Ghostbusters

New reboot in the ‘hood!


Ghostbusters

  • New reboot in the ‘hood!

Ghostbusters

  • New reboot in the ‘hood!


Rated

PG-15

Starring

Melissa McCarthy
Kristen Wiig
Leslie Jones
Kate McKinnon
Chris Hemsworth

Written by

Katie Dippold
Paul Feig

Directed by

Paul Feig



WHAT TO EXPECT

Paul Feig’s reimagining of the franchise that apparently rules the nostalgic side of adults today has its strengths purely considering pre-release expectations. Melissa McCarthy, for one, is a force of nature and knows her comic timing all too well—her collaborations with Feig are proof; not to mention she’s also a terrific actor. Add to the mix Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me) and Leslie Jones, along with Kate McKinnon, and you’ve got yourself a party. Additionally, with Feig around, there shouldn’t be any missteps now, should there?

Should there?

The trailers have been incredibly weak, dousing none of the nasty, mostly misogynistic fire since initial reports of the Ghostbusters reboot sporting an all-female cast surfaced. (Now, I personally find this behavior rather strange, considering the phenomenal acceptance Feig’s gotten over his last few collaborations with McCarthy. Then again, the fans often want what they want. Thankfully, Feig was probably going to have none of that).

This film is a reboot, though. And—Mad Max: Fury Road or Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight retelling of the Wayne-Batman story aside—franchise reboots don’t have the greatest track record at all. Keeping any personal preferences of the Marc Webb retelling at bay, one’s got to admit that The Amazing Spider-Man stands tall (possibly) as one of the biggest recent examples of less-than-satisfactory franchise reboots in recent history. The Star Wars prequel trilogy is burdened by a notoriously despicable reputation. And if that’s not enough, there’s Fant4stic, RoboCop and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes—the list goes on.

Miller’s Mad Max reset, Nolan’s reinterpretation of the caped crusader, and Daniel Craig’s Bond timeline (well, most of it), however, have one thing in common: they all have a substantially fresh approach to the franchise. There’s an intimate thought process that needs to be a part of every storyteller’s process, and, the structure aside, that kind of contribution to cinema—reboot or no reboot—is imperative, if only for the audiences around the world to connect with the films in question, big or small. The question everybody (who wasn’t needlessly attacking women, or feminism in general) had with Feig in mind, thus, was this:

Does the Ghostbusters revamp have anything new to say, or does it succumb to a by-the-numbers narrative that changes nothing more?

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Dr. Erin Gilbert’s (Wiig) up for tenure at the Columbia University, but a book she co-authored with her now-estranged friend Dr. Abby Yates (McCarthy)—one she distanced herself from—resurfaces. With intent to shut it down, Erin visits Abby, only to be sucked into an adventure that only sets to prove their theory in the books to be correct.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Say hello to our little friends!

Say hello to our little friends!

Paul Feig’s very sharp at female-driven comedy. Spy, in particular, is an effective demonstration of Feig’s excellent ability to play on tropes and tell us what’s exactly wrong with our narrative of women of different types in action and espionage. (In itself as well, 2015, of course, was a year of stupendous commentary in action cinema. We were given Charlize Theron’s solid Furiosa in Fury Road, followed only by Rebecca Ferguson’s surprisingly ferocious femme fatale in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation). Which is why, despite my cynicism of this retelling, I was rooting for Feig and the cast to get through the barrage of absolute nastiness on social media. I wanted the team to win so bad.

And to an extent, it almost does. Within its shamefully oversimplified narrative, the film rests on Feig’s signature commentary on how women are seen in the world today. Leslie Jones’s loudmouth reads a lot of non-fiction, is physically strong, and is more knowledgeable than your ordinary street-smart middle-class human might be. Kristen Wiig’s Erin seems to be in a constant war between belief and the societally acceptable road to success. She is in desperate need of being labeled a normal human being—there’s a comment made on her dress, to which she unironically responds with a question, “Too sexy for academia?” Erin seems unaware. We, the audience, are.

And those are just the beginning.

The entire movie’s full of nothing but references and winks, losing its identity in the process.Ankit Ojha

The film has stunning CGI that aims for deliberate kitsch but goes incredibly well with its overall design. That, combined with the stupendous action set-pieces take the cake (no, seriously, the climactic battle is a gorgeous sight to see).

