In our day and age of internet reaction and rage there hasn’t been a film judged so harshly as that of the new Ghostbusters(2016) for quite a while. Some cried the ruined childhood mantra out loud while others went for a far more sinister misogynistic judgement. In all fairness to those holding a negative reaction the trailers that were released to promote the movie did little to make anyone want to actually see the movie. While it was hard not to succumb to the cynicism of the cash-in reboot, I personally adopted a wait and see. The movie that emerges from the cacophony is a fairly solid comedy that has some amusing jokes and a sense of fun. It’s not a classic mind you, but no one needs to book in a counseling session about their childhood being ruined either. Find out more in our review.
Erin Gilbert (Kristin Wiig) is a respected scientist on the verge of receiving tenure at her prestigious university when a stranger approaches her asking for assistance with ghosts. It seems a book that she once wrote about ghosts with former friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) has once again surfaced. When it becomes clear how real ghosts are and that someone is actually drawing them to New York they must put aside their differences to help solve the supernatural problem.
The collective fear around Ghostbusters (2016) is put aside very quickly when it becomes clear this is a film more concerned with fun than with pandering to the haters. It all begins with Zach Woods as a tour guide. If you’ve watched the brilliant Silicon Valley you will recognise the gangly Jared. His campy tour of an old estate filled with murder intrigue and fake hauntings before all the real ghost shows up. The effects are ridiculous and almost cartoony while having that gross-out fun you would expect. It all feels wonderful and a little bit familiar. It’s tame scares that make you laugh. It’s absurd human that seeks to appeal broadly.
Then it takes a weird pause on all that great setup and sets up a bit more. The whole contrivance of getting this team together takes a bit of time and the film seems to want you to get a sense of the characters. You get probably more character development than needed but a whole lot of that isn’t that funny and makes the initial proceedings in need of a jump start.But when the cast finally meets up and starts ghost busting there is a whole lot of enjoyment. Melissa Mcarthy, Kristin Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are a delightful set of comedic leads. They bounce off each other with ease and their chemistry takes the show. My personal favourite was Kate Mckinnon as Jillian Holtzmann. Her ridiculous gadgets and even more ridiculous test runs that go with them, escalate throughout the movement and have this internal logic that has some of the best techno babble delivery.
But when the cast finally meets up and starts ghost busting there is a whole lot of enjoyment. Melissa Mcarthy, Kristin Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are a delightful set of comedic leads. They bounce off each other with ease and their chemistry takes the show. My personal favourite was Kate Mckinnon as Jillian Holtzmann. Her ridiculous gadgets and even more ridiculous test runs that go with them, escalate throughout the movement and have this internal logic that has some of the best techno babble delivery.
There is of course, the wonderful Chris Hemsworth as the himbo secretary Kevin. He is clearly having a wonderful time playing the fool and for the most part his routine is both endearing and funny. Yet one wonders if there is a little reverse sexism being shown. He is very much only hired because of his looks.To be fair Ghostbusters (2016) has copped it from a number of people who hide their overt sexism behind some nerdy credibility and listening to a bunch of young girls behind me in the cinema cheer as the ghostbuster kicked butt shows exactly how important the success of this film with female heroes is yet something is a little bit icky here. In fact, none of the male characters are particularly brilliant but still I think they manage to tread on the right side of a careful line for the most part being funny and witty. Still, the trolls may have some ammunition here and at least in part could be justified.Overall the
Overall the humour works well. Lots of nice little set pieces are mixed with action and witty one-liners. Like most comedies some things hit, while other miss but for the most part the humour is consistent. The metal concert in the middle is a good mix of the ridiculous and the funny. There is something most amusing about the lead singer of a metal band feeling he has really called the dark lord.While I think Ghostbusters(2016) succeeds as a stand-alone movie it’s the legacy of the previous films that weights it down. In a world that isn’t actually shared with the original Ghostbusters it sure does have a lot of
While I think Ghostbusters(2016) succeeds as a stand-alone movie it’s the legacy of the previous films that weights it down. In a world that isn’t actually shared with the original Ghostbusters it sure does have a lot of tie-ins. The cameos are distracting, the plot feels hemmed in by callbacks and unfortunately, the nostalgia is just a painful reminder to those fearing the worse. While nostalgia worked well in The Force Awakens or Jurassic World it was because those characters or elements were part of the continued story not simply a reminder of what had come before. Still, if an unfunny Bill Murray cameo is the worst part of your movie you must have some good. It’s all distracting and not harmful. If there is a sequel is probably best avoided. I get it, I just don’t need it.
Ghostbusters (2016) Review Cheat Sheet.
Ghostbusters(2016) is not the timeless comedy classic of the original but neither is it a slouch in the moviemaking department. Funny, charming and playful it is a light-weight comedy that while relying far too heavily on nostalgia, has great casting and some delightful jokes. Far from the greatest but enjoyable nonetheless.
+ Great cast with wonderful chemistry.
+ A sense of fun that is gross and nerdy.
+ Most jokes deliver solid laughs.
– Relies way too much on nostalgia.
– A tad sexist.