Thirty years after the original film took the world by storm, Ghostbusters is back and fully rebooted for a new generation. Director Paul Feig combines all the paranormal fighting elements that made the original franchise so beloved with a cast of new characters, played by the funniest actors working today.
Simply horrible. I decided to to see it before reading an reviews so I wouldn’t go in biased and I’m floored that this tripe is currently at 60. Then again…no I’m not. It’s depressingly obvious that the “top” reviews are horribly biased, desperately trying to prop up the militant feminist propaganda, which is the sole reason this movie was created.
The entire movie suffered from the same drawback every political agenda driven movie does. So bent on simply pounding a cynical and divisive message into the audience, the movie’s characters, plot, setting, scenery, script, and everything else is all secondary. It’s all just support for the “message.” And it all falls apart. The plot is boring, the characters are forgettable, the script is laughable, and it all just comes across as amateur fanfiction written by hateful feminist with an axe to grind.
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Let me begin this review of the 2016 Ghostbusters remake by pretending there was no 1984 iteration. How enjoyable would the film be if it didn’t have such enormous baggage, if it didn’t emerge under the long shadow of a beloved predecessor? The answer to that hypothetical is disappointingly prosaic: this is a mediocre horror/comedy that deserves neither high praise nor disparagement.
Ghostbusters is pretty much what you would expect from a collaboration between several ex-SNL comedians and the director of Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy. It’s fitfully amusing, features decent chemistry among the leads, enjoys two richly comedic performances (from Chris Hemsworth and Kate McKinnon), and is dragged down by an overreliance on special effects and some boring action scenes. Perhaps the thing that hurts Ghostbusters the most isn’t the recasting of the leads but Paul Feig’s decision to spend so much of his budget (and screen time) on battles between the Ghostbusters and their supernatural foes. Because there’s too little humor and even less excitement in those scenes, they offer little more than eye candy and that stuff gets old fast.
Did I laugh during the film? Yes. Chris Hemsworth is hilarious – not exactly what one would expect from an actor known for playing hunky roles like Thor and The Huntsman. Kate McKinnon has her moments; her weirdness is occasionally irritating but, more often than not, it adds a spark. (Oddly, the two “big” names, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, are almost understated.) The script isn’t as clever as it could have been but it delivers enough laughs to make things palatable.
For some reason, however, the filmmakers believe that we as viewers will be excited/astounded by the Ghostbuster-on-ghost action. But 2016 is long past the time when even the most impressive special effects can inspire awe. We expect them. As a result, the lovingly crafted sequences of ghost mayhem in New York City provoke no more than a shrug. And, when it comes to battles, we yawn. It’s not as if we believe any of characters are in danger or that the world might actually end. So why spend so much time and money on the disaster film material? Because they can? Because it’s expected in a summer blockbuster? It drags out the running length and distracts from those aspects of Ghostbusters that work.
That brings us to the road-block likely to keep many potential viewers from enjoying anything this film has to offer. This is an unnecessary remake. It’s not the first or last of those. They come along as frequently as falling nuts in the autumn. In this case, however, the filmmakers have (possibly inadvertently) desecrated what some consider to be sacred ground. For me, the 1984 film was nothing more than an enjoyable diversion but, for some of my generation, it’s a seminal movie – a classic that should be approached with care and consideration. Neither of these qualities is evident in this treatment. No one set out to offend fans – in fact, many of the players involved in the original movie are back in one capacity or another. Ivan Reitman is the co-producer and Dan Aykroyd has an Executive Producer credit. Akyroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts make cameos (along with a bust of Harold Ramis and Ramis’ son, Daniel). The movie tries hard to provide as many call-backs as possible, including homages to some of the original spirits and a nod to the Marshmallow Man.
It’s curious why the decision was to make Ghostbusters a “re-imagining” with all-new characters rather than a soft reboot with new characters coming in alongside (to eventually replace) the old ones. As we saw with The Force Awakens, that’s the way to extend a franchise because it excites the fan base rather than alienating them. In a tone-deaf publicity move, certain members of the cast and crew rebutted this hostility by playing the “misogyny” card (and making disparaging remarks about nerds still living in their parents’ basements). Although it’s true that a minority of those lambasting the movie sight-unseen are offended by the gender change of the leads, most are angered for one simple reason: their Ghostbusters are nowhere to be found. The newcomers could have been all male or all marsupial and the reaction would have been as virulent. You’d think people in Hollywood would understand that the best way to inflate the box office isn’t to insult a portion of the potential audience. It’s such a head-scratchingly dumb move that it’s hard to believe it happened.
All of this unpleasantness could have been avoided with a more clever script. The leads could have still been McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, except now fans would have been able to enjoy the limited appearances of Aykroyd, Murray, and Hudson as “mentors” (and maybe participants in the final battle). No need to change much. So why wasn’t it done this way? Who knows. Hindsight is 20/20 and maybe enough people will be interested in the concept of an all-female Ghostbusters quartet to put aside any reservations they may have.
