever they are on screen. It just all feels like a neutered, uncertain production openly responding to its own online rep, including endless exposition to discredit the backlash about Jones’ streetwise delivery and anti-mansplaining. Obvious time wasted when Ghostbuster XX really should be trying to match the zinging one liners and unforced comradery of the original. That’s all it really needed to run with to justify its existence. The talent involved are superior to this passable party bag of acceptability.

5

 

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