Dat Vehicle Tho

Dat Vehicle Tho

The film itself, however, isn’t that funny at all. Feig, who’s usually brilliant with well-timed comedy, seems to restrict himself a lot more in this film. One could hold the PG-15 rating responsible, but that doesn’t seem to be the only (or overriding) factor. The problem here is what every reboot and quasi-reboot seem to face: they all suffer from the shadow of their predecessors. The film truly shines within its moments when it’s not about the Ghostbusters and simply about the indomitable chemistry between the leads. (And of course, there’s that commentary as mentioned above). Unfortunately, however, none of that makes up for the disappointing desperation to hold onto everything the old Ghostbusters seems to have been—right down to the obvious-pandering-move-is-obvious cameos and Easter eggs.

What with all the crazies involved, the entire team had a golden chance to reinvent the wheel completely and turn the franchise upside down. Technical filmmaking aside, however, there isn’t much novelty anyone seems to have contributed. An argument I can see being posed in defense of the film would be that this is Feig and co-writer Dipole’s attempt to pay their respects to the original; a homage, if you may. Sure, there isn’t any harm in including a witty reference or two, and a particular cameo that appears right in the middle of the film hits that very sweet spot. Within no time, however, the entire movie’s full of nothing but references and winks, losing its identity in the process.

The problem with the film isn’t the leads or their gender at all. The problem here is that it doesn’t want to be its own movie. Or even funny. Does that make it a bad film? Not at all. It just makes the entire (albeit noble) attempt rather disappointing.

TO PERFORM OR NOT TO PERFORM

WE GOT SLIMED!

WE GOT SLIMED!

I’ve never been this entertained by Leslie Jones as I was in this film. She’s brilliant and holds the entire role on her own till the wee end. Follow that up with Kristen Wiig’s brilliant timing and you’ve got two winning performances. Now, while McCarthy isn’t much of the surprise she was in Spy, she’s still damn good. Flitting between effortless and hammed up, however, Kate McKinnon, however, turns out somewhat inconsistent. Their overall chemistry, however, does indeed click more often than not, despite the lack of humor.

One’s got to give props to Chris Hemsworth though. Playing an unaware idiot needs a certain kind of consistency and motive and Hemsworth totally nails it right on the head.

WORTH IT?

The new Ghostbusters surely has its positives: it’s got often sharp commentary, the leads have great chemistry, and the action set-pieces have terrific visual flair. I’m afraid that can’t seem to make up for the bland, mistimed humor and the makers’ desperation to hold tightly onto Reitman’s original, which doesn’t fully let it become the film it could certainly have been. Of course, for now, it’s just a moderately tolerable action comedy that deserves none of the vitriol it’s been getting day after day (with alarming consistency). It’s a one-time watch. It’s just not a great—or good—film, and the all-female cast or the (admittedly commendable) digs at sexism have absolutely nothing to do with its quality.

Echoing Dan Aykroyd’s helplessness in his crossover-cameo in ’95’s Casper lies my perfect, conclusive response to Reitman’s catchphrase-question that stood pop culture’s test of time: Who you gonna call? “Someone else.”

Consensus: 2.5 Stars
Comme ci, comme ça
About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like UsFollow Us


Rated

PG-15

Starring

Melissa McCarthy
Kristen Wiig
Leslie Jones
Kate McKinnon
Chris Hemsworth

Written by

Katie Dippold
Paul Feig

Directed by

Paul Feig



WHAT TO EXPECT

Paul Feig’s reimagining of the franchise that apparently rules the nostalgic side of adults today has its strengths purely considering pre-release expectations. Melissa McCarthy, for one, is a force of nature and knows her comic timing all too well—her collaborations with Feig are proof; not to mention she’s also a terrific actor. Add to the mix Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me) and Leslie Jones, along with Kate McKinnon, and you’ve got yourself a party. Additionally, with Feig around, there shouldn’t be any missteps now, should there?

Should there?

