48 | Ceres Magazine | Fall 2016
malady that plagues a lot of CGI movies, too much of special effects, too pretentious, too impressive/beautiful, too “in your face,” and, at the end, too cheesy! But, effects aficionados will argue, " It’s a ghost movie, with ghosts everywhere... how to avoid such grandiose special effects?" The point is, though the effects are necessary, they swallow the actors whole, making them completely disappear.
Some of the ghosts are well-done (too well-done), the majority of the others ARE cheesy. Now, I understand that the movie has also to appeal to kids—and there were a lot of little ones in the theater, cheering during the fights, even one dancing in his seat along with the tunes (I bet his parents showed him the 80's Ghostbusters beforehand). It is, after all, a fun, family oriented feature; so were the two first ones in the franchise. That would explain the Macy’s parade balloon ghosts to bring the “Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever” version of Mr. Stay Puft, the Marshmallow man. Yep, they’re cute (even the scary ghosts). And this is what Patty, played by Leslie Jones, wants the villain ghost to transform into, “something small and cute.” Though, he doesn’t get that part! But for all the cuteness of some of the ghosts, even with the appearance of Slimer himself, it lacks in originality, or should I say, the desire to be original falls flat!
The weapons, on the other hand, are "mega cool" as they're no longer just the proton packs, but a new arsenal of punch, kick, slice, blast, disintegrate, and so on devices, bringing on comical tests scenes, which alas, don't do much to move the story along, but are still fun to watch!
I love the female cast! Patty, skillfully played by Leslie Jones, is the most interesting of the four ladies. She is street-smart, carefree, sassy, strong, brave and hilarious. Her line: "The power of Patty compels you," when she tries to get the demon out of Abby, seals the deal for me. In fact, she is the one character who pretty well carries the movie as her practical knowledge of the city and its history turns out to be an important part of the storyline.
Kate McKinnon, as Holtzmann, can be annoying at times, but her nerdy weirdness and homosexual allusions add sparks to the chemistry of the team.
However, what happened to the two “big” names, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy? Wiig’s character is dull, and though she has the lead, she feels more like an afterthought. She is even borderline unlikable. Melissa McCarthy’s character, besides having a motor mouth, may be funny but is still understated and underdeveloped. Both take the back seat to the two more defined lesser characters, Patty and Holtzmann. This is no fault of the actors who are doing a great job with whatever they have, but could have been better if the director had let them go for it. It’s the director’s signature to not have one performance dominate the others. To me, here, he's just taking one charater at a time off the shelf, then putting it back on before getting another. The result makes for an evenness that reflects on the mood of the movie itself as there is never, at any time, a sense of danger present over the 1 hour 56 minutes the feature runs, even during the fights.
This time around, the dumb blond is a male, and boy, he is dumb, dumber than a box of rocks, but oh so good looking, which is also in stark contrast with Janine in the original movie. One wonders how he even gets dressed in the morning, and if he needs help to tie his shoes. Thank goodness, the production has cast an actor, Chris
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