Heck, even the appearance of Chris Hemsworth as a dumb blond hunky secretary fails to derive an avalanche of guffaws.
Paul Feig, who directed the fantastically profane Bridesmaids (2011), appears uncertain about how to use Melissa McCarthy's motor mouth. McCarthy's three previous films with Feig highlighted her proficiency in insulting people with huge doses of sarcasm and being foul-mouthed.
In Ghostbusters, however, her biggest whine is about the lack of won ton in her takeaway meals. Feig wants to highlight McCarthy and her partner-in-crime Kristen Wiig, with leftover attention focused on blonde Kate McKinnon and black Leslie Jones.
He dilutes McCarthy's stinging attacks to make this a family-friendly film, and in doing so, he takes away what could have been the film's biggest advantage: McCarthy's gift of the gab.
|The team aims to fire up viewers.|
The film's starting-off point is college lecturer Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) rekindling their friendship after a long absence. They once wrote a tome about paranormal incidents. Abby now works in a lab with nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon), and they're soon joined by subway worker Patty Tolan (Jones).
A distraction in the film is its insistence on dumping technical terms on viewers who have no interest in them. I desperately wanted to keep up with the scientific jargon but lost interest after awhile and just switched off when the four droned on about apparitions and blasters.
|Will the film have to lick its wounds?|
The baddie is eccentric janitor Rowan North (Neil Casey), whose coiffure reminds me of the Simply Red singer. He spouts mumbo jumbo about a vortex, but he can hardly be described as a threat to New York.
Jillian is the gadget woman while Patty drops dollops of information about the city's history.
I'm not revealing much here but it's certainly a kick to see the four women doing the heavy lifting with the weapons and kicking the ghosts' asses.
Jillian is grateful for being part of a strong female group. This is similar to what the sorority members in Bad Neighbours 2 talk about: female friendship.
2 out of 5 stars
|Chris Hemsworth fails to make a 'spectacle'.|