The trailers have been incredibly weak, dousing none of the nasty, mostly misogynistic fire since initial reports of the Ghostbusters reboot sporting an all-female cast surfaced. (Now, I personally find this behavior rather strange, considering the phenomenal acceptance Feig’s gotten over his last few collaborations with McCarthy. Then again, the fans often want what they want. Thankfully, Feig was probably going to have none of that).

This film is a reboot, though. And—Mad Max: Fury Road or Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight retelling of the Wayne-Batman story aside—franchise reboots don’t have the greatest track record at all. Keeping any personal preferences of the Marc Webb retelling at bay, one’s got to admit that The Amazing Spider-Man stands tall (possibly) as one of the biggest recent examples of less-than-satisfactory franchise reboots in recent history. The Star Wars prequel trilogy is burdened by a notoriously despicable reputation. And if that’s not enough, there’s Fant4stic, RoboCop and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes—the list goes on.

Miller’s Mad Max reset, Nolan’s reinterpretation of the caped crusader, and Daniel Craig’s Bond timeline (well, most of it), however, have one thing in common: they all have a substantially fresh approach to the franchise. There’s an intimate thought process that needs to be a part of every storyteller’s process, and, the structure aside, that kind of contribution to cinema—reboot or no reboot—is imperative, if only for the audiences around the world to connect with the films in question, big or small. The question everybody (who wasn’t needlessly attacking women, or feminism in general) had with Feig in mind, thus, was this:

Does the Ghostbusters revamp have anything new to say, or does it succumb to a by-the-numbers narrative that changes nothing more?

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Dr. Erin Gilbert’s (Wiig) up for tenure at the Columbia University, but a book she co-authored with her now-estranged friend Dr. Abby Yates (McCarthy)—one she distanced herself from—resurfaces. With intent to shut it down, Erin visits Abby, only to be sucked into an adventure that only sets to prove their theory in the books to be correct.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Say hello to our little friends!

Say hello to our little friends!

Paul Feig’s very sharp at female-driven comedy. Spy, in particular, is an effective demonstration of Feig’s excellent ability to play on tropes and tell us what’s exactly wrong with our narrative of women of different types in action and espionage. (In itself as well, 2015, of course, was a year of stupendous commentary in action cinema. We were given Charlize Theron’s solid Furiosa in Fury Road, followed only by Rebecca Ferguson’s surprisingly ferocious femme fatale in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation). Which is why, despite my cynicism of this retelling, I was rooting for Feig and the cast to get through the barrage of absolute nastiness on social media. I wanted the team to win so bad.

And to an extent, it almost does. Within its shamefully oversimplified narrative, the film rests on Feig’s signature commentary on how women are seen in the world today. Leslie Jones’s loudmouth reads a lot of non-fiction, is physically strong, and is more knowledgeable than your ordinary street-smart middle-class human might be. Kristen Wiig’s Erin seems to be in a constant war between belief and the societally acceptable road to success. She is in desperate need of being labeled a normal human being—there’s a comment made on her dress, to which she unironically responds with a question, “Too sexy for academia?” Erin seems unaware. We, the audience, are.

And those are just the beginning.

The entire movie’s full of nothing but references and winks, losing its identity in the process.Ankit Ojha

The film has stunning CGI that aims for deliberate kitsch but goes incredibly well with its overall design. That, combined with the stupendous action set-pieces take the cake (no, seriously, the climactic battle is a gorgeous sight to see).

Dat Vehicle Tho

Dat Vehicle Tho

The film itself, however, isn’t that funny at all. Feig, who’s usually brilliant with well-timed comedy, seems to restrict himself a lot more in this film. One could hold the PG-15 rating responsible, but that doesn’t seem to be the only (or overriding) factor. The problem here is what every reboot and quasi-reboot seem to face: they all suffer from the shadow of their predecessors. The film truly shines within its moments when it’s not about the Ghostbusters and simply about the indomitable chemistry between the leads. (And of course, there’s that commentary as mentioned above). Unfortunately, however, none of that makes up for the disappointing desperation to hold onto everything the old Ghostbusters seems to have been—right down to the obvious-pandering-move-is-obvious cameos and Easter eggs.

