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GHOSTBUSTERS

The latest installment in the Ghostbusters Franchise is termed a reboot rather than a sequel. The term
reboot is rather suggestive of an attempt to re-energize a once successful franchise that went flaccid
following an unsuccessful or mildly successful sequel.

A reboot could also happen when it is impossible to reunite the original cast of the franchise for a sequel
but the need to ride the crest of the success of the franchise in order to milk the proverbial cash cow
one more time is irresistible. Especially these days when there seems to be dearth of fresh ideas for
movies in Hollywood.

The death of original cast member, Harold Ramis, in 2014 coupled with the fact that a sequel with the
remaining original cast members in lead roles would be more Busted Geriatrics than Ghostbusters,
made it inevitable that the reboot route was more practicable for the franchise.

Ghostbusters started out, for me, with a bit of promise but just as quickly; it degenerated into a
pointless reel of gags and laughs that seemed best suited for an episode of Saturday Night Live than a
big budget feature length movie. And if it seemed too Saturday Night Live-ish in its gags and acting, that
is probably because it was chuck-full of Saturday Night Live alumni from its main casts to franchise
cameos.

Melissa McCarthy, as Dr. Abby Yates, could very well have been Molly Flynn from the sitcom Mike &
Molly whose ghost seems to plague every character she has played in movies. Kristen Wiig’s Dr. Erin
Gilbert, was basically Kristen Wiig on Saturday Night Live and virtually every movie she has done outside
Saturday Night Live. Similarly, Leslie Jones, as Patty Tolan, was a cross between Leslie Jones on Saturday
Night Live and Tracy Morgan on pretty much anything on TV or Movie. The closest to a different
performance which ultimately did not stray far away from the Saturday Night Live school of comedy
shtick was Kate McKinnon’s Dr. Jillian Holtzman. McKinnon played her character with more than a
passing hint of the over the top overacting bordering on annoying flavour reminiscent of Lori Petty’s
Ellen DeGeneres look-alike, Lolly Whitehill, in Seasons 3 and 4 of Orange is the new black.

Expectedly, there were the obligatory cameos from the surviving original Ghostbusters cast. Bill Murray
reprised his character with as much enthusiasm as you would expect from a geriatric tour guide of a
haunted ancient chateau. An escaping ghoul throwing him out of a window seemed a fitting boohoo to a
lacklustre cameo. Dan Aykroyd’s blink-and-you-will-miss-it cab driver cameo was as perfunctory as a
tired bleh, Sigourney Weaver’s was even more bleh, and Ernie Hudson’s was just bleh bleh bleh.

Chris Hemsworth’s eye candy dim-witted secretary seemed like a payback for all the times movies have
stereotyped women in sexy, blonde-haired but dim-witted secretary roles. Seeing Hemsworth playing a
demeaning bit role left me wondering; how do you go from playing lead roles in the Thor and Avengers
movies to … to…THIS!
There were some funny moments though; like the scene in the Dean’s office with the Dean’s hilarious
demonstration of fifty shades of flipping the bird, and the secretary interview scene where Hemsworth’s
Kevin Beckman asked if it was okay to bring his dog named “Mike Hat” to work.

With a title like Ghostbusters, I did not go into the movie theatre with expectations of a cerebral
cinematic experience. But lowered expectations notwithstanding, at the end of a running time of almost
2 hours, I left the theatre thinking; was there really any need to make this movie? This installment
confirms that it is time to bust this ghost for good.