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Ghostbusters (2016)
Rated PG13

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon

out of

I've never seen a remake refer to its source material so often and with such reverence that it felt like a two hour suggestion that maybe you should, in fact, be watching the original film. That is exactly what Paul Feig's 2016 Ghostbusters reboot feels like.

At every opportunity, a cameo or wink-wink/nudge-nudge moment is trotted out and everytime it somehow refers to the original Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis script. There is nary a single original idea in Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold's script. Everything from the origins of the Ghostbusters' logo, their headquarters or even their advertising methods makes references to the original film.

Even the fact that the team is now made up of four women is nullified. Feig and Dippold do nothing with that idea other than making men look like idiots at nearly every opportunity.

Plot-wise, the 2016 version differs from the original by dumbing down the demonic Zuul/Keymaster scenario. Instead, we get a story featuring a loner who wants revenge on humanity because people were mean to him. Seriously.

The special effects felt very digital rather than ethereal. The version of the film I screened was 3D and, despite being a converted-into-3D movie rather than actually made-for-3D, the effect was surprisingly effective.

I know this movie received a lot of hate before it was released. I did not expect to be blown away but I chuckled maybe three times. For a summer tent pole comedy, that's pretty lame even if the movie doesn't carry a pedigree from a 1980s classic.

Skip it and watch the original again (or for the first time). It may be 32 years old but it's a lot funnier than this.

Trivia: In the film's 3D version, it is letterboxed and certain 3D elements show overtop of the black bars. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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