Ghostbusters (2016)

“Never compare me to the Jaws mayor!” 

What’s it about?

Someone’s letting ghosts loose over New York City, and only three scientists and a MCA employee have the wherewithal to bust ‘em.

Who’s In It?

Melissa McCarty, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Cecily Strong and Andy Garcia with appearances from the surviving cast of 1984’s original Ghostbusters sprinkled throughout.

Why should I watch it?

+ Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids, gathers quite a number of his regulars together to inject life back into the long-dormant Ghostbusters franchise, to modest results!
+ The performances are great
+ Each of the girls really brings something to the team, and when the movie’s in full swing there’s a solid rapport between them
+ They all seem to really like each other too, which is really great to see!
+ The supporting cast all have their part, particularly Chris Hemsworth, who plays adorkable Kevin really well
+ While they are filling pre-occupied spots from the original Ghostbusters cast demographic-wise, character-wise they are totally distinct from the original
+ I mean, there was no Kristen Wiig type in the original. Now there is!
+ There’s a great adventure tone throughout which is super fun
+ The ghosts, designs, colours and effects all look great; this is a nice looking movie
+ There’s laughs, there’s action, some jumps if you’re extra-squeamish; something for everyone!
+ The action is pretty cleanly directed, so you can follow it easily
+ It’s not super-crude, so kids can watch it and not be scarred for life
+ It has some excellent physical comedy. Between this, The Nice Guys and Deadpool, 2016’s shaping up pretty well for physical comedy!
+ If you like references to the original Ghostbusters, this film has a ton of them, so that’s your very particular box ticked
+ It does do a solid job distinguishing itself, tone-wise, from the original Ghostbusters and that’s commendation-worthy
+ Kate McKinnon’s character really did steal the show
+ It feels exactly like how a modern day Ghostbusters would feel, for the better!

Why shouldn’t I watch it?

– It feels exactly like how a modern day Ghostbusters would feel, for the worse!
– It feels inferior to its predecessor by its own designs, constantly calling back to the original film whether through cameos or references
– Social media jokes and updated references do not make for clever comedy
– The villain is super forgettable
– Scratch that, the plot is super forgettable! Was this the best they could come up with?
– Just a retread of the first two films? We were tired of the whole cataclysm in New York deal after the first one!
– The film’s slapstick-y vibe robs it of any real threat or stakes
– The subplot about the mayor and his aides feels slapped on
– There’s a moment at the end that sort of feels like it was supposed to have emotional weight, but because we never connect to any characters on a personal level it feels bizarrely heavy in all the noise
– So much product placement. So much. That’s Sony for you
– Kevin goes from funny and cute to annoying and forced surprisingly quick
– The Ghostbusters are OP as fuck
– Feels like they shot their load regarding Ghostbusters callbacks: maybe intentionally for a sequel, but there are so, so many
– You like Slimer? Bam, Slimer subplot! You liked the Stay Puft man? Boom, all the puft you can handle! It’s insane
– And that’s just the ghosts! Every scene featuring old Ghostbusters feels like damage control for fans, but ultimately the scenes they appear in feel awful and out of place, so nobody wins

Anything else?

All-in-all, this is an unbalanced, overly commercial and surprisingly soulless way to reboot a franchise, playing both sides of the field by trying to mesh an overload of fan service and callbacks with a fresh, modern take on ghostbusting.

It’s fun and pulpy for a first watch and kids might really enjoy it, but the handful of funny moments and a lack of real story will leave this sadly forgettable. On the upside though, a sequel is inevitable and, now we have all this fluff out of the way, there is quite a lot of potential for something great here.

5.5/10

You might also like:
Ghostbusters (the 1984 original)
Bridesmaids
Evolution

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12 thoughts on “Ghostbusters (2016)

  1. I found it rather enjoyable but you did make a few good points that I had thought about as well. Like Kevin being adorkable for two seconds and then forced obnoxiousness. I also felt like the villain was off. It wasn’t very… interesting. I thought the ghosts however, were superb! They looked spectacular and the visuals were just amazing for me. And of course, Holtzmann: I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to hang out with her, be her, or make out with her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty sure that sounds like we agreed on almost every point there hahaha
      It definitely was an enjoyable enough first experience, but I know most of its charm will be lost second time round and its flaws will only become more apparent on a re-watch. Groundwork’s good though! If Sony don’t Amazing Spiderman 2-it, sequel could be something to behold!

      Like

  2. Honestly, I liked this best of all the Ghostbusters movies. I loved having four strong women who don’t look like supermodels and can make jokes in the leading roles. I liked the homage to and subversion of the original. And a dumb but cute male secretary? Genius inversion of Hollywood’s plot B. I enjoyed your review, but this will be one of my favourite movies of summer 2016 as I didn’t look at my watch, even to peek, once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think, contextually, those are all perfectly sound reasons to love the movie. I try to see things for the narrative they present within themselves rather than the context surrounding the film and our expectations of films of that type in general, but that’s really just one way of looking at it and, from your perspective, it’s pretty clear this film does a lot of great things that are totally subversive and daring and it does deserve credit for that.
      And I too did feel it zipped by, which is always a plus 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. While both are messes in their respective ways, it basically comes down to which had the better intentions and which had more fun. While Ghostbusters has the better potential for a sequel, it’s flaws in storytelling and movie making are more directly patronising to the audience, while Suicide Squad is more indirectly patronising. An interesting parallel is in product placement, which is overabundant in Ghostbusters and nearly non-existent in Suicide Squad. Neither handles characterisation well either but Suicide Squad doesn’t undermine its main character nearly as thoroughly as Ghostbusters.
      Really debating rotten apples and rotten oranges however 🙂

      Like

  3. I have to comment about this. I saw this a few months ago and was very disappointed, I couldn’t watch it after 20 minutes because it never got better. The script was bad and the acting too contrived.

    Liked by 1 person

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