What with all the crazies involved, the entire team had a golden chance to reinvent the wheel completely and turn the franchise upside down. Technical filmmaking aside, however, there isn’t much novelty anyone seems to have contributed. An argument I can see being posed in defense of the film would be that this is Feig and co-writer Dipole’s attempt to pay their respects to the original; a homage, if you may. Sure, there isn’t any harm in including a witty reference or two, and a particular cameo that appears right in the middle of the film hits that very sweet spot. Within no time, however, the entire movie’s full of nothing but references and winks, losing its identity in the process.

The problem with the film isn’t the leads or their gender at all. The problem here is that it doesn’t want to be its own movie. Or even funny. Does that make it a bad film? Not at all. It just makes the entire (albeit noble) attempt rather disappointing.

TO PERFORM OR NOT TO PERFORM

WE GOT SLIMED!

WE GOT SLIMED!

I’ve never been this entertained by Leslie Jones as I was in this film. She’s brilliant and holds the entire role on her own till the wee end. Follow that up with Kristen Wiig’s brilliant timing and you’ve got two winning performances. Now, while McCarthy isn’t much of the surprise she was in Spy, she’s still damn good. Flitting between effortless and hammed up, however, Kate McKinnon, however, turns out somewhat inconsistent. Their overall chemistry, however, does indeed click more often than not, despite the lack of humor.

One’s got to give props to Chris Hemsworth though. Playing an unaware idiot needs a certain kind of consistency and motive and Hemsworth totally nails it right on the head.

WORTH IT?

The new Ghostbusters surely has its positives: it’s got often sharp commentary, the leads have great chemistry, and the action set-pieces have terrific visual flair. I’m afraid that can’t seem to make up for the bland, mistimed humor and the makers’ desperation to hold tightly onto Reitman’s original, which doesn’t fully let it become the film it could certainly have been. Of course, for now, it’s just a moderately tolerable action comedy that deserves none of the vitriol it’s been getting day after day (with alarming consistency). It’s a one-time watch. It’s just not a great—or good—film, and the all-female cast or the (admittedly commendable) digs at sexism have absolutely nothing to do with its quality.

Echoing Dan Aykroyd’s helplessness in his crossover-cameo in ’95’s Casper lies my perfect, conclusive response to Reitman’s catchphrase-question that stood pop culture’s test of time: Who you gonna call? “Someone else.”

Consensus: 2.5 Stars
Comme ci, comme ça
About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like UsFollow Us

Cast Melissa McCarthy
Kristen Wiig
Chris Hemsworth
Director Paul Feig
Consensus: 2.5 Stars
Comme ci, comme ça

WHAT TO EXPECT

Who You Gonn-Nah!

Who You Gonn-Nah!

Paul Feig’s reimagining of the franchise that apparently rules the nostalgic side of adults today has its strengths purely considering pre-release expectations. Melissa McCarthy, for one, is a force of nature and knows her comic timing all too well—her collaborations with Feig are proof; not to mention she’s also a terrific actor. Add to the mix Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me) and Leslie Jones, along with Kate McKinnon, and you’ve got yourself a party. Additionally, with Feig around, there shouldn’t be any missteps now, should there?

Should there?

The trailers have been incredibly weak, dousing none of the nasty, mostly misogynistic fire since initial reports of the Ghostbusters reboot sporting an all-female cast surfaced. (Now, I personally find this behavior rather strange, considering the phenomenal acceptance Feig’s gotten over his last few collaborations with McCarthy. Then again, the fans often want what they want. Thankfully, Feig was probably going to have none of that).

This film is a reboot, though. And—Mad Max: Fury Road or Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight retelling of the Wayne-Batman story aside—franchise reboots don’t have the greatest track record at all. Keeping any personal preferences of the Marc Webb retelling at bay, one’s got to admit that The Amazing Spider-Man stands tall (possibly) as one of the biggest recent examples of less-than-satisfactory franchise reboots in recent history. The Star Wars prequel trilogy is burdened by a notoriously despicable reputation. And if that’s not enough, there’s Fant4stic, RoboCop and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes—the list goes on.

