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‘Ghostbusters’: What the Critics are Saying

Posted on July 11, 2016 and filed under Ghostbusters

The reviews for Ghostbusters are starting to come in, and while there are both positive and negative ones – the majority praises the cast and what they bring to the picture. With a current score of 78% on RottenTomatoes.com, the general consensus is that “Ghostbusters does an impressive job of standing on its own as a freewheeling, marvelously cast supernatural comedy — even if it can’t help but pale somewhat in comparison with the classic original.” Below are a few critical takes on Ghostbusters, then be sure to go see the movie this Friday in theaters!

Drew McWeeny (Hitfix)
“There are so many things that work that it doesn’t matter if the new take on the theme song is sort of terrible or if that one cameo doesn’t work. Robert Yeoman’s photography is lovely, Jefferson Sage’s production design evokes the original without merely aping it, and Theodore Shapiro’s score is solid, with just enough Elmer Bernstein in it to be impressive. My entire family, from my girlfriend to my kids, had a great time with it, and I feel like anyone willing to walk in with an open mind is going to immediately recognize this as the same Paul Feig who made Bridesmaids or Spy. He and Katie Dippold are a killer team, and they’ve been careful to give every character plenty to do. No one feels wasted, and no one feels like they’re superfluous. The original Ghostbusters will always be a classic that means something special to me. The good news is, there’s a whole new generation that’s about to feel that way about this one. And more power to them.”

Manhola Dargis (The New York Times)
“Sliding into theaters on a river of slime and an endless supply of good vibes, the new, cheerfully silly “Ghostbusters” is that rarest of big-studio offerings — a movie that is a lot of enjoyable, disposable fun. And enjoy it while you can because this doesn’t happen often, even in summer, which is supposed to be our season of collective moviegoing happiness. The season when everyone jumps onboard (whee!) and agrees that, yes, this great goof is exactly what you were thinking when you wondered why they didn’t make summer movies like they used to.

Chris Nashawaty (Entertainment Weekly)
“So why does Ghostbusters feel so restrained? For starters, it’s too slavish when it nods to the original (although its throw-back cameos are fun), and too flailing and flat when it strays from it (Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold introduce a ghost-unleashing villain, then don’t know what to do with him). Even the spectral f/x are oddly shlocky (seeing it in 3-D is pointless aside from one comin’-at-ya slime gag). McCarthy, of course, gets off some lunatic one-liners; McKinnon, the group’s loose cannon, can crack you up just by widening her wildcard eyes; Jones mixes her signature bluster with an air of gung-ho joy; and Wiig’s timing is as Swiss-precise as ever (that is, when she’s not being saddled as the film’s straight-woman). Even Chris Hemsworth, as the Ghostbusters’ dim, beefcake receptionist, is funny — for a while. But with a cast as daring and quick as this one, Ghostbusters is too mild and plays it too safe. Somewhere, I bet, there’s an R-rated director’s cut of the movie where these women really let it rip. I want to see that movie.”

Eric Kohn (IndieWire)
“Despite the misogynistic backlash suffered during the film’s promotion, the problems with “Ghostbusters” have nothing to do with its cast. Its undoing stems from the same issues that plague so many overproduced, market-tested products that masquerade as movies: For all the value that may be contained in an intellectual property, it’s worthless if it can’t make old ideas feel new.”

Terri Schwartz (IGN)
“Ghostbusters can’t decide whether it wants to be a completely new take on the property or a loving homage to the original, and because of that it’s trapped between the two. As much as Feig and Dippold remix the formula, there are too many callbacks to the original, from the cameos (only one or two of which actually work) to the catchphrases to the iconic songs to even the new film’s version of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. But when Ghostbusters is doing its own riffs on these elements anyway, the film becomes burdened by the ghosts of its past.

Nigel M. Smith (The Guardian)
“Most crucially, the mean-spirited reception to the film before anyone had seen it does not seem to have put a dampener on the movie itself. Fun oozes from almost every frame; likewise the energy of a team excited to be revolutionising the blockbuster landscape. Let’s just hope everyone will enjoy the view.”

Peter Debruge (Variety)
“While both funnier and scarier than Ivan Reitman’s 1984 original, this otherwise over-familiar remake from “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig doesn’t do nearly enough to innovate on what has come before, even going so far as to conjure most of the earlier film’s cast (including Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man) in cameos that undercut the new film’s chemistry.

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