Blind hatred. This clouded the internet at the mere mention of the long gestating reboot of “Ghostbusters,” initially with some skepticism when images and publicity photos were released. The first trailer generated immediate lambasting from fans and critics alike. After several more trailers and some damage control from the cast and crew, the film has finally been released to controversial fanfare. Following a viewing of the film, it can be said that it is not colossal failure as many expected, but it is not a perfect rebooting of the long dormant franchise.
The new “Ghostbusters” initially follows Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). Gilbert reunites with Yates and Holtzmann after leaving Yates to build her credibility and distance herself from belief the paranormal. Following an encounter with a Class Four full body ghostly apparition and being disgraced when the encounter is posted online, Gilbert decides to join Yates and Holtzmann. All three decide to study and catch ghosts after they start appearing more frequently due to the actions of mysterious outcast Rowan North (Neil Casey), who wishes to inflict pain and suffering on the world he feels has bullied him all his life. With the eager and much needed assistance of historically knowledgeable MTA subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) and the dimwitted enthusiasm of their foolish secretary, Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth), the investigators, coyly labeled “Ghostbusters” by the media, attempt their best to stop Rowan from accomplishing his mission of ghostly domination.
The film starts off in a familiar fashion to the first film, with a ghostly encounter hidden in shadows with the iconic “Ghostbusters” theme playing in the background. That is where the fun begins, although sporadically, as the film does try to play the whole situation in a straight way, much like the first film. Although there were some poor moments, such as a toilet humor prank that brings you out of the movie and makes you doubt your choice in giving the film a chance, the film quickly bounces back due to the main characters’ strong chemistry with one another. They play off each other effectively, especially McKinnon as the eccentric Holtzmann, who is both the most intriguing of the group and seems to get the best lines of them all. Following her is the goofy performance of Hemsworth as the incredibly dim but loyal secretary Kevin. Much like other male characters in the film, he is a foolish idiot, but he embraces this caricature as he tries his best to be a part of the Ghostbusters team with little success.
Visually the film is a mixed bag. The climax of the film is an effects bonanza, but the effects don’t mesh well with the environment and the many ghosts on screen. The final battle with Rowan is quite impressive to see, but not too fun to watch.
The plot of the film is fine, if somewhat generic in its telling and execution, with Rowan not posing much of a threat at all due to an oddly silly performance from Casey, who is primarily just a comedy actor and does not pose any kind of threat whatsoever. Pacing is also an issue, with jokes and adlibbing going on far too long on some occasions, mostly for McCarthy and Jones. What improves this film is the chemistry of all the main actors and their liveliness in their actions and their action sequences.
In the end, the film is not the abomination mostly everyone wished it was, but not a great success either. People will move on, knowing that this film is a vapid, but fine picture.
Director: Paul Feig
Release Date: July 15
Rating: 3.5 out of 5