2½ (out of 4 stars)
One of the easiest and toughest assignments in Hollywood is to reboot a classic 34-year-old movie. The easy part is you don’t have to come up with an original idea. The tough part is not to copy it. If you don't believe me, ask Paul Feig, Director of Ghostbusters (2016). Creating a cast as good as the original 1984 film, which starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moran, Annie Potts, and William Atherton, is a difficult task. Considering it took 34 years for someone to take this gamble, you know it wasn’t easy. The 1984 Ghostbusters directed by Ivan Reitman will be remembered as one of the best original ideas which came out of Hollywood for many years.
The reboot is basically the same story, but changes the main Ghostbusters cast to an all-female entourage, many whom are Saturday Night Live alumni. Add in Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers) as the dumb blonde male secretary and you hope that creates a basis for a good movie.
In this version, the main characters are Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), both paranormal enthusiasts who rejoin forces after a ghost invasion of Manhattan. They are accompanied by whacky nuclear engineer, Jillian Holtzmamn (Kate McKinnon) and bodacious subway worker, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), in order to stop the ghostly threat.
The movie starts off with a bang, but unfortunately cannot maintain that level. After introduction of all the main characters, the film quickly degrades to a CGI mishmash of ghosts with very little interaction of the characters. Add in some worthless cameo appearances from the original cast (some recognizable, some not), and the film starts to look forced.
The beauty of the original film was the bonding between the characters. You could feel their friendship and their 'Three Musketeers' type of team effort, regardless how incompetent they may look and act. The new film just has them as individuals with very little bonding, each member being individual with their own goals and agendas.
I had high hopes and expectations for this film, but I felt that I was let down. If you're under the age of 50 you probably never got to see the original film in theaters and don't know what you're missing. The original film was a classic. The new version is a reboot that just didn't hit the mark. If you're under 50, you may find it enjoyable, instead of the disappointing attempt that I witnessed.