Despite being loosely based on a tale told better more than three decades ago, Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (B-) doesn’t necessarily lack for ideas. In fact, this all-female makeover of the let’s-capture-ghosts-run-amok-in-Manhattan story is a whirling dervish of special effects and fun gadgetry evoking a mash-up of a haunted Disney dark ride, Q’s invention laboratory and a whack-a-mole carnival gone mad with technicolor Pokemon-style gymnastics. As summer escapist fare, it’s a loud and overstuffed adventure with primary charms provided by Kate McKinnon who, armed with an occasional quip or queef for comic relief, is a welcome Willy Wonka type character entry into the franchise’s pantheon. It’s a bit like she’s working in another dimension from the other collaborators. The film’s biggest disappointments include squandering the talents of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy with rather bland roles, relying too heavily on throwback cameos that distract from forward momentum and unspooling lame and labored origin story elements. Once the action gets underway, however, the frantic pace glosses over many of the sins of the so-so screenplay. Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth are solid in supporting roles, and New York itself – in both a modern and retro dual universe – provides a pleasurable playground of practical effects for spectral warfare. The film rarely crosses the expected streams into the suck, and it’s still a rush to watch a ghost get boxed. This movie is strictly for your inner 13 year old, and the mostly fulfilled “girl power” promised by this reimagining gives enough reason to not give up the ghost.
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