Ghostbusters is racking up negative reviews but the all-female cast isn't to blame

The reviews are in for the hotly contested Ghostbusters reboot, and the one thing everyone expected to hate seems to be the film's only agreed upon saving grace.

While the reviews take aim at the script, the effects, the chemistry and the general story and vibe, no one's finding flaws with the all-female cast which caused a huge amount of backlash when the film was announced.

Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon in Ghostbusters. Photo / AP
Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon in Ghostbusters. Photo / AP

The bad:

Perhaps the harshest review, which came from the Hollywood Reporter, called the film an "unfunny mess" - hitting the theatres "like a big goopy splat of ectoplasm".

But even it noted the "comedically gifted cast", saying the idea of an all-female cast was a "promising" one.

However, it also added "that's where the inventiveness ended".

The New York Daily News said, "There's nothing wrong with an all-female Ghostbusters. What's terribly wrong is a not-very-funny Ghostbusters, and this new version often misses the mark. And the point."

Entertainment Weekly lamented the film's "slavish" nods to the original, but said without them, the film was "flailing and flat".

That, and: "with a cast as daring and quick as this one, Ghostbusters is too mild and plays it too safe".

The Ghostbusters take on Gertrude the Ghost (Bess Rous) of Aldridge Mansion. Photo / Supplied
The Ghostbusters take on Gertrude the Ghost (Bess Rous) of Aldridge Mansion. Photo / Supplied

Variety said the problem was that the new cast was never allowed to blaze its own trail.

"The problem isn't that Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson created characters too iconic to surpass; the fault lies in the fact that this new Ghostbusters doesn't want us to forget them, crafting its new team in the earlier team's shadow."

Variety also took aim at Leslie Jones' character, which "channels a shameful racial stereotype - one that traces back to the days of blackface when it amused audiences to see African-American characters spook easily, bugging their eyes and running for their lives whenever confronted with a ghost."

The good:

However, the positive reviews suggest the movie must be taken for no more than what it was meant to be: a fun, feel-good, "gloriously ridiculous" summer movie.

The cast is about the only thing everyone agrees is good about the film. Photo / AP
The cast is about the only thing everyone agrees is good about the film. Photo / AP

The New York Times described it as "a lot of enjoyable, disposable fun" which was at once "satisfyingly familiar and satisfyingly different", comparing it to a new Shakespeare production, or a new incarnation of Batman.

The Guardian praised the film's "warm-hearted nostalgia", seeing it as more of a "tribute" than being stuck in the old film's shadow.

It said: "Fun oozes from almost every frame; likewise the energy of a team excited to be revolutionising the blockbuster landscape."

And Time said Ghostbusters is "presented with a wink", and "glows with vitality, thanks largely to the performers, who revel in one another's company".

Finally, The Globe and Mail said: "For all its minor faults, Ghostbusters is glorious fun - two hours of wit and wights, the ideal summer cinema that the rest of Hollywood just can't seem to wrap its head around lately. If all that and the presence of leading women still rankles you, then the movies are better off for your absence".

- NZ Herald

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