Ghostbusters **

Reboot falls well short of the beloved original on laughs and action.

Is it worth $10? No

There’s something strange in the neighborhood, and it happens to be the reboot/retread known as "Ghostbusters." While there is a good amount of nostalgia, it's scary how much about this film misses the mark. 

Physicist Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Paranormal Researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) reunite after years of being estranged to prove that ghosts are real. Along with engineer and scientist Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and New York transit worker and self-taught historian, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), they form a paranormal investigation team that runs into an army of malevolent spirits being led with a sinister purpose. Of course they have the tools and the talent to take care of these specters. Hell, you know they also plan to save New York from certain doom. After all, a "real" ghost hunter would always be prepared for such an amazing feat. Ehemmm. Yeah right.

Let's get the obvious argument out of the way. The female leads are not the problem with this movie and I don't want to hear a bunch of feminist bull crap about that's why you didn't love the movie. In fact Mckinnon's character is one of the bright spots, while Chris Hemsworth plays Kevin, a complete lunk head, yet hot-guy secretary. Trust me, it's one of the worst roles. 

Unfortunately, this film will never be as cherished as the original "Ghostbusters." One of the fundamental problems is that it tries to balance paying homage to the first movie with trying to be its own entity. Director Paul Feig (“Spy”) includes some decent laughs, but tries way too hard to keep throwing one-liners and sight gags at you every step of the way hoping something will stick. The story follows the blueprint of the 1984 original film and tries to make it more hip and modern with moderate success. The action sequences are decent, especially when they had an all-out ghost brawl in the streets of New York with all tons of new ghostbusting equipment highlighted. The villain, Rowan (Neil Casey), is a dweeby handyman who wants to turn into a would-be "ender of worlds." Rowan is not menacing and very forgettable. 

There are plenty of nods to classic characters and you should definitely stay through the entire credits. All of the original cast (minus Rick Moranis) make cameos, some were perfect, like Annie Potts as a hotel desk clerk, and some were tragic, like the rushed Dan Aykroyd cabbie scene. There is even a fitting tribute to the late Harold Ramis (thumbs up on that one), but you have to watch closely early on to catch it.

To be fair, this film is going to receive a ton of mixed reviews. For instance, my wife is slapping my arm as I write this. She loved the movie and thinks my review is crap. Sorry, wifey, gotta be honest with my opinions. So if you're gonna see it, see it. If you want more opinions, fairly research the ones that are from people who have actually seen the movie and aren't just spouting conjecture from their ass. If you truly want to try and enjoy this modern telling of your favorite paranormal investigators and eliminators, then leave your comparisons at the door. That said, many people are still going to leave saying "What did you do Ray?!"

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