It's pretty sad to say, but the most controversial movie of 2016 is Paul Feig's horror comedy Ghostbusters. Sections of the internet have decided that the project is an abomination that doesn't deserve to exist, and this has caused an equal yet opposite reaction in other sections of the internet leaping to the movie's defense. Of course, all of this has been unfolding months in advance of anyone actually getting to see the finished film. So now that people are actually seeing it, what are they saying? Well, so far the reaction has been mostly positive.
With just a few days left before Ghostbusters' arrival in theaters, Sony Pictures has lifted the review embargo that has been held the last few days, and critics from movie sites far and wide have been posting their opinions about the new blockbuster. For example, I personally shared my feelings on the feature as the representative for team Cinema Blend (you can read all of my thoughts HERE), and I think I sum it up pretty succinctly in my closing paragraph:
The truth is that it can only be called the third best Ghostbusters movie. That's its cross to bear. But it also builds with solid pacing, features crafty and entertaining filmmaking style, and has a number of consistently funny performances from actors delivering lines you'll be quoting and chuckling about days later.
But let's take a peek around the rest of the internet, shall we? Let's start with Manohla Dargis from The New York Times. Like me, she notes that the new movie doesn't ultimately still owe a great deal to the original Ghostbusters, but gave it even greater praise than I did, writing:
... [I]t doesn't have a lot of XY chromosomes and basso profondo voices, though its token hottie, played by a game, nimbly funny Chris Hemsworth, pulls his weight on both those counts. Otherwise, the redo is pretty much what you might expect from Paul Feig, one of the best things to happen to American big-screen comedy since Harold Ramis.
Writing for The Wrap, critic Robert Abele has added more positivity to the mix as well. He doesn't love what he perceives and describes as CGI bloat in the movie, but gives it up for the female leads all delivering funny performances:
... [M]ostly third-act mayhem beats aren't nearly as entertaining as the small-scale goofiness --- McKinnon's oddball interjections during any social interaction, Wiig's awkward mooniness around Hemsworth, Jones's tell-it-like-it-is attitude --- or the clever mergings of digital wizardry and human behavior.
While the reaction to the new Ghostbusters has been mostly positive, there have been some negative opinions posted as well. One such voice is Variety's Peter Debruge. For him, it seems the overwhelming presence of the original left the movie feeling like a rehash devoid of its own identity:
... [T]he one-line idea that made the original such a success --- a comedy team fights ghosts --- is so rich that surely Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold could have taken the franchise in a totally new direction. Instead, channeling the earlier film at every opportunity, Ghostbusters opens with an effects-driven phantom menace before introducing audiences to three scientists who've jeopardized their academic careers by believing in the paranormal.
In his review for the Newark Star Ledger, reviewer Stephen Witty was a bit more even-handed, even while ultimately proving to be disappointed with the movie. For him, it neither reaches any great highs, nor any terrible slumps, and just wasn't seemingly good enough to be called a satisfying theatrical experience:
Other jokes aren't set-up properly, or pay off satisfyingly. Important guest stars are given pointless cameos. An extended visual gag -- the newly ghostridden New York is suddenly crammed full of long-dead businesses -- is actually brilliant, but handled so casually it's guaranteed to slip by most audiences.
The Rotten Tomatoes score for Ghostbusters is sitting at 76% at the time this article is being published -- and it won't be long until audiences will be able to let their own opinions be known. The Paul Feig-directed film will be in theaters this Friday, July 15th -- and you can expect a lot more of our coverage in the coming days!