Miller’s Mad Max reset, Nolan’s reinterpretation of the caped crusader, and Daniel Craig’s Bond timeline (well, most of it), however, have one thing in common: they all have a substantially fresh approach to the franchise. There’s an intimate thought process that needs to be a part of every storyteller’s process, and, the structure aside, that kind of contribution to cinema—reboot or no reboot—is imperative, if only for the audiences around the world to connect with the films in question, big or small. The question everybody (who wasn’t needlessly attacking women, or feminism in general) had with Feig in mind, thus, was this:

Does the Ghostbusters revamp have anything new to say, or does it succumb to a by-the-numbers narrative that changes nothing more?

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Dr. Erin Gilbert’s (Wiig) up for tenure at the Columbia University, but a book she co-authored with her now-estranged friend Dr. Abby Yates (McCarthy)—one she distanced herself from—resurfaces. With intent to shut it down, Erin visits Abby, only to be sucked into an adventure that only sets to prove their theory in the books to be correct.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Say hello to our little friends!

Say hello to our little friends!

Paul Feig’s very sharp at female-driven comedy. Spy, in particular, is an effective demonstration of Feig’s excellent ability to play on tropes and tell us what’s exactly wrong with our narrative of women of different types in action and espionage. (In itself as well, 2015, of course, was a year of stupendous commentary in action cinema. We were given Charlize Theron’s solid Furiosa in Fury Road, followed only by Rebecca Ferguson’s surprisingly ferocious femme fatale in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation). Which is why, despite my cynicism of this retelling, I was rooting for Feig and the cast to get through the barrage of absolute nastiness on social media. I wanted the team to win so bad.

And to an extent, it almost does. Within its shamefully oversimplified narrative, the film rests on Feig’s signature commentary on how women are seen in the world today. Leslie Jones’s loudmouth reads a lot of non-fiction, is physically strong, and is more knowledgeable than your ordinary street-smart middle-class human might be. Kristen Wiig’s Erin seems to be in a constant war between belief and the societally acceptable road to success. She is in desperate need of being labeled a normal human being—there’s a comment made on her dress, to which she unironically responds with a question, “Too sexy for academia?” Erin seems unaware. We, the audience, are.

And those are just the beginning.

The entire movie’s full of nothing but references and winks, losing its identity in the process.Ankit Ojha

The film has stunning CGI that aims for deliberate kitsch but goes incredibly well with its overall design. That, combined with the stupendous action set-pieces take the cake (no, seriously, the climactic battle is a gorgeous sight to see).

Dat Vehicle Tho

Dat Vehicle Tho

The film itself, however, isn’t that funny at all. Feig, who’s usually brilliant with well-timed comedy, seems to restrict himself a lot more in this film. One could hold the PG-15 rating responsible, but that doesn’t seem to be the only (or overriding) factor. The problem here is what every reboot and quasi-reboot seem to face: they all suffer from the shadow of their predecessors. The film truly shines within its moments when it’s not about the Ghostbusters and simply about the indomitable chemistry between the leads. (And of course, there’s that commentary as mentioned above). Unfortunately, however, none of that makes up for the disappointing desperation to hold onto everything the old Ghostbusters seems to have been—right down to the obvious-pandering-move-is-obvious cameos and Easter eggs.

What with all the crazies involved, the entire team had a golden chance to reinvent the wheel completely and turn the franchise upside down. Technical filmmaking aside, however, there isn’t much novelty anyone seems to have contributed. An argument I can see being posed in defense of the film would be that this is Feig and co-writer Dipole’s attempt to pay their respects to the original; a homage, if you may. Sure, there isn’t any harm in including a witty reference or two, and a particular cameo that appears right in the middle of the film hits that very sweet spot. Within no time, however, the entire movie’s full of nothing but references and winks, losing its identity in the process.

The problem with the film isn’t the leads or their gender at all. The problem here is that it doesn’t want to be its own movie. Or even funny. Does that make it a bad film? Not at all. It just makes the entire (albeit noble) attempt rather disappointing.

TO PERFORM OR NOT TO PERFORM

WE GOT SLIMED!

WE GOT SLIMED!

I’ve never been this entertained by Leslie Jones as I was in this film. She’s brilliant and holds the entire role on her own till the wee end. Follow that up with Kristen Wiig’s brilliant timing and you’ve got two winning performances. Now, while McCarthy isn’t much of the surprise she was in Spy, she’s still damn good. Flitting between effortless and hammed up, however, Kate McKinnon, however, turns out somewhat inconsistent. Their overall chemistry, however, does indeed click more often than not, despite the lack of humor.

