About a year and a half ago a reboot was announced to a beloved series. Business as usual right? Not quite when the property being redone was Ghostbusters, one of the most popular boys club movies ever made and the cast that was announced for the new film gave the story a gender makeover. Ever since that announcement people have been analyzing, criticizing and arguing over the decision. Some just didn't want a reboot period when they had long been hoping for a sequel with the original cast, some took a misogynistic side and didn't think that women had a place in the ghostbusting world, and others just saw it as a gimmick. It seemed that few people were actually excited for it, and when the trailers were released it only got worse and more hateful hype ensued. For me personally, Ghostbusters
was a big part of my childhood as my three brothers were obsessed with it, and I definitely have a fondness for it. I was in the camp of feeling that the original Ghostbusters was lightning in a bottle that even its own sequel couldn't quite duplicate and it was best not to touch it.
The reboot basically repackages the origin story of the original Ghostbusters with a couple of female scientists who can't get funding to pursue their paranormal dreams. The only differences being that this time, the city of New York doesn't embrace them as the Mayor is constantly trying to let everyone know that they're con artists to keep people from freaking out and the other main thing being that all of the paranormal activity is somehow being orchestrated by one lonely man who was picked on his whole life (his story reminded me a lot of Electro from The Amazing Spider-man 2, also a Sony feature.) He unleashes chaos on the city, and it's up to the ghostbusters to save the day.
I will fully admit that I went into this movie expecting and maybe even wanting to hate it. But...I didn't hate it....nor did I really like it. I felt very ambivalent about the whole thing. Was it as effortlessly funny as the original film? No, but I laughed a handful of times. Did the new cast capture my heart and gel as a perfect team? No. There was a moment at the end when Leslie Jones puts her arm around Wiig and I thought "did those two ever even have a moment together this whole film??" Really all I can say for the movie is I found it amusing. But the film definitely thinks it's a lot funnier than it is as certain gags are beaten to death and go on way too long. In a movie all about female empowerment, I hate to say it but the best performer here was probably Chris Hemsworth. Kristen Wiig all too often slips into silly SNL mode, Melissa McCarthy was probably the best but was kiiiiinda phoning it in. Leslie Jones was better than portrayed in the previews....so good for her at least and Kate McKinnon had a caricature of a character that didn't earn her zaniness. It just made me think about in the original how acquainted we were with Bill Murray's Peter Venkman right from the get-go as we see the type of man he is when he hits on his test subject. The original just was so much more character based, when this one just relied on character TYPES. The film is also littered with homages to the original and every time you see one, you can't help but think "I wish I were watching THAT movie." Bottom line: Ghostbusters the female edition is lackluster, but not really anything worth getting worked up over. It's clear it's standing on the shoulders of a classic and doesn't really have anything new or worthwhile to offer of its own to have it be remembered by anyone. EMILY RATING: 5/10