Rating 2/5 Stars
More than 32 years ago, a film was released, penned by a couple of guys named Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, and became a comedy classic. The film had the right amount of humor and story and the execution of those elements were blended well by the crafty Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters II, Kindergarten Cop, Twins, Dave, Six Days Seven Nights – and a host of other memorable comedies and action-comedies).
Now, 32 years later Paul Feig and Katie Dippold pen a script and thus, Ghostbusters is remade. But somehow, Feig’s (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy) direction fails to do bring this adaptation up to par. I say adaptation because it is adapted from the script by Aykroyd and Ramis. That is one thing I liked about the film. It wasn’t just a rehash of the same story and characters with a couple of things changed here and there. It was a fresh take on the story with some big names in female comedy today like Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. Leslie Jones joins and rounds out the four Ghostbusters.
McCarthy and Wiig play former friends and paranormal enthusiasts who had a falling out after writing a book together, and get sucked in to chasing paranormal activity after witnessing a sighting of a ghost. They are joined by a nuclear engineer (McKinnon) and subway worker (Jones).
While the film had its moments, I believe much of the comedy present was there for comedy’s sake. It seemed to have a lot of gags and “funny” bits, too much for my taste. The ladies’ new receptionist (Chris Hemsworth) was one the funnier roles, but there I think much of his actions and dialogue seemed to be there to just for comedy’s sake and Hemsworth’s portrayal appeared to be a little forced at times. It did have a decent story that I did find it somewhat captivating, and the characters were varied with some entertainment value, but, overall, I think it was trying to hard to be funny and just didn’t work for me.
The original cast even had cameos, which still didn’t seem to save the film. Bill Murray played a debunker of myths and facts. Aykroyd portrayed cab driver. Ernie Hudson played Jones’ uncle who happened to own a funeral parlor where she got the hearse (a nod, if you will, to the original). Even Sigourney Weaver had a cameo.
The film just seemed to not have enough substance to keep me fully entertained for the just under two hour run time. However, the other members in the audience seemed to enjoy the film there was a lot of laughter. So, while the film may work for some, it just failed for me.