One’s got to give props to Chris Hemsworth though. Playing an unaware idiot needs a certain kind of consistency and motive and Hemsworth totally nails it right on the head.

WORTH IT?

The new Ghostbusters surely has its positives: it’s got often sharp commentary, the leads have great chemistry, and the action set-pieces have terrific visual flair. I’m afraid that can’t seem to make up for the bland, mistimed humor and the makers’ desperation to hold tightly onto Reitman’s original, which doesn’t fully let it become the film it could certainly have been. Of course, for now, it’s just a moderately tolerable action comedy that deserves none of the vitriol it’s been getting day after day (with alarming consistency). It’s a one-time watch. It’s just not a great—or good—film, and the all-female cast or the (admittedly commendable) digs at sexism have absolutely nothing to do with its quality.

Echoing Dan Aykroyd’s helplessness in his crossover-cameo in ’95’s Casper lies my perfect, conclusive response to Reitman’s catchphrase-question that stood pop culture’s test of time: Who you gonna call? “Someone else.”

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

We’re viral

Like usFollow us
Cast Melissa McCarthy
Kristen Wiig
Chris Hemsworth
Director Paul Feig
Consensus: 2.5 Stars
Comme ci, comme ça

WHAT TO EXPECT

Paul Feig’s reimagining of the franchise that apparently rules the nostalgic side of adults today has its strengths purely considering pre-release expectations. Melissa McCarthy, for one, is a force of nature and knows her comic timing all too well—her collaborations with Feig are proof; not to mention she’s also a terrific actor. Add to the mix Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me) and Leslie Jones, along with Kate McKinnon, and you’ve got yourself a party. Additionally, with Feig around, there shouldn’t be any missteps now, should there?

Should there?

The trailers have been incredibly weak, dousing none of the nasty, mostly misogynistic fire since initial reports of the Ghostbusters reboot sporting an all-female cast surfaced. (Now, I personally find this behavior rather strange, considering the phenomenal acceptance Feig’s gotten over his last few collaborations with McCarthy. Then again, the fans often want what they want. Thankfully, Feig was probably going to have none of that).

This film is a reboot, though. And—Mad Max: Fury Road or Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight retelling of the Wayne-Batman story aside—franchise reboots don’t have the greatest track record at all. Keeping any personal preferences of the Marc Webb retelling at bay, one’s got to admit that The Amazing Spider-Man stands tall (possibly) as one of the biggest recent examples of less-than-satisfactory franchise reboots in recent history. The Star Wars prequel trilogy is burdened by a notoriously despicable reputation. And if that’s not enough, there’s Fant4stic, RoboCop and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes—the list goes on.

Miller’s Mad Max reset, Nolan’s reinterpretation of the caped crusader, and Daniel Craig’s Bond timeline (well, most of it), however, have one thing in common: they all have a substantially fresh approach to the franchise. There’s an intimate thought process that needs to be a part of every storyteller’s process, and, the structure aside, that kind of contribution to cinema—reboot or no reboot—is imperative, if only for the audiences around the world to connect with the films in question, big or small. The question everybody (who wasn’t needlessly attacking women, or feminism in general) had with Feig in mind, thus, was this:

Does the Ghostbusters revamp have anything new to say, or does it succumb to a by-the-numbers narrative that changes nothing more?

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Dr. Erin Gilbert’s (Wiig) up for tenure at the Columbia University, but a book she co-authored with her now-estranged friend Dr. Abby Yates (McCarthy)—one she distanced herself from—resurfaces. With intent to shut it down, Erin visits Abby, only to be sucked into an adventure that only sets to prove their theory in the books to be correct.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Say hello to our little friendds!

Paul Feig’s very sharp at female-driven comedy. Spy, in particular, is an effective demonstration of Feig’s excellent ability to play on tropes and tell us what’s exactly wrong with our narrative of women of different types in action and espionage. (In itself as well, 2015, of course, was a year of stupendous commentary in action cinema. We were given Charlize Theron’s solid Furiosa in Fury Road, followed only by Rebecca Ferguson’s surprisingly ferocious femme fatale in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation). Which is why, despite my cynicism of this retelling, I was rooting for Feig and the cast to get through the barrage of absolute nastiness on social media. I wanted the team to win so bad.