One last note… I agree that the new cover of the “Ghostbusters” theme song is an atrocity. However, its use in the movie is limited. The original “Ghostbusters” song has at least as much screen time, being utilized for both the opening and end credits. The movie has endeavored to placate both those who love Ray Parker Jr.’s (or, as some might argue, Huey Lewis’) ‘80s version as well as those who prefer a “modernization.”
I wish I could say the resultant product was a home run that will make all the concerns invalid. It isn’t. But it’s not terrible and shouldn’t be avoided just because it isn’t a continuation of an old franchise. Reboots happen all the time and, compared to some, this one is relatively successful. The new Ghostbusters work well together. They have a strong rapport and exhibit no difficulty commanding the screen for about two hours. The movie is too long and not funny enough but that puts it in the same category as many recent comedies.
My advice is that if you hate the idea of a Ghostbusters remake, don’t see this. There’s no reason to endure a movie you’re predestined to dislike. If, however, you have no investment in the original, Ghostbusters will provide what most of this year’s other summer movies have delivered: sporadic entertainment followed by a vaguely hollow feeling that it could have and should have been better.
‘Ghostbusters’ Review: A Feminist Blockbuster That Could Have Been Better
Despite great chemistry among its first-rate cast, Paul Feig’s reboot has a hard time justifying its existence.
Jul 10, 2016 1:00 pm
Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in Ghostbusters
First, the good: “Ghostbusters,” the all-female reboot of a generation-defining hit that starred a bunch of guys, plays like the first movie mandated by the Bechdel test. And as far as that goes, it works as an explicitly feminist reworking of the popular franchise. Paul Feig’s goofy blockbuster about four New Yorkers who save the city from supernatural threats thrives on the first-rate chemistry of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones.
Unfortunately, this quartet provides the hilarious center to a movie that otherwise has none — or, for that matter, much purpose beyond showcasing their charisma. Despite the misogynistic backlash suffered during the film’s promotion, the problems with “Ghostbusters” have nothing to do with its cast. Its undoing stems from the same issues that plague so many overproduced, market-tested products that masquerade as movies: For all the value that may be contained in an intellectual property, it’s worthless if it can’t make old ideas feel new.
Still, it’s worth noting that this “Ghostbusters” screenplay, co-written by Feig and Katie Dippold (“The Heat”), offers plenty of charming bits and throwaway lines. But these can’t save the movie from a preponderance of awkward gags that wear thin and then thinner, capped by an effect-riddled third act without fresh thrills. Remember the oddball charm of watching transparent neon specters wreak havoc on Manhattan? Here’s some more. The first sight of gooey ectoplasm lands a few well-timed laughs — and it’s fun to watch the ladies suit up and giddily ride around Manhattan in a spruced-up hearse. But once they get to work, “Ghostbusters” has all the fun of a stale Stay Puft marshmallow.
Related‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Tweaked A Scene As Reaction To Internet Backlash
Wiig, straight-faced and klutzy, first surfaces as Princeton professor Erin Gilbert, who once researched ghostly affairs but now maintains a buttoned-up persona to maintain her credibility. That falls by the wayside when a potential client tracks her down for help with a haunting, thanks to an old book she wrote that’s being newly promoted by her old high school pal, Abby Yates (McCarthy).
It turns out Abby’s still chasing ghostly phenomena, toiling away at a second-rate New York college with a new partner in crime, irreverent tech-head Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon). As Holtzmann, McKinnon provides another reminder that she’s one of the funniest people in America, and her quirky, gadget-obsessed steampunk character owns every moment she’s in frame (and, deserves a spin-off). McCarthy, who worked comic wonders with Feig in “Spy,” comes across as a brash smarty pants — in essence, Dr. Peter Venkman and Dr. Raymond Stantz rolled into one. Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), a former MTA worker and perennial loudmouth, rounds out our quartet with a role that’s just as funny but often underutilized.
Erin initially seeks Abby in the hopes of getting her to shut up about their past exploits, but soon she’s drawn into helping her old pal investigate the possibility of a bonafide paranormal event. When that encounter climaxes in a showdown with a floating specter, the group’s so giddy with the results that their enthusiasm goes viral on YouTube, turning their ambitions into a national joke. However, the Ghostbusters soon find more than enough work, picking up the trail of a mysterious bug-eyed villain (Neil Casey) intent on unleashing the undead across the city.
A horrible remake with focus on all the wrong things. It thought it was cute.. it wasn’t. If they had focused more on fleshing out a solid storyline instead of they themselves constantly pointing out that the genders are reversed(something most people knew before going in) they might’ve had a chance.
Only a deluded feminazi or a person who genuinely don’t care what they’re watching could enjoy this movie.
I thought the SNL cast members pulled off a very entertaining movie. It was a good and funny film, and I loved seeing these 4 funny SNL women play leading roles in what is usually male dominated casts in action roles movies. I especially liked Kristen and Melissa, but Jones, and McKinnon were great as well. I thought it was a great mix of pulling from the original, as well as adding new material and great special effects and some pretty scary ghosts in the subway. Don’t pay attention to many of the negative reviews, they are probably people who think that any action movie must have males as leading roles. The small cameo roles by Murray and Aykroyd and Weaver were a nice touch. Go see this movie if you liked the first two Ghostbusters, you will not be disappointed!