Ghostbusters: Uninspired Femme-Driven Reboot, Haunted by the Original, Struggling for Identity

ghostbusters_7The eagerly-awaited, controversial-even-before-it-opened, Ghostbusters offers a lot of cheerfully silly fun and some undeniable visual pleasures, but the movie as a whole is thematically uninspired and immediately disposable.

Grade: B- (** out of *****)

Released 32 years after the original, which was directed by Ivan Reitman, hit theaters, this Ghostbusters is even more of a high-concept picture than the1984 comedy. Walking a fine line between paying tribute to the first film and pleasing fans on the one hand and establishing its own distinct identity, Ghostbusters goes out of its way not to mess up too much with the central idea.

ghostbusters_6It’s like a thesis film, setting out to prove that women can be just as funny as men, as if we did not know, and that female camaraderie is just a viable proposition as male camaraderie. All that’s missing is a song like “Anything you can do, I can do better….”

Though utterly forgettable, this Ghostbusters is not utterly dismissible. The filmmakers—Paul Feig and co-writer Kathy Dippold–deserve credit for going out of their way to justify the making an all-female comedy and then deliver the goods expected of that premise and promise. (I learned from an interview with the director that the remake was actually initiated by Reitman—see home page)

End result is a sharply uneven comedy, which begins well but does not really bring a fresh take, or a new perspective to the supernatural comedy. To be fair, no one goes expects a remake like Ghostbusters to have an intriguing or even busy plot.

It’s interesting that most critics and commentators cling to the original Reitman comedy, which is a cult movie admired by critics and viewers alike—according to Rotten Tomatoes, it has a very high score, 95 percent of positive reviews. They also mention the 1986 cartoonish version, “The Real Ghostbusters.” However, most critic disregard the remake, made in 1989, five years after the original, which was quite disappointing, dividing reviewers right in the middle.

ghostbusters_2Put in perspective, the first movie was a triumph of context and casting. It benefited from its then novel comedic concept (in the early 1980s) and spirited casting of Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and best of all Bill Murray, all at the prime of their talents. The 1984 film also became memorable for Ray Parker Jr.’s goofy yet catchy theme song: “Who you gonna call?”


To be fair, in moments, this Ghostbusters is funnier (in the first hour, there’s a stream of goofy vibes) and scarier (due to special effects that were not available back then). But the key questions to be asked are: How funny are the old/new characters when their gender is reversed? How hilarious are the settings and situations in which the quartet of femmes exist and operate?

ghostbusters_3_wiigUnless you live on another planet, by now you now that the quartet is composed of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, all talented actresses and comediennes. The fifth major character, the cute secretary Kevin, also represents gender-swapping as he is played by the big and muscled actor Chris Hemsworth, best known for Thor.

But Feig has hard time, more as a co-writer than as a director, to find the right formula that would blend effectively the conventions of at least four genres, comedy, action-adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy. Moreover, the shadow of the 1984 looms so large over this picture that it’s practically haunted by it.

There are some inspiring moments, as, for example, when a representative from the Mayor’s office (Cecily Strong) is trying to keep things under control by using the ghostbusters’ gender to discredit them as “incredibly sad, lonely women.”  And in this, and other moments, it’s impossible not to think of the backlash by male fans before the movie had even been shown.

ghostbusters_4_mccarthyThe most disappointing thing about this movie is the lack of a clear (let alone smart) feminist spin on the story or characters, all of which are more or less modeled on the original male creators.  They are more like variations of the figures that the men had played in the 1984 film, instead of being freshly modeled individual characters worthy in their own right.


Moreover, while each of the four actresses has proven herself to be a gifted comedienne in other vehicles, there is no particularly strong chemistry among the four leads, which is strange considering that they are supposed to function as a well-coordinated unit and that some of them share overlapping backstories that go decades back.

Feig is known to be a democratic writer and director, trying to give each actress something interesting to do or to say. Even so, some actresses manage to overcome the limitations of the conceptual writing.

ghostbusters_5McCarthy, the most bankable actress in the quartet, puts her expectedly aggressive, irreverent spin as Abby, the science nerd, but in the end, her performance (perhaps a function of overexposure–she makes two comedies a year) is too familiar, largely composed of shticks we have seen before.

Wiig’s Erin is introduced as a stiff academic who has distanced herself from her early paranormal activity, and it takes too long for her to become zany when her starchy suit makes her the first to get slimed.

I think of the four, Kate McKinnon fares the best, as eccentric engineer Jillian Holtzmann, delivering her off-kilter lines  in a fresh way, and showing inventiveness in constructing the team’s anti-ghost gadgets, including some new improved gizmos.

Leslie Jones, playing a variation of a streetwise stereotype, is Patty Tolan, a transit worker, who brings her expert knowledge of New York and her funeral-director uncle’s hearse to the job.

But thematically, the film’s central friendship between Melissa McCarthy’s Abby Yates and Kristen Wiig’s Erin Gilbert, is not sufficiently well developed, and the two actress do not show the depth of a bond that had originated in their high school days, and is now rekindled under different circumstances.

I mentioned these factors, because what made the 1984 movie special was the strong rapport among the four main characters, each of which had a distinctive role to play, which enabled him to show his specialty and expertise.  Bill Murray, already an expert of deadpan drollery, was the shining star of the quartet, but we enjoyed seeing him interact–in different ways–with each of his buddies, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Hudson.  And we also enjoyed seeing the four as a team and how they perceive each new crisis situation is a fresh way.

As noted earlier, Ghostbusters is noisy, busy, messy, overlong (close to full two hours), and only sporadically funny.  However, as summer fare goes, especially this season, you will have fun watching it, especially if you go with lower expectations, and put aside the glory and cult status of the 1984 picture.

Though the movie has not opened yet to the lay public, which will determine its fate, it’s already become a cultural phenomenon, going beyond the realm of cinema, which may explain why so many critics and commentators relate to it not just as a movie–and a fluffy summer movie at that–but also (or mainly) as a statement about the role and politics of gender–on screen and off.





xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88