And to an extent, it almost does. Within its shamefully oversimplified narrative, the film rests on Feig’s signature commentary on how women are seen in the world today. Leslie Jones’s loudmouth reads a lot of non-fiction, is physically strong, and is more knowledgeable than your ordinary street-smart middle-class human might be. Kristen Wiig’s Erin seems to be in a constant war between belief and the societally acceptable road to success. She is in desperate need of being labeled a normal human being—there’s a comment made on her dress, to which she unironically responds with a question, “Too sexy for academia?” Erin seems unaware. We, the audience, are.

And those are just the beginning.

The entire movie’s full of nothing but references and winks, losing its identity in the process.Ankit Ojha
Dat Vehicle Tho

The film has stunning CGI that aims for deliberate kitsch but goes incredibly well with its overall design. That, combined with the stupendous action set-pieces take the cake (no, seriously, the climactic battle is a gorgeous sight to see).

The film itself, however, isn’t that funny at all. Feig, who’s usually brilliant with well-timed comedy, seems to restrict himself a lot more in this film. One could hold the PG-15 rating responsible, but that doesn’t seem to be the only (or overriding) factor. The problem here is what every reboot and quasi-reboot seem to face: they all suffer from the shadow of their predecessors. The film truly shines within its moments when it’s not about the Ghostbusters and simply about the indomitable chemistry between the leads. (And of course, there’s that commentary as mentioned above). Unfortunately, however, none of that makes up for the disappointing desperation to hold onto everything the old Ghostbusters seems to have been—right down to the obvious-pandering-move-is-obvious cameos and Easter eggs.

What with all the crazies involved, the entire team had a golden chance to reinvent the wheel completely and turn the franchise upside down. Technical filmmaking aside, however, there isn’t much novelty anyone seems to have contributed. An argument I can see being posed in defense of the film would be that this is Feig and co-writer Dipole’s attempt to pay their respects to the original; a homage, if you may. Sure, there isn’t any harm in including a witty reference or two, and a particular cameo that appears right in the middle of the film hits that very sweet spot. Within no time, however, the entire movie’s full of nothing but references and winks, losing its identity in the process.

The problem with the film isn’t the leads or their gender at all. The problem here is that it doesn’t want to be its own movie. Or even funny. Does that make it a bad film? Not at all. It just makes the entire (albeit noble) attempt rather disappointing.

TO PERFORM OR NOT TO PERFORM

WE GOT SLIMED!

I’ve never been this entertained by Leslie Jones as I was in this film. She’s brilliant and holds the entire role on her own till the wee end. Follow that up with Kristen Wiig’s brilliant timing and you’ve got two winning performances. Now, while McCarthy isn’t much of the surprise she was in Spy, she’s still damn good. Flitting between effortless and hammed up, however, Kate McKinnon, however, turns out somewhat inconsistent. Their overall chemistry, however, does indeed click more often than not, despite the lack of humor.

One’s got to give props to Chris Hemsworth though. Playing an unaware idiot needs a certain kind of consistency and motive and Hemsworth totally nails it right on the head.

WORTH IT?

The new Ghostbusters surely has its positives: it’s got often sharp commentary, the leads have great chemistry, and the action set-pieces have terrific visual flair. I’m afraid that can’t seem to make up for the bland, mistimed humor and the makers’ desperation to hold tightly onto Reitman’s original, which doesn’t fully let it become the film it could certainly have been. Of course, for now, it’s just a moderately tolerable action comedy that deserves none of the vitriol it’s been getting day after day (with alarming consistency). It’s a one-time watch. It’s just not a great—or good—film, and the all-female cast or the (admittedly commendable) digs at sexism have absolutely nothing to do with its quality.

Echoing Dan Aykroyd’s helplessness in his crossover-cameo in ’95’s Casper lies my perfect, conclusive response to Reitman’s catchphrase-question that stood pop culture’s test of time: Who you gonna call? “Someone else.”

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

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Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

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