Ghostbusters: Enjoyable but not spooky enough (Movie Review)

Film: “Ghostbusters”; Director: Paul Feig; Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, Matt Walsh, Neil Casey, Cecily Strong, Karan Soni, Zach Woods, Ed Begley Jr., Michael McDonald

Rating: **1/2

Director Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” is a flighty and frivolous reboot of the 1984 blockbuster of the same name.

Drawing referrals from Erin Gilbert and Abby L. Yates’ book, “Ghosts from the Past: Both Literally and Figuratively”, the film is an original story of how a team of women — caricatures of the original cast — come together and build ghost traps to become Ghostbusters.

Set in New York, the narrative begins with establishing Sir Aldridge’s stately 19th century West Village brownstone Mansion which is now a museum in New York City, as haunted.

Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), the super-serious physicist at Columbia University, is trying to play down an early interest in the book she once co-wrote with her classmate Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), whereas Abby is still pursuing her avocation of Ghostbusting along with a tech specialist, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon).

The reappearance of Abby and Erin’s book on the internet causes Erin to be fired from her job at the university. Left with no alternative, she joins her friend Abby and Jillian in hunting down spirits. They are assisted by Patty (Leslie Jones), a Subway employee who lands up at their work-place answering a vacancy call.

It is when ghosts suddenly start appearing around Manhattan that the foursome are forced into action.

The quartet is joined by a beefy, Ghostbusters’ Fan Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), who works in their office as a receptionist. And the funny moments revolve mostly around him. With in-jokes, twists and cameos, they deliver ridiculously funny and seemingly spectacular action comedy which pays tribute to the 1984 film. This could be a hindrance if you are not cued into it.

With a lazily crafted plot induced with forced humour, the narrative lacks depth and gravitas of a wholesome comedy, making the film more boring than engrossing. We hear a few references of pseudoscience and paranormal phenomena and see spirits of those who died. But mostly everything else seems generic.

The cast give fine, fun-filled performances, but unfortunately they fail to impress because their characters are designed in a cartoon-ish manner and the script is shallow.

Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones compliment and supplement each other with their superb comic timing. Chis Hemsworth too remains consistently vague throughout his stint.

Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver in extremely small roles, are insignificant, yet noticeable.

The visuals which include special effects and the 3D effects are interestingly incorporated in the film. The computer-generated images seamlessly merge with the action sequences and the facial expressions of the ghosts are something worth watching, apart from the actors.Overall, “Ghostbusters” is a mildly spooky, funny and entertaining film.



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