Critics call new Ghostbusters reboot a ‘lackluster’ companion for ‘classic’ franchise

A ghost is haunting Ghostbusters: Beyond Ash in theaters next month. The rebooted Ghostbusters franchise revolves around four women, a reboot of the original franchise featuring humor and scares, and a lack of a…

Critics call new Ghostbusters reboot a ‘lackluster’ companion for ‘classic’ franchise

A ghost is haunting Ghostbusters: Beyond Ash in theaters next month. The rebooted Ghostbusters franchise revolves around four women, a reboot of the original franchise featuring humor and scares, and a lack of a hard rebooted R rating, resulting in the film’s PG-13 rating. How will it go down with critics?

Currently, “Ghostbusters: Beyond Ash” features a 50 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The site’s plot summary, published in the film’s trailer, calls the film “a contemporary, action-packed reimagining of the original film,” which is a notion close to the view of many who have gone before. But others, including Kevin Tent at Screen Rant, weigh in against the narrative line of the new film, whose “‘Young Frankenstein’-esque charm is MIA,” and man-to-woman-to-man exploration of “gender disparities is an uncomfortable realization… [that] Ghostbusters: Beyond Ash just isn’t as fresh and exciting as it first appears.”

Jenny Hagel at CinemaBlend questions the spin-off’s lack of a hard R rating, “After all, we saw how beloved this property was not so long ago” in the studio’s original 1984 film. Fans have long expected a second film in the franchise, and are now left with an empty cupboard at the end of the new movie.

Unlike previous franchise installments, the reboot revolves around four women. The four stars are also a diverse group of characters, blending different generations, races, and genders of females. Yet in 2012, “Ghostbusters 3” became embroiled in an unfortunate controversy when The Licensing Letter website revealed that Kate McKinnon’s part as the team’s science wiz, Jillian Holtzmann, had been changed in the script. One leaked draft of the film revealed that Holtzmann’s role in the original draft was a bit too, well, scientific for comedic purposes. While co-director Paul Feig chalked the experience up to a dramatic clash over the film’s script, he did concede that it was one of his biggest regrets. Some analysts see the reboot’s return to the women’s perspective as a promising development.

Despite the controversy, mixed reviews and multiple other hurdles, Ghostbusters has gone on to sell more than $260 million in merchandise, and will premiere on 4k 3D, The IMAX Experience, and IMAX 3D™ laser projection screens worldwide on October 20.

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