Jeff York • July 26, 2016
The problem with Ghostbusters isn't its cast, it's the script.
No recent film has sparked as much derision online as the remake of Ghostbusters. In fact, its trailer is the most hated preview ever on YouTube. The outrage so many have expressed in social media over Paul Feig's casting of four comic actresses in the leads remains completely sexist and dunderheaded. The real problem with remaking the classic 1984 horror-comedy isn't in its cast, it's in its screenplay. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are talents with proven track records, but the script they have to work with is shockingly subpar for such an important summer tentpole. Some of it is fizzy fun, but too much of it is plagued by screenwriting blunders that should have been caught in early drafts.
From the fact that both Wiig and McCarthy play variations of the "straight man" trope to Chris Hemsworth's overly caricatured himbo role to a shocking lack of truly clever dialogue, this film is a collection of missed opportunities and miscalculations. There are no real character arcs, no inventive or unique set pieces, and to top it all off, it's not even remotely scary. Its predecessor managed to do all those things, and remain uproariously funny too. This one, despite all the talent in front of the camera, and behind it, is shockingly inert, stuck between trying to conform to its roots and gently tiptoe in new directions. It's not the dog many feared, but it's also not going to scare up classic status any time soon either.
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