A feminist "Ghostbusters" that could have been so much more



No, but really, Paul Feig's new "Ghostbusters" is not as bad as we might have expected from all the backlash, but not as good as it had the right to be.  The cast is mostly good, but I could have done without Melissa McCarthy who's a little too serious here as the leader of the gang. Kate McKinnon is the clear standout as complete weirdo Jillian Holtzmann, Kristen Wiig is her usual awkward self, and Leslie Jones does a great job with what is essentially a thinly written part.

The CGI-overkill in the last 30 or so minutes is unnecessary, when will studios learn their lesson after Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, that you should never overdo the destruction of a major metropolis because it becomes too over-the-top and frustrating to watch.  I think we're all sick and tired and not all that impressed anymore with CGI action, waiting for the next step in technology to knock our socks off, waiting ...

No, this could have been a solid movie, a feminist take on "Ghostbusters"! There are lots of nicely detailed, battle-of-the-sexes treats here, but not enough and not justified for such a silly, nonsensical movie that is a a remake of a 1984 film that wasn't necessarily met with positive approval upon its release, but made such tremendous box-office and benefited from Bill Murray's deadpan sense of humor that over time it became a mainstay for a mix of Bill Murray fans and cult movie fans.

I actually find McKinnon is as delightful to watch here as Murray was back in 1984. The SNL actress, best known for her spot-on Hilary Clinton, delivers her lines with such fresh abandon that I wish there was much more for her to chew on here. The screenplay is sadly not that funny, it's the actresses that try to make the best of their lines with their delivery. This is a 120 minute "Ghostbusters" remake with both spirited and dull moments. It's not the total failure some of the internet geeks might have you thinking it was, but there's not enough here to justify the budget and expectations.

And so summer 2016 continues its disastrous. Only "Captain America: Civil War" has proven to be both a box-office and critical force.

C+

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